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Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: Foods Perfect For Warming Up On Cold Winter Days

Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: Foods Perfect For Warming Up On Cold Winter Days

When the days are short and the weather is frigid, we look for foods that are comforting. Often times these foods will soothe the soul, but they won’t warm the toes. Luckily, there are certain foods you can eat to help warm up your body temperature. There are also foods that should be avoided if you’re looking to warm yourself up on the inside and out. We’ll talk a bit about both.

Foods that Warm the Body

Adding certain foods to your diet on a daily basis can make a difference in your body temperature. Some of these items may not come as a surprise to you, but others may have you asking yourself if they really do make a difference?

Nuts and Seeds

Peanuts and almonds are easy to incorporate into a diet. 10 soaked almonds or a handful of peanuts can give the body deep warmth that lasts.

Seeds such as sesame, pumpkin and fennel are great body warmers. Sesame seeds can be incorporated into many dishes, such as green beans or chicken. Pumpkin seeds are great as a snack when roasted. Fennel seeds can also be added to foods. These seeds are great for the digestive system and help to warm the body no matter how you choose to use them.

Spices and More

Cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper are warming spices. Ground cinnamon can be used  to add flavor to many of our baked foods. Cinnamon sticks give a wonderful taste to many warm beverages, such as tea.

Cloves are not only warming but they are a great mouth freshener. Because they have antiseptic properties, they not only help with bad breath, but can also keep other parts of your body healthy. Ginger can be added to soups or vegetables to help incorporate this spice into our daily diets.

Pepper just yells out warmth. Sprinkle a little pepper onto your foods in place of the extra salt.

Honey is effective when it comes to warming the body. Honey is a natural sweetener that can be added to just about anything sugar is used in. Honey is also great for the complexion.

Onions and garlic are easy to incorporate into most meals. These little gems not only help in keeping the body warm but can also be helpful in keeping the body healthy. Have a cold? Try a little garlic to open up those stuffy noses. Lowering cholesterol is also one of the benefits of garlic and onions.

Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables will also give the body the warmth it needs. Add a serving of fruits and vegetables to each of your meals every single day. It’s just what the doctor ordered. We all know fruits and vegetables are healthy, but when added to your daily diet in the winter time, they help to warm your entire body by boosting your immune system, blood flow and much more. 

Foods to Avoid in Winter

Not all foods are the greatest if warmth is what you’re after. There are some foods that should be avoided in order to stay toasty in the winter. First things first, remember not to overeat on a cold winter night. Overeating can jump start your metabolism which burns off the extra calories needed to keep the body warm. It can also extinguish digestive fires which help in fending off the chill.

Certain foods that should be avoided include:

  • White breads
  • Cucumbers
  • Too much butter
  • Cold drinks
  • Rice (especially at night)
  • Alcohol
  • Processed chips

These foods can also heighten metabolism and add to your blustery feeling.

These are just a few of the foods to eat and to avoid during those cold winter months. The next time you curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket to fight off the winter chill, try snacking on a few of the foods listed above to help keep you warm. You might be surprised at how well it works.


A Little Different Apple Pie Apple Pie


1-1/3 Cups + 2 Tbsp of flour, divided

8 Tbsp  + 2 tsp of sugar, divided

1/4 tsp of salt

1/2 Cup of cold butter, broken up

4 Tbsp + 1 tsp of cold water

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

3 Cups of tart apples, peeled and chopped

6 Tbsp of sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 Tbsp caramel ice cream topping, warm 


Toss together 1-1/3 Cups of flour, 2 Tbsp of sugar and the salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Gradually add the cold water and vanilla while tossing with a fork. Continue tossing after all the water and vanilla has been added until a soft dough forms. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees and allow it to preheat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll the chilled ball of dough into a circle. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Place the apples, 6 Tbsp of sugar and remaining flour into a mixing bowl. Stir until the apples are completely covered with the flour and sugar. Spread the apple mixture into the middle of the dough leaving a 2 inch wide edge. Fold the edges of dough up over the filling, leaving the center uncovered. Toss the remaining sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the open filling. Bake 25 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Slide the pie onto a wire rack to cool. Drizzle with the caramel topping before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: selwyn@theartofcatering.com or by phone — (905) 619-1059.

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