Food and Drinks that Warm Up Winter
The chill of winter can push anyone to look for relief from the cold in any form they can find. Staying warm can be easy if you have central heating in your home or access to electrical heaters and other gadgets to fight the cold. Sometimes we need to be creative in the ways we keep warm in the winter and other times we want a quicker fix. In the case of truckers and others who work on the road, finding quick ways to warm up can be essential. A good jacket is great for keeping the cold out but turning to food and drinks can be a quick way to warm up from the inside out. There are many choices for food and drinks with warming potential, here are a couple of our favorites:
Coffee-Coffee is a go to for just about anyone looking for a quick morning pick me up. Coffee is also easy to find with a coffee shop at every corner as well as convenience stores, gas stations, truck stops, long story short you can find coffee just about anywhere. Drink it black, add cream and sugar or go for a fancy concoction (white chocolate mocha for example), just skip the Frappuccino’s in the summer and opt for hot choices instead.
Tea- If coffee is not your cup of tea, then take a chance with tea itself. There are caffeinated versions that can give you similar effects as coffee while providing digestive and other health benefits. Black teas usually contain high levels of caffeine with green teas also containing decent amounts. Herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger usually do not contain caffeine so they would be a good choice if you are looking to warm up with some tea but want to skip the extra energy boost. If you have never tried the soothing effects of hot chamomile tea, it is worth a try with the addition of some honey and a touch of lemon. Tea is also relatively easy to find, but you can buy tea bags from wherever you can find them and keep a stash with you. Find a cup of hot water and let the tea bag steep in it for a couple of minutes and you are all set.
Hot chocolate-Throughout the winter season, one of the most popular drinks to sooth and warm remains to be hot chocolate. Accompany it with a pastry, or better yet a churro for dipping if you can find one and you will have the perfect winter snack. Be prepared for a sugar rush depending on how sweet your hot chocolate is which may lead to a crash later. This may be a good thing if its bedtime but will pose a problem if you have more work to do after. These days finding hot chocolate can be as easy as finding a coffee shop or sometimes even a gas station. Making hot chocolate is also easier than it looks with grocery stores selling boxes of packets you can dissolve into hot milk or even hot water. Mini marshmallows complete the experience but are not necessary.
Milk-If you are looking for something simpler than hot chocolate, heat up some milk with a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in it. This is a remedy for sleeplessness and other issues for many households so do not be surprised if you are filled with feelings of nostalgia after you drink it. Best to be drunk before bedtime because trying to stay awake after drinking a cup of warm milk with sugar will not be easy.
Hot Fruit Punch-Another drink to bring on the warm and cozy feelings is hot fruit punch. This is usually made with fruit juices such as orange and apple, heated with spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pretty much hot spiced apple cider but can feature other fruits and spices as well. Drink it straight and hot or spike it with some alcohol for an extra punch. The Mexican version of hot punch (Ponche) is probably the most soothing and flavor packed hot punch out there. Because it is usually made only for the Christmas holidays, it may be hard to find, especially if you do not have someone in your household to make it. If you can find it at a restaurant or someone who makes it, do not hesitate to load up because there may be nothing better for a soothing warmth in the winter.
Soup: Aside from hot drinks, finding food that can warm you up can be a plus as well and a cozy bowl of hot soup might just be what you are looking for to heat your mind, body, heart, and soul. Sometimes in the wintertime, especially after spending time on the road, the affects of the cold can start to take a toll not only physically but emotionally as well. Finding something hot and comforting to eat can help boost spirits in the cold. Chicken noodle soup is a go to when looking for warming things to eat and probably the easiest to find whether you have a place to cook your own or are looking for a place that serves it. Soups are also probably the easiest way to get some nutrition into your system because they are usually loaded vegetables, herbs, and proteins. Besides chicken noodle, some delicious and warming soup choices include potato, tomato, minestrone or for something different try some Pho or Ramen.
Stew: Stews are pretty much the same as soups but usually heartier and thicker. Beef stew is common and can often be found at many restaurants and diners. Stews come in many flavor combinations and can feature pretty much any protein from lamb and chicken to fish. Stews can have a cozier affect than soups since they are heartier so they are a recipe for naptime but will also give you some warming energy if you put it to use right away.
Oatmeal: Hot oatmeal will not only bring feelings of warmth, but also some major nostalgia. Oatmeal has been a popular breakfast food for all ages for a long time. As a child, many people may have enjoyed fun versions featuring things like “dinosaur eggs” that hatch after you heat them up. These days there are endless oatmeal flavors you can choose from. You can find oatmeal any place that serves breakfast and even at some coffee shops. Buy it in individual packets where you only need some milk or water and a way to heat it up to enjoy a tasty and warming meal morning, afternoon, or night. Some store-bought packets of oatmeal can contain high amounts of sugar. For a more sugar-free option, there are also containers of rolled oats, steel cut oats, and even instant oats you can buy and keep with you whenever you want a hot nutrition kick. With these options you still only need some milk or water and a way to heat that up, but steel cut oats may need some extra heating to make them soft. To spice it up, you can add some honey or fruit for some extra flavor and nutrition.