What to Include in Food Habits for the Winters
Winter brings so many good things with it such as fresh veggies galore, revamped wardrobe style and welcoming cups of hot chocolate and soups. However, the chilly weather also effects our body internally such metabolism and energy levels. To keep up with the weather, there are certain food habits as well as food that we should include in our diets to be high on the immunity system. Winter food should be richer in vitamin A, C and zinc etc.
Foods to Eat in Winters
Let’s talk about the food items that you should include in your diet during the winters.
As winter approaches, we can find a lot of root vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, radish etc available locally. These foods are one of the best options to include in your diet during the winter season. It is because root vegetables are known for their rich content of vitamin A and Vitamin C, two vitamins that are needed to boost your immune system during the winters.
It would not be wrong to brand oatmeal as a superfood that should be in your diet during the winters. As a quick breakfast option, oatmeal is a rich source of zinc and soluble fibre. While zinc is beneficial for improving our immunity system, fiber is good for heart health. Make sure that you buy the old-fashioned rolled oats rather than going for the instant oatmeal packs.
Boiled Food and Nuts
You can boil all your root vegetables together and eat them. Additionally, you can also soup it up and go for different types of soups in the winter. Winter is also the season of nuts such as pista, cashew, almonds etc. Dry fruits have very well earned their tag of being comfort food. One of those healthy foods that are tasty too. With boil food and nuts, your body gets the required warmth during the winters and your energy levels are high.
The Winter season brings scores of delightful berries such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries and so on. Not just super tasty, these berries are also a rich source of Vitamin C and are loaded with antioxidants. The rich content of berries boosts cell protection against stress and builds up the immune system. Stay away from the seasonal virus and flu during the winters by including berries in your diet.
Best Winter Food Vegetarian Recipes to Try
The above discussed foods are not the only ones that you can enjoy during the winters. Here is our curated list of some of the best winter recipes that you should definitely try at home.
A delicious, healthy one-pot meal, peas pulao are your perfect food for the winters. A fine blend of aromatic spices, basmati rice and peas is what makes this dish a must-have during the winters. Let’s start with the
- Basmati Rice – 1.5 cup
- Green Peas – 1 Cup
- Medium Size onion – 1
- Green Chillies – 2-3
- Ginger – 1 inch
- Garlic – 3
- Cloves Mint leaves Bay Leaf -1
- Cinnamon – 2 inch
- Green Cardamom – 4
- Strand mace -1
- Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
- Cloves – 4-5
Start with soaking the rice for 30 minutes and then put it aside for some time. Put a pressure cooker on heat and pour 2 tbsp of clear butter (ghee). After the ghee is hot, put all the whole spices in it. Once the spices start sizzling, add chopped onion and green chillies and saute till golden brown. Put the ginger garlic paste in the pressure cooker and cook it nicely for a good aroma. Once the spices and the onion is cooked, put the peas and finely chopped mint leaves. Saute for a minute and then put the rice and cook it on high flame for 1-2 minutes. Now, pour around 2 ½ cups of water along with ¾ tbsp of salt. Stir it nicely and close the pressure cooker for a 1-2 long whistle. Take off the cooker from the flame and put it aside for de-pressure naturally. Serve the hot peas pulao with raita, salad and green chutney.
Hara Pyaaz Paratha
This one is an absolute delight to have with curd and green chutney during the winters.
To make this paratha you need:
- Wheat flour – 2 cups
- Spring Onions – 1 cup
- Turmeric – ¼ tbsp
- Kashmiri red chilli – ¾ tbsp
- Cumin powder – ¼ tbsp
- Garam Masala -1/2 tbsp
- Aamchur – ½ tbsp
- Carom Seeds (ajwain) – ¼ tbsp
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Salt – as per the taste
- Water and oil
Take the flour in a large bowl and mix all the spices as well as spring onion in it. Now, kneed and make a nice dough and keep it aside for 5 minutes to rest. After 5 minutes, take two tablespoon oil and mix in the dough and knead it again. Now make small balls from the dough and flatten it slightly. Take a drop of oil and grease the centre of the bread and fold to make a square shape. Now flatten the rest of the bread gently and dust with some wheat flour so that it does not become very sticky. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and place the rolled paratha onto it to cook it nicely. Flip and cook the paratha nicely and serve it hot with green chutney and curd.
Veg Madras Curry
This one is an authentic madras style curry that you can make at home during the winters and serve with paratha or rice.
Here are the ingredients:
- Onion – 1 sliced
- Ginger – 3 cm
- Grated Madras curry powder – 1 tbsp
- Tomatoes – 4 in number and crushed Vegetable stock – 2 cups
- Peeled and chopped potatoes – 400 grams
- Cauliflower – 300 gm
- Frozen peas – 1 cup
- Baby spinach leaves – 120 g
Start with heating the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Now put the onions and cook it until golden brown for at least 8 to 10 minutes. Now, add curry powder, garlic and ginger to the mix and stir it for another 2 minutes. Feel that nice aroma and go ahead with putting tomatoes, cauliflower, potato and vegetable stock. Let the curry come to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Check if the vegetables are tender after which you can add peas and baby spinach. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and put off the flame. Serve this delicious, aromatic curry with rice and mango pickle.
Burnt Butter and Spinach Gnocchi
Let’s also talk about this super tasty and delicious recipe that everyone is going to love in your family.
To make burnt butter and spinach gnocchi, you need
- Garlic Clove – 1
- Thinly sliced Long red chilli – 1
- Thinly sliced Coles potato gnocchi – 2x 500gm
- Coles Australian Baby Spinach – 120 gm pkt (you can use the locally sourced baby spinach)
- Hazlenuts – 1/3 cup chopped (in case of no availability, replace with the nuts of your choice)
- Parmesan cheese – finely grated
Start with heating butter in a frying pan over medium heat for around 2 minutes. Once the butter starts foaming then add garlic and chilli. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes till the butter turns golden brown. In the other saucepan, boil gnocchi and drain the water and let it rest for some time. Put the gnocchi and spinach in the butter mix. Once the spinach is wilted and the mixture is combined nicely, serve it in the serving bowls. Sprinkle the nuts and the grated parmesan cheese in the bowl and serve it hot.
Marmalade & Whisky Bread & Butter Pudding
The comfort food you should definitely try during the winters is this marmalade and whisky bread and butter pudding.
- White bread – 8 slices
- Soft butter – 50 g
- Seville orange marmalade – 4 tbsp
- Full fat milk – 300 ml
- Pot double cream – 248 ml
- Large eggs – 3
- Vanilla pods – 1
- Golden castor sugar – 4 tbsp
- Whisky – 1 tbsp
- Icing sugar
Take bread loaf and butter on both sides and 1 tbsp of marmalade. Take another 4 loaves of bread and top over the bread slices with butter and marmalade coating. In a bowl take milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, eggs and whisky and beat altogether to make a fine blend. Pour this mixture over the bread and leave it for 30 minutes. You can drop the remaining marmalade on the top of the pudding and sprinkle it with the icing sugar. In doing all this do not forget to set the oven heating temperature to 160C/140c fan/gas. Also before pouring the liquid, make sure that all the bread is curated in the baking dish. Bake the bread for 45 minutes to 1 hour and check if the bread is puffy and start to caramelise. Serve the perfectly cooked super delicious and comforting sandwich with a hot cuppa.
Leek & Potato Soup
Soups are a delight in winter and this soup with leek and potatoes pass the winter test perfectly. If you are not getting leek at your local shop, then go for the alternatives such as shallots and green onions. The quantity of leek and alternate veggie will differ though because green spring onions and shallots will have intense flavours.
To start with the recipe you need:
- Potatoes – 450 gm
- Small Onion – 1 Leeks
- Spring onion
- White part vegetable stock – 850 ml
- Whipping cream – 142 ml
- Full-fat milk – 125 ml
- Butter – small knob
Heat the butter in a pan and put diced potatoes, diced onion and a white portion of the leek. Now cover the pan with greaseproof paper and cover it with the lid. After 10 minutes of cooking on a gentle heat, add vegetable stock and cook for 5 minutes. Now take off the mixture and blend it in a mixer to form a nice pan. Take the full-fat milk and whipping cream in the pan and put the soup from the blender back in the pan. Stir everything in the pan for 2-3 minutes until everything is finely blended. Take out the soup on the bowls and top it with the remaining cream to serve hot.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
To start with this creamy and tasty recipe you need:
- Cauliflower – 750 gm
- Medium size chopped onion – 1
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Water – 500 ml
- Cream – 1 cup
- Nutmeg – 1 pinch
- Vegetable stock powder– 1 tbsp
- Salt & Pepper to taste – 1 pinch
Start with putting onion in the pan and saute it for up to a minute. Now add cauliflower chops, vegetable stock powder and water. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for up to 20 minutes. Use a blender to puree the mix. Reheat the puree and add more water if required. Bring it to boil and then serve hot along with the bread rolls.
This Italian dish is simple and loaded with flavours.
To start with the recipe you need
- Steamed Cauliflower florets – 250 gm
- Extra virgin olive oil – 100 ml
- Bread chunks – 250 gm
- Deseeded red chillies – 2
- Garlic Cloves – 4 Anchovies – 8 and
- Finely chopped (try Asian fish sauce as alternative) Capers/ Green olives/ Lemon – 1 tbsp
- Radish – finely sliced White wine vinegar – 1 tbsp
Heat the pan and saute the bread chunks into it until crispy. Take out the bread and put another tbsp of oil to saute chilli, garlic and anchovies. Take the bread in a large bowl and add parsley and raisins. Now fry the cauliflower in olive oil until golden spots. Toss the cauliflower in the bowl too and mix radish, vinegar, vinegar and lemon juice if needed. Season it with salt according to your taste and serve this dish warm.
Avoid these Foods to Stay Healthy During the Winter
Now, that we have discussed the winter vegetarian food ideas let us also discuss a bit about the foods to avoid. We crave more sugary foods during the winters but eating too much sugar can result in an increase in a condition known as insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes and other such diseases. Too much dairy products should also be avoided as it is mucus generating in nature and therefore giving a window to other such infections. In winters our body is already less active and therefore consumption of meat and processed food is also not advisable because it takes time to digest.
Do you eat processed food? If yes, then you need to control this urge during winters. We don’t feel very thirsty in winters and often forget to drink water. Always stay hydrated and drink plenty of water! Unhealthy eating can weaken your immune system and make you feel low. So eat healthily, consume winter-specific vegetables to keep yourself hale and hearty!