When temperatures drop, I like to pull out my favorite heart warming recipes. For many of you, it’s the time of year where sipping on hot chocolate, eating delicious homemade soup and consuming apple pie are a must. However, those cold, dark mornings and grey days can make healthy food seem less appealing when all you crave is comfort food!

These recipes are amongst my go-to’s and use winter produce to create healthy, warming meals. They not only taste great, but also give you an added dose of vitamins to keep winter illnesses at bay. I’d love to know… what is your favorite cold weather comfort food? Which of these recipes would you like to try?

Oats 5

Apple Spice Baked Oatmeal

–  2 Cups Rolled Oats
–  1 tsp. Baking Powder
–  1 tsp. Cinnamon
–  1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
–  1/4 tsp. Ginger
–  1/4 tsp. Cardamon
–  1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
–  2 Cups Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
–  2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds (soaked in 4 tablespoons of water or almond milk)
–  2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
–  3/4 Cup Walnuts (roughly chopped)
–  1/3 Cup Chopped Dates (or raisins, currants, figs, cranberries)  
–  2 Apples (diced)

1.  Begin by soaking the chia seeds in 4 tablespoons of water or almond milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
2.  In a bowl combine the oats, baking powder, spices and salt.
3.  In another bowl combine the chia seed mixture, almond milk and maple syrup, whisking to combine.
4.  Mix the wet ingredients into the oats and stir in 1/2-cup walnuts (saving 1/4 cup for the top), dates and the diced apple.
5.  Pour the mixture into a 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 inch) pan that has been greased with some coconut oil.
6.  Garnish with reserved 1/4 walnuts.
7.  Bake in a 190 C (375 F) oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden.
8.  Let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with more almond milk and maple syrup if desired.

(Source:  Recipe, Image)

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Ginger Squash Soup

–  1/2 cup chopped onion
–  2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
–  2 cloves garlic, minced
–  2 pounds buttercup squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
–  2 14 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
–  4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
–  Pinch cayenne pepper
–  1 medium apple, cored and chopped (optional)

1.  In a large saucepan, cook onion in hot oil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute more.
2.  Stir in squash, chicken broth, ginger and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer cover for 15 to 20 minutes, or until squash is very tender. Cool slightly.
3.  Transfer one-third of the soup mixture to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return mixture to saucepan; heat through.
4.  Ladle soup into bowls. If desired, top with chopped apples.

(Source:  Recipe, Image)

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Antioxidant Warm Quinoa Bowl

–  1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed)
–  1 cup water
–  Half cucumber or zucchini, chopped
–  Orange pepper, chopped (or depending on season, 1 sweet potato steamed or roasted)
–  4 large kale leaves, chopped
–  2 carrots, chopped
–  1/2 red onion, diced
–  1 avocado, cubed
–  Extra virgin olive oil
–  Balsamic vinegar
–  Sea salt, pepper

1.  Cook the quinoa ahead of time. Quinoa cooks like rice, 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water.
2.  Bring the water to a boil with the quinoa in it, reduce heat to low and let cook for 12-15 minutes with a lid on your pot, stirring occasionally.
3.  Place your all your chopped veggies into a big bowl and toss together with the cooked quinoa.
4.  Add the dressing last; create the salad to match your taste buds.

(Source:  Recipe, Image)

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