The winter is the perfect time to treat your taste buds. There are a variety of
seasonal foods to enjoy. The winter is also the best time to expand your palate by trying new foods.
Winter Jams and Marmalade – Winter jams and marmalades are both tasty and fun to make. Most people purchase their jams and marmalade from the grocery store, but making it yourself is healthier, cost effective, and fun. The early settlers used to make jams by using dried fruits like apples, pears and apricots. However, now we have the advantage of using other in-season fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruit to make citrus marmalades, or dried apricots and lemons.
Hearty Soup – Soup is a winter season classic. Especially when using in-season fruits and vegetables like squash, carrots and kale, which help the budget and boost your health. Soups are a great no-hassle meal that just lifts your spirit.
If you are looking for a rich soup try vegetable lentil soup using celery, carrots and lentils. This soup is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. And if you want something on the fancy end, try a celeriac, hazelnut and truffle soup as a starter for dinner.
Hot Chocolate – The symbolic drink of the season – hot chocolate. Hands down is the best drink to have on a cold day. Hot chocolate is easy to make from scratch by just using cocoa, sugar, milk or water. However, you can deck out your drink to make it suit your palate.
If you are looking for a decadent take on hot cocoa, go for the French chocolate, which is thick and creamy. This drink substitutes powdered cocoa and sugar with a bar of dark chocolate and powdered sugar. Add heavy cream and milk and you have yourself a cup of piping-hot liquid gold.
Mexican hot chocolate is a lovely blend of sweet and spicy. The staple ingredients like cocoa, dark chocolate, sugar and milk are used, but also have cinnamon and cayenne pepper to give a punch of spice. You can make it vegan by using almond and coconut milk, and dairy-free dark chocolate.
Once you’ve finished indulging on the treats of the season why not diversify your palate? Winter is a perfect time to explore new cultural dishes. Once summer arrives, restaurants and families will be busy with the summer staples like burgers, fries and shakes. Step outside your box and into a new restaurant. Try the new Somali grill that opened up down the street, or that Filipino inspired food truck. Use the quiet season to eat some great winter foods, but also take time to explore cultural foods too!
Creamy Hot Cocoa
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 31/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 31/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.