Top 5 Warming Foods for Winter
Thats right. Winter isn't over yet! In fact, we're only about halfway.
For some reason I always feel like as soon as we hit boxing day the snow should be gone and we should be back in summerland. I want my white christmas and then I have no use for it anymore. But thats a sort of pessimistic outlook and with the effort to keep a more positive point of view ringing through the new years, I have decided to embrace the winter!
I went snowshoeing for the first time the other day. It didn't work at all. The snow shoes sunk about a foot deep into the snow. For some reason I thought they would make me magically float on top of all the snow, but apparently not. I was ill prepared on the winter boots front so my toes froze but my man and I made the best of it. We went as far as we could go before one of us cried and then we turned back. But let me tell you! The views! Up at my cottage the trees are just dusted in this gorgeous snow frosting. It was well worth the frostbite!
I think my point is there is so much left to enjoy about the winter so lets stop whining about the cold and keep ourselves warm with nutrition!
Pulling from some Ancient Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practices, here are my top 5 warming foods to have on hand in the winter time to keep your inner thermostat on high so you can play in the snow even longer!
1. Ginger is always the first food to come to mind for me when I want to warm myself from the inside out. This powerful root herb will stimulate circulation throughout your entire body, keeping your fingers and your toes cozy as can be. It is also a fantastic immune tonic in the wintertime and contains some antibacterial properties so it will help to keep those defenses up this time of year as well. I like to throw it into my green smoothie to give it a more seasonal warmth, but ginger is fantastic as a seasoning in vegetable dishes, juiced in sauces and dressing and steeped in warm water for a throat tingling tea.
2. Ghee is a nice source of natural saturated fats to be used for cooking in the wintertime. This clean fat provides a steady burning fuel to keep your system revved up through the season. Due to the way ghee is made, most of the casein and lactose have been removed making it more tolerable for those who are irritated by milk proteins. It can also contribute to keeping you well through the season as it is rich in butyrate, a short chain fatty acid linked to an immune response that can decrease inflammation and help improve the digestive system. This stable fat can be used to cook at high heat, perfect for sautéing or roasting through the season.
3. Raw honey is encouraged through the winter in Ayurvedic practices for it’s heating and drying effect, which is the reason for its fantastic ability to clear mucus. Additionally, honey is one of natures most well known antibacterial foods, fantastic for avoiding that cold and flu during this season. Toss it in a lukewarm tea with the ginger to double up on their warming effects. Remember not to add honey to anything too hot because that can rid it of those medicinal properties.
4. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic warming, grounding food to enjoy through the colder months. They are rich in vitamin A and C to keep that immune system going and nourish our skin, which does tend to dry out this time of year without that extra love. Easy to roast up with some ghee and even seasoned with ginger or cinnamon for an extra bit of warming wonder. – I won’t lie, I also love a hint of some sweet maple syrup on there too. It’s a delicious combo. Check out my recipe for Sweet Potato Cranberry Melange to get some inspiration.
5. Red wine is also encouraged in the winter in Ayurveda! Score! It should be noted that the guideline is one glass on occasion, not a bottle every night. I’d say that’s still a pretty good deal. On top of the regular boast of antioxidants, this wine is particularly good in the wintertime to stimulate digestion and circulation. I recommend adding some warming spice to create a delicious mulled concoction! See! Winter can be fun!
Honestly, I was one of those people that felt cold all the time. I’d be blasting heat in my apartment and still be shivering because the cold just seeps into my bones. Once I step outside, I’m frozen for the day. Now, implementing some of these simple food practices I have noticed a huge difference throughout the winter. I don’t even have to take a blanket with me to go to the bathroom anymore! It’s awesome. Try one or two or all of these warming foods on a more regular basis and I swear you’ll be sweating!
Do you have any warming food tips or tricks to share? Recipes? Knock knock jokes? Drop me a line guys! Don’t be shy!