I'm a Dietitian & This Is the #1 Thing I'm Making To Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

 It takes just 10 minutes and has helped keep me feeling healthy when everyone around me is sick.

a recipe photo of the Frozen Lemon Ginger Shots with one popped out of an ice try and in a mug, getting hot water poured over it
Photo: Photographer: Morgan Hunt Glaze, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle, Food Stylist: Catherine Jessee

Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where nutrition editor and registered dietitian Jessica Ball keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two, and make Earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life.

Unfortunately, we are in the throes of sick season. Especially right now, it feels like I know more people who have come down with a seasonal bug than those that are healthy. There is ample (good) advice out there on how to help your immune system stave off illness, including frequent hand-washing, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet and more. But there is one extra thing I've been doing, and I'm convinced it's helped me stay healthy when everyone around me is sick: making these Lemon-Ginger-Turmeric Shots.

After getting back from my Thanksgiving travels, I felt a tickle in my throat. I promptly busted out my blender and tossed in a few sliced lemons (seeds removed, but you can also opt for just lemon juice, like in our recipe), about 9 inches of sliced ginger, a hefty pinch of turmeric and a pinch of black pepper and salt. I then nearly covered the blender contents with water and pureed until very smooth, which took a few minutes. Last but not least, I double-strained the mixture and saved half in a mason jar in the fridge, and half in an ice cube tray in the freezer to mimic our new recipe (check out the full video on Instagram).

The addition of honey makes our recipe lightly sweet (to balance the strong citrus and spice flavors) and adds even more antioxidants and cold-alleviating potential. The mixture takes about an hour or so to freeze, but can be transferred to a resealable bag or reusable container once frozen to help free up your tray. I use a silicone ice tray like Souper Cubes to make removing the frozen cubes and cleaning up afterward super easy. Frozen cubes can be added to hot water for an instant lemon-ginger-turmeric tea. I've been drinking it in the morning before I have any coffee for a punch of hydration and vitamin C to start the day.

Not only are these shots super easy to make, but they also rely on budget-friendly ingredients that you might already have on hand. Plus, they are way less expensive than pre-made specialty immune supplements—and you actually know what's in them, which is a huge benefit to me.

There are a lot of habits and lifestyle factors that influence your risk of getting sick, and it's important to prioritize things that support your immune system all year round. But especially during this intense sick season, I can't recommend these easy and nutritious Lemon-Ginger-Turmeric Shots enough. For more beginner- and budget-friendly cooking tips, check out Thrifty.

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