warming spices

Spice Up Your Holiday

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Hibernate in flannel PJ pants…check!

Binge watch Friends…check!

Hot drinks…check!

Puzzle fiesta…check!

These activities describe my favorite type of winter wonderland, how about you?

Winter is my second favorite season behind fall. For those of us who feel energized as temperatures start to drop, winter offers up a time to slow down, reconnect and let’s face it, hibernate in our most comfy flannel PJ pants, all day long. 

Warming Spices

Whether sipping by the fire or chilling with a good book on the couch, favorite winter activities are the perfect excuse to add a little extra spice to whatever I’m eating or drinking. Here are a few ways I sneak some warming spices into my winter days. 

Cinnamon, Cloves and Nutmeg…Oh My!

I love trying different versions of Chai recipes. Whether store bought or mixing them on my own, I find Chai tea is the ultimate spice blend of cozy comfort in a mug. It combines many of the warming spices that have winter written all over them, like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper, which gives the Chai a little extra kick.

And when I am sipping my Chai, I like to snack on something warm and sweet. These Vegan Banana Muffins from Forks Over Knives are oil-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, but pack that cinnamon goodness into every bite. 

Comfort Food

Often I crave warming spices outside of the drinks and sweets realm. Sometimes I want the pungent zing as part of my dinner. That’s when I reach for the ultimate winter comfort food, like pot pies, skillets and casseroles. This Festive Vegetable Pot Pie combines all of my favorite spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and black pepper. It’s kind of like a chai tea pot pie!

Lazy Night Dinners

Let me be honest, during the winter months, I get a bit lazy and I just really don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen. With holiday feasts and baking taking up much of my time, when it comes to family dinners, I often opt for carry-out or delivery. 

My family has a wide range of food preferences, from gluten-free and dairy-free to my kids who won’t eat anything but plain tacos! Melita’s Table comes in handy for these types of family dinners. Warming dishes that use one of my favorite Latin spices, cumin are my go-to lazy night dinners. Melita’s Skillet, which tastes like it was made in abuela’s oven and Melita’s Poblano Enchiladas, are perfect meals for cold winter nights.

Ginger to the Rescue

And, after I have munched and dined, and am stuffed plum full, sometimes I need the most amazing spice of all, to top off my day. Ginger to the rescue! Ginger soothes bellies that may have overindulged a bit. My favorite way to get the full benefits of ginger is to make a simple tea with raw ginger. Learn how to peel ginger without using a knife! 

However you choose to cozy up this winter, be it comfort food, ginger tea or a puzzle fiesta, give gratitude for the season and enjoy life’s simple pleasures!