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Cooking, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Green Lifestyle, Health Food Stores, Heather Flournoy, Katonah Green, Local Food, Meetups, Natural Health, Uncategorized

Recipes to Soothe Flu Symptoms

Be sure to check local events this weekend at the end of this post.

photo of rooibos coconut tea

photo by Anna Flournoy

These last few weeks various people in my family have suffered from a highly contagious flu with symptoms ranging from high fever, intense sore throat, joint aches, neck pain, swollen glands, cough and severe headache, to nausea, exhaustion and progression to bronchitis.

Each of us–my brother, his wife, their baby, my mother, my daughter and myself–took different approaches, including the all-natural way, and resorting to antibiotics for the progressive infections and cold medicines.

Here is my problem with the cold medicines: We are sick: infectious, and low immunity. We take a cold medicine that makes us able to go out and continue working in a public place, doing double damage: spreading the virus plus exposing ourselves to further immune onslaught. Have the flu? Take it seriously and don’t spread it and don’t complicate it.

I wanted to share some of my own recipes for food and drink I found soothing to my throat, palatable and energizing over the last few days. My hope is that it might help a couple of others heal quicker, or provide some relief of symptoms naturally. There are plenty of books and natural doc’s who can help you with your protocol for recovery. I’ll link to one below.

Part of most Doc’s advice is to rest and hydrate. But that blasted sore throat made it painful to swallow any water or liquids. I finally came up with a tea I made regularly that soothed my throat, was warm and comforting: Rooibos-Coconut Tea. I figured it gave me some nutrition. I alternated this with Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat with Echinacea about every 2 hours.

Filtered water*

  • 1 rooibos tea bag
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 dash allspice
  • 1 teaspoon raw local honey
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut milk (canned organic)

Boil filtered tea water, fill mug 3/4 full with water and drop in tea bag. Let stand for 3 minutes. Remove bag. Add spices. Mix in honey until melted. Stir in coconut milk solids until melted.

This drink tastes great, plus is creamy with no dairy. Dairy causes congestion and is not suggested during an flu or cold.
*make sure water is non-chlorinated


With the sore throat, it was difficult to swallow foods, but I was craving creamy soup. I was also low on energy so needed something very simple to make. Necessity is a great motivator! (required equipment: pot, handheld immersion blender, knife and cutting board.

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP    | dairy, gluten, and meat free
organic ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 half bunch parsley
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 5 small potatoes
  • Sea salt
  • dash of cayenne or chili

Heat 6 cups filtered water. Begin rough chopping onions, shallots, celery and drop in hot water. Cover, cooking on low. Rough chop the cauliflower, parsley, and quarter the potatoes. Drop in the water. Cover. Cook on low until the potatoes are soft. (about 45 minutes)

Remove from heat for 10 minutes. Blend with immersion blender until creamy (about 1 minute). Add a few drops of cold-pressed virgin olive oil to top of each bowl. Serve.

Don’t have an immersion blender? I recommend this stainless steel KitchenAid handheld blender. I use it at least 4x per week to make quick soups, salad dressings and fresh mayonnaise.


It is a serious concern of mine that we all learn how to bolster our immune systems, as well as modify our habits, to be able to deal with the increasing numbers of flus and viruses we will be exposed to over the coming years. You can read more about it in Dr. JE Williams book Viral Immunity.

Keeping it local: I found all ingredients for the soup at 2 places: potatoes, onions, shallot, parsley: Gossett’s Farmer’s Market in South Salem. Everything else I found at Mrs. Green’s in Katonah, but if you are closer to Ridgefield you get everything at Nature’s Temptations.


Coming up: Two Meetups:

Sunday: “The Making of a Conservationist: Alex Shoumatoff.”  and

Tuesday: Greens of Early Spring Wild Foods Walk


Every Saturday in South Salem, a year-round Farmer’s Market. Weekly events and environmental education, plus a great community experience. Gossett’s Farmer’s Market.

Check out Really Social Strategies, our grass-roots marketing and new media consulting firm.

Connect on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter: @katonahgreen
Join the Katonah Green and Beyond Meetup Group


About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is and my professional website is I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.

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