In preparation for winter, it is helpful to focus on warming foods, which improve metabolism and increase circulation. When it is cold outside, we can warm the body and generate energy by eating rich, oily foods like nuts and seeds, legumes, winter squash and aliums.
Cook these foods slowly with warming spices and plenty of heat from the oven or stovetop. Winter spices include ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme. Try these recipes to fuel your inner fire for winter. (Photo source: Taste of Thai)
Coconut Ginger Soup
In a stock pot, mix and heat to a boil:
1 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
that same can full of water OR stock*
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled & grated (about 1Tbsp when grated)
3 large minced shallots
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon each: thyme and coriander
Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Then add lots of seasonal vegetables, for example: 2 winter squashes, cut into small cubes 20 broccoli florets a couple handfuls of cremini or shitake mushrooms
Just a couple of minutes before you’re ready to serve, add the vegetables to the simmering coconut milk, and cook until just tender, a minute or so. Finish with a squeeze of lime and freshly chopped cilantro.
* Chicken or mushroom stock are good choices – visit www.harmonizedcookery.com for recipes
Ginger: warming, anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach cramps, reduces flatulence.
Shallots: strengthen lungs; anti-microbial; anti-bacterial; offer rich source of fructo-oligosaccharides, which stimulate growth of healthy bifidobacteria and suppress the growth of potentially harmful bacteria in the colon.
Winter squash: high in omega 3 essential fatty acids to tonify the internal organs and strengthen immunity; rich in carotenoids and omega-3s, whose anti-oxidant content offers anti-inflammatory support; high in vitamin C to boost immunity; rich in B vitamins to reduce stress.
Photo Source: Fat Bellies
Vegetable Almond Ragout
Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and add 2 yellow onions.
Heat gently, add salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes.
4 stalks celery
Add to skillet with:
2 cups water
1 teaspoon each: salt, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon
Simmer for 15 minutes, then add:
2 cups fresh green beans, tips snapped, broken in half
1 bunch freshly chopped kale or collards
½ cup almond butter (organic if possible)
Simmer for 5 more minutes and enjoy!
Almonds: high in monounsaturated fat, which promotes heart health, helps reduce LDL cholesterol, and aids in carbohydrate metabolism, thus contributing to weight loss; contain flavoproteins to balance blood sugar and improve energy levels.
Carrots: high in omega 3 essential fatty acids to tonify the internal organs and strengthen immunity; rich in carotenoids and omega-3s, whose anti-oxidant content offers anti-inflammatory support; high in vitamin C to boost immunity; can block the formation of cholesterol in arteries; rich in B vitamins to reduce stress.
Healing properties’ source information:
Onstad, Dianne. Whole Foods Companion. Chelsea Green, 2004.
Pieroni, Andrea and Lisa Leimer Price. Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine. CRC Press, 2006.
Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods. North Atlantic Books, 1993.