Winter is in full swing, which is great for snow-lovers, but I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say, I hate flu season. There may be no escaping the winter months, but there are tons of ways to fight the flu. And while you could down a bottle of Emergen-C or immediately squeeze a dozen fresh oranges for their healing powers, there are easier (and more delicious) ways to sneak a little extra vitamin C into your daily cooking to help keep that winter cold at bay. Just because we're experiencing Winter Storm Juno does not mean you need to carry around a gallon of Sunny D like Juno did in the movie. In fact, some foods actually carry more vitamin C than oranges, like bell peppers, broccoli, and kiwi. These are especially great alternatives for those who don't like the taste of citrus.
See? Staying healthy this season just got a whole lot easier. Don't let the flu hold you back from all the awesome things you could be doing this winter, like sled racing, snowball fighting, and finishing up your Friends Netflix binge. From mango salsa to pineapple meatballs, here are 12 easy and delicious recipes that are sure to boost your immune system. Cook up these high-packed vitamin C foods, and you're ready to conquer the storm.
1. Boston Sausage and Peppers
Try this classic Boston dish, and don't be shy with the bell peppers. Bell peppers have 180 milligrams of vitamin C, so fire up the skillet and have your fill. We love this recipe by The Little Leopard Book.
2. Kiwi Tarts
OK, these take a tad bit more work to make, but they're totally worth it! With more than 135 milligrams of vitamin C, this sweet snack is sure to boost your immune system. What Jew Wanna Eat? has the recipe.
3. Broccoli Parmesan Pasta
This pasta dish is easy to make, which is great for those busy weekdays. Oh, and did we mention you get 132 milligrams of vitamin C with every cup of broccoli? This yummy recipe by Family Fresh Cooking is a win-win for everyone.
4. Creamy Cauliflower Soup
This creamy soup is the perfect combination for when you want to stay warm and healthy. Cauliflower contains more than 125 milligrams of vitamin C in every cup, and this recipe by Cara's Cravings calls for five cups! Talk about an immunity booster.
5. Mango Salsa
This mango salsa by Little Leopard Book makes the perfect topping for chicken tacos or grilled salmon, or eat it along with a bag of tortilla chips. Either way, your immune system will thank you — the average mango holds 122 milligrams of vitamin C.
6. Butternut Squash Ceviche
One cup of butternut squash contains almost half of your daily dose of vitamin C — which means this amazing meal by The Connecting Kitchen is your new best friend this winter.
7. Chili Chicken Enchilada
Spice up your cooking with this chili chicken enchilada recipe by With Style and Grace. The chili subs in for cheese in this recipe — I know, insane — but it also comes packed with vitamin C. I mean, we can always add cheese later, right?
8. Papaya Strawberry Smoothie
Of course, we had to throw in a great drink to go with all the other vitamin C-packed meals. Papayas add a sweet kick to any recipe, but are especially delicious in smoothies. Try this one by Family Fresh Cooking.
9. Strawberries Balsamic Bruschetta
I am a huge fan of strawberries, and no one is happier than me that they made the vitamin C list because I will gladly eat 100 strawberries before I eat an orange. This sweet and simple appetizer by Little Leopard Book is great to serve all year round, but more so in winter because strawberries carry 84 milligrams of vitamin C.
10. Kale Khachapuri
This Georgian treat has become a popular Israel breakfast. Khachapuri is basically egg and cheese bread. Throw in some kale, and you're ready to start the day right. What Jew Wanna Eat? shows you how.
11. Pineapple Meatballs
This flavorful fruit contains 79 milligrams of vitamin C. Pineapple is not only a delicious addition to any meat, but it's also a natural meat tenderizer. This recipe by The Healthy Foodie is a must-try.
12. Orange Almond Waffles
Of course, we couldn't leave out oranges! They're the poster child for vitamin C, with more than 130 milligrams in every one. So why not add a dose of vitamin C to the most important part of your day? These orange almond waffles by Making Thyme For Health are exactly what you want for breakfast.
Images: The Connecting Kitchen/Katy Howard; FamilyFreshCooking/Marla Meredith; CarasCravings/Cara; LittleLeopardBook/ Whitney Bond; WithStyleandGrace/Lisa Thiele; TheHealthyFoodie/Sonia; MakingThyme4Health/Sarah