Winter Dishes for the Tropics

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It may seem strange to those who don’t live in the tropics when we talk about a winter, but in nearly every tropical country (with the exception of a few right on the equator) there are usually a few cooler months where we might have to put a jacket on during the evenings. Those months are often warmer during the day than summer months in some temperate climates, but to us they are our ‘winter’ months.

It’s during those those winter months that we are most at risk of catching a cold or flu. Just because we live in the tropics, we aren’t immune from those viruses. Here are two recipes for a soup and a dessert to warm you and help your body stay clear of colds and flu.

Purple Sweet Potato, Ginger and Garlic Soup

The purple colors in purple-skinned sweet potato and white-skinned purple veined sweet potato, as well as other nutrients being discovered and researched in these powerhouse foods, are known antioxidants (substances that contribute to keeping our bodies healthy).  Combined with the well-known powers of ginger and garlic as flu-fighters, this makes for a perfect winter soup.  It also tastes divine!

Ingredients

1 1/4 liters (5 cups) hot chicken or vegetable stock (or same of water plus 2 natural vegetables cubes)

600g (2 medium) sweet potato, washed well, skin left on

6 medium to large cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Sour cream, shaved parmesan and crusty bread to serve

Method

Place the stock on to boil.  Finely slice the sweet potato across into discs and add with all other ingredients to the stock.  Bring back to the boil then cook on a high simmer with lid off for 20 minutes or so (until sweet potato is all soft and falling apart).  Remove from stove and puree, then serve with a dollop of sour cream and some shaved parmesan and crusty bread.

Warm Tropical Fruit Dessert

This is simple, easy to put together dessert when you’re a bit delirious with that “I can feel a flu or cold trying to get me” feeling.  And it tastes great and gives the body a boost of vitamin C and a range of other nutrients that help fight off colds and flu.

These quantities are for one serve, so expand by the number of people you are serving.

Ingredients

1 ripe banana, sliced lengthways

1 thin slice of butter

1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger or galangal

1 teaspoon of wildflower or other quality honey

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Pulp of 1 passionfruit

Small grating of fresh nutmeg (optional)

Method

On a gentle to medium heat, melt the butter in a frypan and add the banana halves and ginger or galangal.  Heat the banana until warmed and softening (a minute or two) then flip over to warm the other side.  Meanwhile, mix the honey, lime juice and passionfruit in the bowl you’ll serve in, then add the banana and gently turn over a few times to coat in sauce.  Serve immediately with a light grating of nutmeg if desired.

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