Tis the season to be chilly here in Melbourne. If you’re anything like me, winter is not your friend. But believe it or not, food can help with that. If you’re feeling a little on the cold side, you can include warming ingredients to keep you toasty and warm all through the long winter.
These are the foods that I practically live off during the winter, as they help me to manage my Raynaud’s symptoms.
Warming Ingredients For The Chilly Weather
This one might not be a surprise! But chilli is a thermogenic food, boosting the metabolism ever so slightly. It might not be enough for you to drop kilos in weeks, but it can tweak your temperature up a little bit. Add a dash of chilli to your evening hot chocolate or your morning coffee for a twist.
This is the top of the warming ingredients if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Cinnamon can warm you up, but it also balances out your blood sugar levels. So it’s ideal for sprinkling over your baked desserts and treats.
You’ve heard me rave about the benefits of turmeric before. But it’s also one of my favourite warming ingredients for the winter. Go traditional and add it to curries, or make yourself a golden latte to warm you from the inside out.
Our final spice is good ol ginger. It isn’t just good for upset tummies and gingerbread men – it has a warming effect on the body. I love having ginger as a tea, but you can also add it to everyday dishes.
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a cuppa. But it also just makes sense to drink plenty of teas over the wintertime. It keeps you hydrated and each tea has different benefits to offer on top of that. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer a hot mug over a cold bottle of water when it’s cold outside!
Another lazy warming option, broth is so easy to make and add to your food in winter. Chuck some bones and/or veg in a slow cooker, cover with water, cook on low for the day, and then strain out the bones. Voila, you have broth!
You can use broth by itself, as a base for soup, or you can get creative. Try cooking your rice in broth for extra flavour, or use it as a base for sauces like bolognaise. It will boost up the tasty and it’s full of nutrition.
There is nothing better on a cold morning than a big bowl of porridge. It’s filling, warming and is like giving your insides a hug. If you don’t have time to make it fresh in the morning, you can still enjoy oats. As a healthier alternative to sugary sachets, pop your oats in the slow-cooker overnight.
If you can’t have oats, give quinoa flakes a try instead. They have a similar texture and a slightly nuttier flavour. As a bonus, add in some of the other warming ingredients for a supercharged start to the day!
Now when it comes to a healthy warming dessert, this is my absolute essential! You get the goodness of an apple, as well as the warming effects of spices like cinnamon. And because you’re baking it, the oven will help keep the house warm – it’s a winner all around! Here’s my go-to baked apple recipe:
Simple Healthy Baked Apple
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch dried ginger
1/2 tsp honey (or liquid sweetener of choice)
1 Tbsp nuts of choice, chopped roughly
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Core the apple, and mix remaining ingredients.
Stuff the apple with mix, and bake for around 15 minutes.
Very few people enjoy salads in the dead of wintertime. So this is my favourite way to get veggies in when it’s cold. Bake up a batch of your favourite veggies – we often do cauliflower, carrot, broccoli/broccolini and pumpkin. Then reheat and use them as a side for main meals for the next few days.
This is another good batch cook to do when you want to warm the house up with the oven!