Eating With the Season: Hearty, Warm Winter Meals

The following blog and recipes appeared on Life’s Simple Ingredient as part of a collaboration with Revive Wellness.

I find it so interesting how our bodies and minds naturally gravitate towards certain meals depending on the weather.

Can you imagine on a smoking hot summer day firing up your oven to bake bread? While you are doing that, why not start filling your pots and pans with spicy, warm, hearty ingredients that will come together to make a steaming bowl of soup or stew? I’m sweating just thinking about it.

On the flip side, it definitely doesn’t feel comforting to come inside from a cold, windy, snowy day and sit down to a nice light salad of mixed greens with vinaigrette, chilled shrimp, and ice-cold lemonade.

It just feels wrong, doesn’t it?

Honoring our bodies’ natural tendencies depending on the season will create a more enjoyable eating experience overall. The dead of winter is the perfect season to spend some time in front of the oven, soaking in its radiating heat, and create some wonderful, warming meals.

If you don’t typically cook from scratch, this might be a good time to try a couple of different recipes. A cold, snowy weekend day is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at a homemade bread. This Multigrain Bread is dark, rich, and full of flavour. It will pair perfectly with a hearty vegetable soup or meat stew. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. This is a wonderful time to experiment and challenge yourself with something new.

Another way to create heat and warmth from the inside out is not just the temperature of the dish itself, but the spice. Experimenting with different spices and cultural foods can add both variety and literal heat to your dish. You just get to control the spice level when you make it from home. Whether you’re adventurous or spice-shy, you can still create flavourful meals. A dish like Moroccan Couscous is the perfect example. Spices like cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric work wonders on a frigid winter night. It might even have you peeling off one of your sweater layers.

So, lean into your body’s natural intuitions and go with the flow in the different seasons. You can still eat healthy wholesome foods in the winter just as we tend to eat more fresh and light foods in the summer. Both are great for your body and your overall mental well-being. Enjoying the foods we eat and feeling like it is nourishing our body in that moment is a very healthy and in-tune way to live life.

About Raina Beugelink, Registered Dietitian

At the start of Raina’s career, she was interested in health and wellness and knew the impact that food could have on one’s energy, vitality and overall health. Raina quickly realized she was passionate about helping people find their “ah ha” moment and empowering them to choose foods that nourished and fueled their body. As people grow and mature, we develop an intricate relationship with food, sometimes very positive and sometimes a little more negative. Working with someone to define (or redefine) their relationship with food and speak the truth about their health is something Raina feels both passionate about and privileged to do. Raina’s areas of specialty include weight loss, shift work, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition.