Immune Boosting Snack
We all know that zinc is great for boosting the immune system generally but did you know it actually has anti-viral properties?* There are so many viruses being shared around at the moment that I think every little bit we can do is helpful. This recipe has pumpkin seeds in it which are a great source of zinc to help boost the immune system and fight viruses and here are some further benefits of zinc*: - support insulin synthesis and action (which helps regulate blood sugar levels) - helps reduce lactic acid from intense exercise - increases circulating leptin levels (hormone involved in helping us feel full and regulating our calorie intake) - helps the absorption of B vitamins - defends against oxidative stress - involved in metallothionine production (helps us detoxify heavy metals)
Pumpkin seeds are also high in iron and magnesium. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds contains 30% of your recommended dietary intake (RDI) for Zinc and Iron and 60% for Magnesium!**
This snack is also school friendly as it is nut-free.
Immune Boost Snack 2 cups pumpkin seeds 1 cup dates, pitted 1 cup cranberries 1/4 cup desiccated coconut plus extra for rolling
5 drops lemon oil (optional)
If dates are very hard soak them for 30mins in boiling water then drain.
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until mixture sticks together. (Thermomix sp 6 for 30-60secs).
If rolling into balls, place extra desiccated coconut onto plate. Roll a tablespoon amount of mixture into a ball, then roll in coconut to coat it. Place in a container lined with baking paper.
If cutting into squares, line container with baking paper to prevent sticking and press mixture into container so it is about 1cm thick. Cut into small squares.Keep in the fridge or freezer until required.
Tips: 1. The mixture is a little sticky if cut into squares so if it's for little fingers, rolling into balls and coating in coconut is probably best! 2. I know cranberries usually have some sugar added so if you want to avoid that feel free to swap them for another dried fruit such as dried apricots or figs.
Happy Immune Boosting!
*Osiecki, H., The Nutrient Bible, 9th edn, AG Publishing & Bio Concepts Publishing, QLD, Australia. ** RDI values: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients Based on values for women aged 35-50yrs. Pumpkin seed nutrient content: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3066/2