hot toddyHere it comes, you guys. Cold Season. I can see it now, hovering at the horizon like the hideous beast that it is. But you know what? I'm not afraid of you, Cold Season! I've got my weapons of mass sniffles destruction, and I'm not afraid to use them. I've got: Tasty foods and drinks for colds.

Besides chicken noodle soup, that is.

Yes, there is life beyond chicken noodle soup, love it though we do. There's a lot of other foods and drinks that can help knock out a cold. And, if I may be so bold, I think some of these are even more powerful than chicken noodle soup. Of course, there's no cure for the common cold. These are more about soothing and helping to shorten your illness. But here are a few of my favorites -- with recipes.

More from The Stir: 13 Natural Cold Remedies: What Works and What Doesn't

1. Hot and sour soup. Hot and soothing is good, but if you can add some spice to it, that's even better. (And by the way, all that salt is also helpful.) Chinese hot and sour soup clears my sinuses and gives me a little bit of a buzz so I can hang on until bedtime. Obviously delivery is easiest, but in case you're curious about making it yourself, here's a hot and sour soup recipe. You don't have to have all those mushrooms -- it's the broth that matters.

2. Pho. Along the same lines as above, but Vietnamese-style! This spicy, fish-sauce-spiked beef noodle soup is another dish that's easier to get via delivery. But here's a tasty-sounding pho recipe just for fun. And here's a vegetarian pho recipe.

3. Swedish bilberry and rose hip soups. These are new to me, but apparently they're winter staples in Sweden. The rose hip soup is especially rich in vitamin C. You can drink these hot or cold, and you can buy mixes online -- search for Ekstroms brand "blbrssoppa" and "nyponsoppa." Here's a "bilberry" soup recipe (using blueberries instead of bilberries) and a rosehip soup recipe.

4. Hot toddy. Keep these ingredients handy in your kitchen in case of emergency! A hot toddy can be made with brandy or rum, but I think whiskey works best. Heat that with some fresh lemon juice, honey, and a cinnamon stick. Ahhh, so much tastier than NyQuil and just as effective, as far as I'm concerned. Hot toddy recipe.

5. Ginger tea. Like the hot toddy, this is easy to whip up at home as long as you're stocked with the right ingredients. I love how ginger warms my throat on its way down when I'm feeling scratchy. It's a lot like a hot toddy, but no alcohol.

Ginger Tea

  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 (1-inch) stub of fresh ginger root
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lemon

Grate the ginger directly into the hot water. Make sure the juices make it in. Stir in honey and squeeze in fresh lemon juice. Strain if you have the energy and drink while still warm.

If it doesn't sound too weird to you, add some fresh sage leaves, too. Sage soothes inflammation and infections.

What do you like to eat or drink when you have a cold?

 

Image via noahbloom/Flickr