Recipe Cures for that Hangover!

With all the upcoming end-of-year functions, I suggest you make use of these suggestions. Here’s to happy times with family and friends. Eat clever and enjoy the morning after.

Most of us have experienced those over-indulgent evenings - too much superior wine, irresistible bubbly and fine food. I have only to glimpse upon a bottle of gin, wine or bubbles and the next morning I feel terrible. Don't get me wrong... of course I enjoy a party - who doesn't - but the consequence has reached the point of ridiculous. Surely after a drink or two it is not possible to feel as I do? Among my family and friends I have been labelled the person who suffers the worst after a night out - and I can't deny this fact!

I am always on the look out for the best remedy for over-consumption - or just consumption in my case... Recently I was sent a link to explain the reason 'Sprite' was good. It had something to do with the lemon and lime flavours that allow the body to process alcohol, resulting in a reduced hangover. Sounds intriguing... I will be sure to give it a whirl when next in need.

There are foodie combinations which I suggest - and I consider myself well versed in this regard - but remember without sleep no food will help. What actually does work well for me is going into work really, really early - may sound crazy - and doing a frantically busy breakfast service. I guess this can compare with going for a run. It gets the toxins through the system quickly. The thought of wasting a cherished morning off because of an over-indulgent night before, kills me. A busy breakfast, Sprite in hand and one of my foodie combinations works for me - I hope you can find solace too!

I normally eat as per my craving because it makes sense to me that the food I crave when not feeling 'too healthy' is actually the food that will best help me get through the morning.

Simple is always best. A rich and creamy banana and cinnamon smoothie will replenish potassium and magnesium. A lack of potassium in the body can lead to nausea, weakness and tiredness so stock up on bananas if planning a night out! They are natural antacids so help reduce stomach acid and are ideal as an energy boost if you have a busy day ahead. I believe kiwi fruit is a useful alternative.

I normally can't do coffee in these situations, so nibbling on an espresso ginger cookie is good. Ginger in any form settles the stomach and relieves nausea. I would imagine it best to chew on fresh ginger. This, however, isn't very pleasant so grate a piece into hot water and drink it. You could also add a bit of ginger to your favourite freshly-squeezed morning fruit/vegetable drink. It's so simple really!

I have, over the years, given out my tomato-soup recipe which is a firm favourite of mine. It immediately springs to mind after a night on the town... Filled with untold goodness it promises to help you feel healthier. I know one should avoid a Bloody Mary and rather drink the virgin option. This is not only to avoid the alcohol but what example would you be setting if you added a splash of vodka to the start of your day! Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body; the salt in the tomato helps retain water; and the high levels of vitamin C give the liver a boost. Feel-good spoonfuls of tomato soup are a must.

We all know Croque-Monsieur but when last did you make or have one? This French, gourmet toasted sandwich comprising gammon ham, cheese sauce, grilled Parmesan and loads of butter is ideal if your stomach can cope.

Nothing shouts 'wild-night-out remedy' like a bowl of mom's chicken soup. It might not be the most conventional hangover food but it works. By adding a cup of noodles you will restore your body's sodium and water levels. Chicken, and some vegetables, contain cysteine which gives the liver a much-needed pick up. Chicken soup simply prepared is best. Start with a home-made flavoursome stock and you are A for Away.

Mince, umami or any savoury flavours are what I crave; and more so at times like these. Serve this with a fried egg. A fry up is somewhat controversial regarding whether it works or not. Eggs are rich in protein which helps raise mood-boosting serotonin levels. This, in turn, helps reduce nausea and amino acid helps fight alcohol-induced toxins. I suggest including freshly-picked, blanched asparagus to your fried egg and mince. Eating asparagus before drinking - and even after - helps prevent a hangover because it boosts the levels of key enzymes that break down alcohol.

With all the upcoming end-of-year functions, I suggest you make use of these suggestions. Here’s to happy times with family and friends. Eat clever and enjoy the morning after.

Please take these recipes and try them.


Banana Smoothie
Espresso Ginger Cookies
Tomato Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Savoury Mince

Assisted by Travis Finch for recipe development and food styling.
Photography courtesy of :
Karen Edward's Photography
082 441 7429