3 Winter Cooking Tips + Recipe Suggestions to Shake Off the Winter Blues & Blahs

I also know that some of you — especially if you live anywhere that the Polar Vortex has visited — can’t wait for winter to end, and for cold, grey days to be replaced by sunshine, warmth and blue skies.
The good news is that Spring and Summer are on the way! And to tide you and your family over until then, here are 3 winter “pick me up” cooking tips, along with hand-picked recipe suggestions:

Tip #1: Make Lighter Salads

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During the winter months, we have tendency to eat heavier. Our natural instinct is to protect ourselves — which also means that we tend to gain weight. A great way to avoid yet another battle with the bulge is by making lighter salads.

The “lighter” part is the most important thing to remember, because it does not matter how many leafy green vegetables you eat, if you drench them with half a cup (or maybe more?) of salad dressing and add half of the refrigerator as well. The guiding philosophy here is “keep it simple, keep it fresh, and keep it light.” Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Suggested Recipe: Kale Salad

This amazing Kale Salad is rich in flavor, easy to make, and full of Vitamins K, B, and C, along with Iron, Calcium, Potassium. It also helps with detoxification, which is something that many of us really need this time of year! You will find the recipe here: Kale Salad


Tip #2: Make Homemade Vegetable Soups

There is nothing better to beat the winter chills with a delicious and nutritious homemade vegetable soup! You will get plenty of vitamins from the vegetables, and you can add your choice and amount of beef or poultry for protein.

Also, if you have picky little eaters at home (or maybe picky big eaters) who turn their noses up at the sight of some vegetables, then I recommend that you pass everything through the blender. Smoother soups are fun to eat, and your picky eaters will not be able to separate the vegetables they like from the ones they do not.

Suggested Recipe: Potage Parmentier in the Pressure Cooker

This traditional French soup is one of my favorites any time of year, but especially in winter. The leeks and potatoes simmer together and compliment each other perfectly. The flavor of the leek is softened, and the potato gives it a rich texture. And most importantly when it comes to eating lighter in the winter, I have revised my original version by omitting the heavy cream. You will find the recipe here: Potaqe Parmentier

Potage Parmentier in the Pressure Cooker

Tip #3: Add Fresh Fruit to Ice Cream Desert

Adding fresh fruit to ice cream desert is a great way to add a splash of summer and smiles to any meal.

However, speaking of fresh fruit, it is important that your family does not over indulge themselves. Yes, fresh fruit in the winter (or anytime of year for that matter!) is delicious and loaded with vitamins. But remember that fruits are also loaded with sugar, and eating too many can lead to weight gain. As well as heartburn, reflux, and bloating.

Suggested Recipe: Strawberries Chantilly

 Strawberries Chantilly is great for any time of day but is an especially nice treat for desert. All of the ingredients enhance each other, and each bite is a full of delicious flavor. For a lighter option, you can also omit the sugar. Try it in different ways to see what your family likes the best. You will find the recipe here: Strawberry Chantilly

strawberry chantilly

Bonus Tip: Stay Hydrated!

 Before I wrap up, I want to share another winter eating tip that is very important: stay hydrated! Just because you may be sweating a lot less in the winter than you do in the summer, does not mean that you are sufficiently hydrated. Indoor heaters and dry, cold air outside really dry out our skin and body.

Also, do not believe that if you are not thirsty, then you must be sufficiently hydrated. The body’s thirst response is significantly reduced in winter weather. This means that your body takes a lot longer in winter to tell you (by making you thirsty) that you need water ASAP.

Experts recommend that adults consume about 8 glasses of water each day. It can be a combination of drinking water and eating hydrating foods (for example, yogurt is 85% water). For WebMD’s tips on how to add more water in your family’s diet, click here.

Until next time!