Brrrr, winter is here, and you can feel it in the air. Fall has ended, and the mornings and nights are colder with each passing day. You can bundle up by the fire, wear an extra layer of clothing, or perhaps a beanie, but keeping yourself warm starts on the inside. Your body maintains its temperature as best it can, given its external conditions, but you can warm yourself up from the inside out with food. Certain spices and herbs can help your body improve blood flow to keep yourself warm and your taste buds happy.
Eat delicious food and stay warm? It’s the perfect combo. Enjoy these healthy comfort food recipes that will have you feeling extra cozy this winter.
1. Gingerbread Cookie Smoothie
Warm gingerbread cookies are a classic winter dessert. But a smoothie? How can something cold, warm you up? Here is why: The main spice in this smoothie is ginger, and research has found that ginger has a hyperthermic (warming) effect on the body and can boost blood circulation. Drink this smoothie at room temperature to help warm your body even more.
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground clove
Add all your smoothie ingredients to a blender and blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
2. Apple Cinnamon Paleo Porridge
Warm apples, cinnamon, porridge … what could be more comforting and cozier? Cinnamon helps warm the body by relaxing blood vessels and increasing circulation. This is a delicious warming recipe that you can enjoy for breakfast or any time of day.
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 cups cauliflower rice
3 teaspoon maple syrup
1 apple, cored and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a pan over medium heat, add all of your ingredients.
Cook until the cauliflower rice is tender and apples are warm, about 6–8 minutes.
Top with additional apples and cinnamon if desired.
3. Spicy Lentil Soup
This yummy soup is the ultimate warming food not only because it is served hot but also because of the warming spices it contains. Spices like chili powder, paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne … don’t you feel warmer already? Spicy Lentil Soup will get your blood flowing, your temperature rising, and leave your taste buds tingling. Cuddle up with a bowl of this on a cold day, and you’ll feel extra cozy in no time.
7 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry basmati rice
1/2 cup dry lentils
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large pot, add the vegetable broth, rice, lentils, paprika, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the lentils are cooked.
Divide into bowls and top with fresh cilantro.
4. Easy Turkey Chili
Chili is a traditional winter comfort food. It’s warm, hearty, and always leaves you with a full belly. This recipe is a simple and easy chili recipe that uses common chili ingredients like tomatoes and beans, along with the classic chili spices, including chili powder, cumin, and paprika. It’s a big bowl of warming goodness!
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
In a large pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil, onions, and salt. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes until they turn translucent.
Add in the ground turkey, breaking it apart as it cooks, cook until it is browned. Add in your tomatoes, beans, and spices and mix well.
Bring chili to boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15–20 minutes.
Divide chili into bowls and top with avocado and fresh parsley before serving.
5. Chickpea Coconut Curry
Are you a fan of curry? It’s a flavorful blend of spices that are commonly found in Indian cooking. This recipe takes it up a notch with red pepper flakes and black pepper to give it a spicy kick. With loads of vegetables and hearty chickpeas, it’s a vegan curry dish that will warm you up with every bite.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
2 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, core removed and sliced
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cups canned coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cups cooked quinoa or rice
In a pan over medium heat, add in the olive oil. Once the oil is warmed, add the onion, garlic, ginger, broccoli, and bell pepper, and sauté until vegetables have softened.
Stir in remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for about 10–15 minutes.
Serve the curry mixture over your quinoa or rice and top with fresh cilantro.
This winter season, if you need to warm up, look no further than these tasty warming recipes, which are sure to make your weeknight dinner plans much more exciting.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.