by Dr. Annika
Ok, so we are not experiencing your average Canadian or Norwegian winter (actually, it’s probably more like their summer), but our bodies are still in tune with the seasons, and each season has its’ own culinary delights (sounds promising, doesn’t it!). Winter calls for warm food. Here are some ideas and tips:
Soups and stews: Bone broth is an awesome start for both! Here’s how you do it:
Get some organic bones. (Organic because bones are used to store dangerous chemicals like toxic metals and fluoride and such.) Go Vita usually has both beef and chicken. Your can also use fish bones to good effect, I am sure, but we haven’t tried it yet. Cover the bones with water and boil them on a low heat for about 24 hours for beef or lamb, or 12 for chicken. Add some apple cider vinegar to draw the minerals out.
When the bones have finished cooking, you can cool the broth and you will be able to scoop the fat off if you wish (but it does add yumminess and satiety and can be kept in the broth if the bones are organic – yes, fat stores dangerous chemicals, too).
The jelly-like stuff in the bottom is the good stuff! When you re-heat it, it will become liquid again. You can also freeze it if you are making a huge batch. Remember to give some to your furry companions also, they love it!
Add turmeric, rosemary, garlic, ginger, black pepper or whatever your favourite spice may be. Seaweed is also fabulous for iodine.
Now, if you, like us, like your veggies cruchy, cut your veggies up. When your hot broth (now soup) is ready to serve, put your fresh veggies in your bowl and pour the hot broth over it. This will cook the outside lightly, while keeping the inside crunchy. Yum!
Salads: Salads are cooling foods, which is why we can’t get enough of them in summer! So in winter, go for warm salads: Green leafy veg like spinach, and then add baked veggies like pumpkin or sweet potato. Or steam your veg lightly (broccoli or beans for example) and put them on top. And add your pine-nuts or sesame or sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. You can also add quinoa to your salads.
Water: Water is the second most important nutrient for the body (after oxygen), and at this time of year it’s important to drink warm water. Otherwise, you end up with this big blob of cold in the middle of your core that your body has to warm up. Drinking warm water is not usually all that interesting, and alcohol, coffee and tea (including most herbal teas) actually draw more water out of the body than they supply, so pour a some hot water over some ginger or lemon for a little flavour and zest as well as rehydration.
Desserts (to nourish your inner child): Winter is the perfect time for baked apples. Or stew your fruit – apples and pears lend themselves particularly: core and slice your fruit, put in on the stove just covered in water, and add your spices like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, anise, cardamom and ginger, and stew the fruit until it has your preferred texture. Fruit these days is so sweet, you won’t need to add any sweetener. Delicious with a bit of coconut milk or coconut yoghurt.
Annika’s secret Danish mulled wine recipe (for nourishing your spirits – as it were): Don’t use the expensive stuff for this, as the flavours will be quite altered by the cooking process. Soak some slivered almonds and some raisins (the more raisins you add, the sweeter the end product will be) in some port overnight. Take about ¼ of your bottle of wine and heat it up to boiling with some lemon rind, cardamom, ginger, cloves and a cinnamon stick. After 10 minutes or so of boiling, strain the spices out, put the rest of the bottle of wine and your soaked fruit into it and heat a little (or a lot to evaporate the alcohol, if you are trying to be kind to your liver).
The secret’s out now – this is how Danes do “hygge” in the months leading up to Christmas. Enjoy!