While you’re hunkering down at home, it’s still paramount to keep your immune system happy, functional, and nourished — whether it’s snacking on a roasted sweet potato or sneaking a few kale chips at 3 pm, every little bit helps. We know it’s easier to reach for that comfort jar of Nutella or a Black Cherry Whiteclaw, but opt for the blueberries instead. Trust us, the healthy habits you form now will keep you vibrant during all seasons, not just during pandemics! Here are five recipes that will boost your immune system and keep your hands (and mind) busy in the kitchen. 

1. Blueberry crisp

Hannah Giardina

Blueberries are a fantastic source of antioxidants and can lead to lowered blood pressure and improved cognitive functioning. Deemed a “super fruit,” these rich, purple fruits are easy to bake and beat popping Skittles or M&Ms any day. The recipe above incorporates honey, chia seeds, and oats, so this dessert is basically a power meal.

#SpoonTip: Instead of using raw oats for the topping, you can use instant oatmeal packets as a quicker substitute. 

2. Orange ginger smoothie

Emily Marshall

This smoothie is a healthier and more natural version of Emergen-C or Lucozade. Combining all the benefits of citrus (I’m looking at you, Vitamin C) with the spiciness of ginger and cayenne pepper, this frothy mixture is a good defense against sore throats and runny noses. Ginger is a known “power root” that helps with inflammation and digestion - plus, it tastes dank in a steaming glass of turmeric ginger tea. 

3. Acai bowl with almonds & chia seeds

Makaya Pratt

All hail the acai bowl - uber photogenic and nutrient-rich to the core, these tiny bowls can be dressed and decorated with a variety of toppings. The benefits of acai berries are numerous (lowered cholesterol, antioxidants, possibly cancer prevention) and when coupled with unorthodox ingredients like spinach or kale, they are unstoppable. 

4. Creamy turmeric pasta

curry, herb, turmeric, cinnamon, condiment, chili, coffee, pepper, cilantro
Shreya Sahni

Turmeric is a spice as old as time (seriously, it was used in Ancient Mesopotamia) and a staple of many Indian, Eastern Asian, and African cultures. Described as an “earthy pasta” dish, this recipe couples anti-inflammation with good ole’ butter, cream, and cheese - you still have to treat yourself during quarantine, right? A quicker way to capture the magic of turmeric without cooking is chugging a turmeric ginger shot

5. Spinach pie with ginger

spinach, cabbage, salad, pasture, lettuce, vegetable
Caroline Ingalls

We know wilted spinach might have traumatized some people growing up (🖐🏼), but our moms were right: spinach is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A & C, and antioxidants. When wrapped in snug, flaky pastry and infused with ginger and nutmeg, the spinach becomes velvety and pillow-like. Do your immune system a favor and start cooking with greens - putting Parm on top of anything makes it taste better! 

Who said quarantine had to be all peanut butter cookies and microwavable burritos?! Learn a new recipe while also boosting your immune system when you need it more than ever. Practicing social distancing, good hygiene, and responsible eating habits not only makes you healthier - it helps all of your family and friends around you.

The safety, health and wellness of our Spoon University community is of the utmost importance to us. As we continue to closely follow the coronavirus outbreak, we at Spoon HQ are taking all necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety, health and wellness. See the CDC recommendations for the latest information on COVID-19. 

*Thanks to my sister, Alex, for helping me brainstorm these recipes!