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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guide to Winter food

P.S - This article was written by me for Citadel Magazine Magna Publications Pune 

The familiar chill is setting in marking the arrival of winter season. Its time to bring out the woolens from the closet, its time to warm up and welcome the season.
Winter season marks many a things like - festivals, a bout of cold, starting of a new year and many more, amongst all these, winter is also known for growing appetites. Our body craves food in winter and we generally feel more hungry to keep our self warm.
However we almost always reach for comfort food which is zero or low nutritional value and which does little to no good to the body and hence invites a bout of illnesses and low immunity.
Seasonal food is found in abundance and one must make complete use of what nature has to offer us and utilize it fully.
Seasonal food which is available according to different seasons helps our body build resistance and immunity and helps us through the season by making us healthy.
The seasonal food that we get is easy for the body to digest and it helps the body sustain different seasons and nourishes it. The importance of seasonal food is overtly understated.

Although in today's age we get everything all round the year due to advanced technology , the importance of seasonal food remains unchanged.

Lets have a look at the nature's winter food basket and what it has to offer to satiate our winter cravings.

Winter Nutriment


True to the saying - an Apple a day really keeps the illness at bay and thus the doctor away.
Keep these juicy, crunchy red jewels handy to bite away those winter blues. Apples boost the cardiovascular health and helps in preventing dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer, and many different types of Cancer. It is rich in fibre and antioxidants and helps the body fight against diseases. It is very good for weight loss too.

Apple pie is one of the favorite dish in winter all over the world.


These citrusy, tangy colorful oranges are natural antibiotics which build the immunity of our body against common colds and cough. Consume them fresh and whole or sip on their juice, either way they are full of zest and flavor. Also do enjoy Grapefruit, Guava, Amla, Grapes, Pomegranate and Lemons for your supply of Vitamin C this winter.

Mustard Leaves.
Come winter and every Punjabi house is filled with the aroma of Sarson da saag and Makki di roti. Mustard leaves are a winter's delight. They pack in antioxidants, carotene, vitamins and minerals and add that much required pop of colour to the plate. One can experiment with different healthy yet tasty recipes. Apart from Mustard leaves, Methi, Palak and other green leafy vegetables are a good source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C which are powerful antioxidants, they help to fight diseases and build immunity.


Carrots are another seasonal gem, being rich in not one but varied vitamins namely vitamin B, C, D ,E ,K  and indirectly even vitamin A. Be it carrot juice for breakfast, carrot salad or pickle in lunch and the very yummy must have (mummy ke haath ka ) Gajar ka Halwa for dinner, carrots are yummy in every avatar.

Halwa in all forms make for a good winter breakfast and are tasty and nutritious.


Soups make for the perfect evening snack in winter or a meal by itself. These magical potions are tough on those stubborn cold and cough and vanish the winter blues. Soups have a comforting effect on us. The vegetables and herbs retain their nutrients better in soup than in any other cooked form. Soups help to control weight, they also boost the immunity of the body. They help in controlling the blood pressure. Soups make us feel satiated and keeps us feeling full for a longer time. A warm bowl of soup can work wonders on a cold winter day.

Hot Cocoa
A mug of Hot Cocoa laced with cinnamon and topped with marshmallows is enough to get a hearty smile to even the gloomiest of moods. Hot Cocoa is an all time favorite of kids as well as adults alike. Winters are made of snuggling in the blanket, reading a book while sipping on this warm concoction. This heavenly drink also comes with loads of benefits. Its a proven fact that hot cocoa contains antioxidants which reduces the risk of heart diseases. Flavonoids found in the drink boosts cardiovascular health by improving the blood flow. No wonder winter and Hot Cocoa go hand in hand.


The quintessential Indian snack. One can't have enough of this in any form, be it - boiled, roasted, fried, salted, spicy, with jaggery or simply plain. My personal favorite being peanuts and jaggery, another winter staple diet. Peanuts are filled with proteins, carbohydrates, calcium and fats. Coupled with jaggery they generate heat in the body in winters. Chikkis of peanuts and jaggery are consumed with gusto in all households in winter.

Dry fruits

In winters, throughout the day the body craves for little snacks or nibbles. Dry fruits are the best bet to carry around and keep yourself feeling full in a healthy way. Keep a small box of dry fruits handy in the bag to banish food cravings on the go. Dry fruits retain the essential nutrition value of fresh fruits in the best way possible. They are instant energy boosters and keeps one recharged all through the day. They are rich source of fats (good fat), fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. Dates keep the body warm.


Peas are a general favorite. I, myself am a big pea eater and a massive fan of this green beauty. I have an old ongoing love affair with these perfectly round green pearls. One just needs to add them to give any dish an instant appraisal. Loaded with phytonutrients, having anti inflammatory and antioxidants properties. They also help in preventing stomach cancer. Big things definitely come in small sizes. Besides, after a hard cold winter day Mutter Paneer, Alu Mutter, Peas pulav make for a perfect wholesome and yummy meal.

Eat with the season. Stay fit and healthy, enjoy wholesome and tasty food this winter.

Until we meet again.

Do let us know your favorite winter recipes.


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