Winter Wellness Recipes

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We asked our readers to share their Winter Wellness staples for curing a common cold … or whatever else ails you.


Dr. Pamela McGrogan
Valley View Hospital
Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine 

This recipe is perfect for kids and batch cooking, though no cooking is required!  Double or triple the recipe as needed and let your kids create their own breakfasts. Eat cold or heat up as desired. Great for boosting Winter Wellness, or any given morning.


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons chia seeds
½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
(Add more or less depending on your preferred consistency.)


Fresh berries
Nuts – chopped walnuts or toasted almonds 
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Diced mango, pineapple or stone fruit
Add cacao nibs or honey for a little extra treat
(in moderation)


1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly.  

2. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days.

3. Add fresh berries or other toppings of your choice on the day you eat it.  Enjoy!


Tess Weaver Strokes
Writer, tutor, and chef at Good, Clean Food, Co.

This Winter Wellness standby is all about immunity maintenance. My family swears by homemade fire cider, an apple cider vinegar infusion powered by warming, wellness-supporting ingredients like onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, citrus, ginger, horseradish, turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, rosemary and thyme.


1/2 cup fresh peeled and grated ginger root
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup freshly peeled and grated turmeric root
10 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated horseradish root
2 organic jalapeño peppers, chopped
2 lemons, chopped
1 orange, chopped
1 bunch each of fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano1 tablespoon peppercorns
organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raw honey, or to taste


The recipe is less about the ingredients, which can vary depending on availability and preference, and more about preparedness: fire cider must ferment in a cabinet for a month to reach its optimal potency. Make it right now, so it’s ready when winter hits. Find the biggest mason jars you can, fill them with the aforementioned ingredients, and pour raw apple cider vinegar to the brim. Store the jars in a dark, cool cabinet, and shake the jar every few days. A month later, strain the mixture and store in the fridge. Drink a tablespoon in warm water every morning on an empty stomach. If it’s too spicy and pungent, add some scoops of raw honey and warm on the stove just enough to dissolve. 


Stephanie Sananikone
chef, co-owner Thai House Co. & Sushi
El Jebel

This Winter Wellness secret is a Lao-style Rice Porridge – an old family remedy. In our culture when someone passes away, they also pass on their secret recipes and this one is a recipe that was passed on to us from our late grandmother. Grandma always made this for us kids when we were feeling under the weather or had an upset stomach, and we all later found out that it made a decent hangover remedy as well…


2 quarts of chicken stock or water
1 cup jasmine rice
3 drumsticks or chicken thighs
1 tablespoon grated ginger
chopped green onions or chives for garnish
sea salt to taste

OPTIONAL: cilantro, fried onion, fried garlic,
hot oil, leafy greens (spinach, bok choy, etc.)


1. Boil the chicken stock or water.

2. Reduce to medium/medium-low heat and add rice, drumsticks/thighs, and ginger.

3. Simmer uncovered for 1-1.5 hours until rice is soft and chicken is falling off the bone.

4. Remove chicken from the pot and place into a colander or mixing bowl. Use a fork to remove the bones from chicken. 

5. After deboning, add the meat back into the pot. 

6. Add sea salt to taste.

7. Optional: Add leafy greens into the pot for an additional 5 minutes.

8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped green onions or chives, plus any of the following that you have on hand and feel like adding: cilantro, fried onions, fried garlic, or hot oil (for spice).

Winter Wellness Recipes


Elana Royer
LilyBart Greeting Cards

I grew up with this Winter Wellness recipe, which my mother started making when our family lived in Japan. When I became vegan, I tweaked it to fit my lifestyle. My children have grown up sipping this savory broth whenever they’ve shown the slightest hint of a cold. Sometimes they even ask for a cup of Save Your Life Soup at the end of a long winter’s day, with noodles and extra spice. It’s a comforting feeling to offer healing, tasty sustenance, especially as it has been passed along from my childhood from “Grammy Kay.”  We created the artwork featured in this article for a Lilybart “Save Your Life Soup” greeting card.


2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups of water
chopped garlic (approximately 5 cloves)
3/4 tablespoons chopped turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1/8 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon ground Himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon yellow curry
1 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
chopped scallions or green onions


1. Heat oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a cast iron pan.

2. Add garlic, turmeric and ginger. Heat for 4 minutes  on medium.

3. Add water and increase the heat to medium-high.

4. Add nutritional yeast, sea salt, yellow curry and Braggs. Heat to a low simmer.

5. Turn heat off. Let stand for 4 minutes.

6. Blend broth to a fine consistency.

7. Strain and return to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with scallions.

8. Optional: serve over rice noodles 


Dr. Lauren Sontag
Valley View Hospital
Roaring Fork Family Practice 

I’m just back home after a bone marrow transplant (basically, a lot of chemo) for lymphoma, so I’ve been thinking about nausea recently. It can be one of the most disabling symptoms for kids and adults alike.

As a doctor, the most important thing I worry about is hydration. Drinking a few teaspoons of liquid every five minutes or so is enough to keep most people hydrated but not induce vomiting. This is the treatment of choice for mild to moderately dehydrated kids in the emergency room rather than IV fluids. If you’ve had symptoms of nausea for a day or less, just water is likely fine or try some peppermint tea or ginger tea. Otherwise, you can make this Hydration Boost recipe.

This year it’s important to note that COVID-19 can present as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, especially in kids, so give your primary care doctor’s office a call. We are ready to see you through that possibility if these measures aren’t getting you through your illness.

Keep in mind some nausea is improved by having a little food in your stomach. Try saltine or other non-greasy crackers first. Toasted sourdough bread with garlic on top works as well. When you’re ready, try a very simple butternut squash soup. If your kiddo asks for their favorite food as their first meal when they are ready to eat, go ahead. There’s no good evidence that bland foods are more likely to prevent the recurrence of symptoms.



1 quart of water
3/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
pomegranate or lemon juice
(My mom always added flavored unset Jell-O)  


Simply combine everything and stir.  Allow time for the salt and sugar to dissolve. This is a good staple to have up your sleeve for any Winter Wellness need.

Winter Wellness Recipes


Dr. Heather Murphy
Aspen Valley Hospital
Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat)

1. Healthy food.
2. Enough Sleep.
3. Less Stress.
4. Time outside.
5. Movement.
6. Hydration.

If you notice symptoms or signs of illness, make sure to hydrate, add humidification to your home and use a saline nasal spray, as this encourages the respiratory system to fight infection.

LEARN MORE about these Winter Wellness chefs

Dr. Pamela McGrogan
Valley View Hospital

Tess Weaver Strokes
Good, Clean Food Co.

Stephanie Sananikone
Thai House Co. & Sushi

Elana Royer
Lilybart Cards
The artwork featured in this article was originally created by Elana Royer for Lilybart Cards. You can find it as a “Save Your Life Soup” recipe greeting card.

READ MORE about Wellness from MP

About Kathryn Camp

MOUNTAIN PARENT Editor & Designer • When Kathryn is not at her desk with MP, she cycles, snowboards, skis, writes fiction and keeps bees in downtown Carbondale with her teenage children, husband Rich, and their wayward husky-coyote Zelda.