for the best nourishment in WINTER, gather Local + seasonal Foods of heartier varieties.
What to eat + drink in Winter
Winter’s abundance of Vitamin C-rich foods call to be enjoyed in the form of slow cooked stews and juicy citrus fruits. For warming + grounding Winter recipes, hydration tips, seasonal eats, and more, scroll on! But as always, make sure you have good footing in your personal nutrition first by visiting the Nutrition module in the Foundations of Health.
Nourishment Practices for Winter
Our requirements and desires shift beautifully season to season. In Summer, cooling and moistening foods call us loudly, whereas these foods may not be as appealing in Autumn and Winter. When we honor and reflect the real time of nature, especially through our diet, vitality and wellbeing often flow effortlessly. To ensure good health this season, make sure to eat plenty of the following foods:
Rich + warming foods
When I say rich, it is not an invitation to over-indulgent and sluggish foods, but rather foods that are complex and burn slower. Opt for rich soups and stews, broths, slow cooked meals, roasted vegetables, hot porridge, warm salads and things of the like. Try to leave smoothies, cold fruits, and cold salads for Spring + Summer to avoid chilling the body and impairing digestion.
fermented foods, bitters, + ciders galore
There is no better season to commit to getting ample amounts of foods that rev up digestive fire. Fermented foods such as pickled carrots, sauerkraut, kim chi, miso, and more should be a staple with every meal, and bitters, oxymels, and ciders should be utilized before sitting down for a hearty meal. Make sure to try the Blue Spruce + Rosehip Oxymel if you haven’t already.
foods from underground
Root vegetables are nature's prescription for getting through the cooler months unscathed. Sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, and things of the like are incredibly rich in important and much needed nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Eat these foods regularly, and pair them with winter greens for optimal absorption and nutritional power. Although not considered root vegetables, Winter squashes are an excellent food to feature in your Winter rotation.
Lots + Lots of Vitamin C
Clementines, Tangerines, Pomegranates... It just sounds like Winter, doesn't it? These foods carry high amounts of vitamins and minerals perfectly tuned for what our bodies need in the dark Winter months. Enjoy them freely as snacks, or incorporate into more complex recipes such as the ones below!
In the kitchen
Aside from the pleasant heat from the oven, I always greet the kitchen with excitement for all of the roasting, slow cooking, and simmering that fills my home in the cooler months. Below are some of my favorite recipes using local, seasonal, and accessible ingredients for the Winter time. Enjoy!
Adaptogenic Magic Broth
Adaptogenic Magic Broth
In the Winter, it is quite possible that I eat some variation of this dish 6 out of 7 nights of the week. Taken straight, or used as a base for soups and stews, THIS my friends, is THE thing you should be eating all winter long! Add an egg, some mushrooms, spinach, and rice noodles, and a hefty tablespoon of miso paste for a quick and easy dinner!
Winter Citrus Salad
Winter Citrus Salad
This salad—packed with vitamin C and antioxidants—is the perfect burst of sunshine on a dark Winter’s day. Feel free to use whatever citrus you have available, whether it be grapefruit, clementines, tangerines, or something else. The pomegranates are a must however :)
How to stock the perfect Winter Pantry:
In the cold months, a conscious cook relies on a well-stocked pantry more than in the warmer months of abundant fresh fruits and greens. Stock your cupboard with these staples and you'll have the foundation for several good meals on hand. Use this list as a guideline and tailor it to suit your cooking style:
Beans + lentils – black beans, garbanzo, lentil, kidney, pinto etc.
Whole grains – wild rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, oats, etc
Dried fruit – dates, raisins, cranberries, cherries, currants, etc.
Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
Nut and seed butters – almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.
Oils + Vinegars – balsamic, apple cider, red/white wine vinegars, rice vinegar, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, etc. etc.
Pantry veggies — Potatoes and sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, winter squash, dried mushrooms, canned tomatoes
Tips for Staying Hydrated in Winter
Unlike a hot and dry Summer, cold and wet Winters make it easy to forget about our hydration needs. We simply forget to drink water, or perhaps the urge is blunted by chilly bones. Regardless, hydration in Winter is a non-negotiable, as dehydrated bodies (both internally and externally) weaken our vitality and immune system, leaving us prone to trouble! We often focus all of our Winter hydration efforts on our skin (see the Seasonal Apothecary for more info on this!), but true hydration always come from within. Read on for a hydration routine that is simple and easy to incorporate, starting right now!
Plain Jane: Yep, you guessed it, tip number one is drinking water. If you need a refresher on what your personal hydration requirements (water intake specific) are, head over to the Spirit House and go through the material in the Nutrition + Hydration section.
Juicy fruits and vegetables—a lot of them: Winter fruits such as citrus are mostly water, and the best part is they are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that we need in abundance this season. Like fruits, vegetables are an awesome medium for hydration as well. For folks who enjoy juicing, this is a great way to stay hydrated! I do encourage that you drink your juice at room temperature instead of cold to keep the body warm and functioning well.
Flax or chia seeds: Adding these beauties into our diets yield many benefits, and boosting hydration is one of them! If you soak the seeds in water for a couple hours (or overnight) a gel-like substance forms. When taken internally, hydrated chia or flax seeds provides a soothing and deeply penetrating internal hydration station. Try 1 or 2 teaspoons of seeds mixed with 1/4-1/2 cup of filtered water (or juice) and enjoy.
A pinch of salt: Contrary to what you may think, Salt can increase hydration, so long as good forms and the correct amount are used. Try adding pinch of the Black Rock Remedy in your water and watch what happens! Hydration city :)