Best Winter Foods-Baking, Treats and Spices for Family Cooking

Is it cold enough for you?

It’s winter living time for winter recipes that energize, provide healthy nutrition and tradition, cozy comforts and spicy fixes. Cold weather can make you hungry and tired, and best winter recipes can fix you.


Below you’ll find 10 energizing and healthy winter foods, 5 steps to more nutritional and healthy winter baking recipes for your waistline and ambience combined, one dozen warm and cozy winter living treats and recipes, and then make it all taste so good with 8 snazzy spices.


And don’t forget to get the family involved with the cooking!


ideasStay Energized During Winter Living with These Ten Foods…


There’s just something about wintertime that is very draining. Perhaps the indoors and the cold does it, or maybe it’s the lack of sun. Feeling energized is just hard to do.


Couple that with illnesses that like to breed during these months, and you probably find yourself dragging and looking for a pick-me-up. Here are some healthy food ideas that will keep you energized all winter long, and really all year-long.

Ten Food Ideas That Energize You in the Wintertime


Best Ideas #1. Water.


You can’t forget to stay hydrated in the winter months. While it’s easy to remember to drink your eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day in the summer because you’re thirsty, you might need to force yourself to drink water more in the winter. Staying hydrated will keep your energy up, but that doesn’t mean with coffee either. Caffeine seems like the natural solution to energy, but remember it’s a drug and its effects will only last for so long. Stick to the water.


livingBest Ideas #2. Nuts.


With plenty of protein and magnesium, this is a great choice for a midday pick-me-up. Some good ones to try which will help pick you up and improve your mood are almonds, walnuts, or Brazil nuts. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of energy-rich minerals. And since pumpkins are in season this time of year, you can get them pretty cheap. When you carve your pumpkins this year, save those seeds and roast them to snack on all winter long.


Best Ideas #3. Whole grains.


Start your healthy morning off with a nice steaming bowl of oatmeal. The fiber and B vitamins make it the perfect breakfast choice. And who doesn’t love a nice hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter morning? Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread are also better energy-rich foods to eat throughout the day and help keep your energy up.


Best Ideas #4. Leafy greens.


You need iron to help transport and store oxygen in the body, which is what you need for energy. Spinach, lettuce, and broccoli are better choices. Make yourself a veggie smoothie if you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up. Don’t discount celery in those leafy greens either. Ants on a log are a fun snack to have which will really help keep you energized during the day.


Best Ideas #5. Fresh fruit.


An apple a day does more than keep the doctor away. Apples, blueberries, and bananas are perfect fruit choices. Blueberries might be hard to come by in the winter, but apples are a nice fall and winter fruit. There are so many ways to enjoy fruit, too. A smoothie added to your cereal or a fruit salad, and you have a delicious treat that will give you the healthy energy you need throughout the day.


recipesBest Ideas #6. Lean meat and fish.


Chicken, pork, turkey, and lean ground meat are all great sources of iron. And much like with the leafy greens, you want that iron to help store and transport oxygen in the body to keep you energized. Salmon contains riboflavin, protein, niacin, and Vitamin B6, which all have energy-converting properties. Poached salmon is a quick and easy way to prepare this energy-rich food.


Best Ideas #7. Legumes.


Lentils, beans, and peas contain iron, protein, and magnesium, making them a great food for energy. Chickpeas and black beans are full of fiber which slows down digestion. This helps keep you full and energized longer.


Best Ideas #8. Eggs.


What a great way to start out your day with an egg. Once upon a time it might have been recommended that you not eat an egg every day, but they have such a high amount of protein in them that it is the perfect energy-fueled breakfast. No matter how you prepare them, it’s the perfect choice to start your day with plenty of energy.


Best Ideas #9. Yogurt.


Greek yogurt is really becoming popular and there’s a reason for this. The amount of protein you consume from Greek or low-fat yogurt will multiply. And the probiotics in yogurt will help keep you healthy and keep your immune system strong.


bestBest Ideas #10. Dark chocolate.


Satisfy your sweet tooth with this treat. Make sure it’s dark chocolate, though. The caffeine in dark chocolate will give you that initial pick-me-up, but then it just keeps on giving. It helps increase blood flow to your brain and contains antioxidants, magnesium, and iron. So it’s really a natural choice to fill your cravings and give you energy.


If you eat these foods throughout the day, then there’s no doubt you will feel energized and able to get through the long winter months without a problem.


ideasBest Wintertime Baking Ideas for Good Nutrition and Ambience


Don’t you love all of the foods we cook in the wintertime? All of the cookies and heavy stews and sauces. It’s so nice for the ambiance those foods provide. But these foods tend to not be the most heart healthy foods. If you’re thinking about being more healthy, but also want the sights and smells from your favorite wintertime foods, then you’ll want to follow these five best recipes steps to nutritious baking.


Five Best Recipes Steps to Nutritious and Traditional Wintertime Baking


bestBest Living Recipes #1. Get your fruits and veggies into your baking.


Adding nutrient-rich foods like spinach, zucchini, avocado, blueberries, raspberries, and apples will make your winter baking more nutritious. These foods are easily added to muffins, for example. And with apples in season an apple muffin tastes great. Don’t discount those vegetables either. Zucchini makes a great bread or muffin.


Best Living Recipes #2. Use flax meal or chai seeds.


These seeds are a great source of fiber, nutrients and Omega-3 fatty acids. You can use this as an egg substitute in your baking. This isn’t a perfect egg substitute, though, so for light airy desserts such as angel food cake or many pastries this isn’t the best option. However, for hearty winter baking like breads and brownies this will make for a much better substitute for an egg.


Best Living Recipes #3. Reduce the sugar.


Yes, we know, the best part of the baked good is the sweetness. And beyond that, sugar does do many other things for baking which you don’t want to lose. However, it can still be achieved by using some different and healthier substitutes. Here are some great ways to substitute with some natural sweeteners.


* Honey –


Use ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp of honey per 1 cup of sugar. Reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tbsp when doing this, though. Honey makes things moist and dense and will brown faster. So this is better suited in cookies as a sugar substitute.


* Maple syrup –


When baking, go for the Grade B which is thicker and darker in color than Grade A syrup. Replace the sugar in recipes with ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar and reduce the liquid ingredients by 3 tbsp.


* Molasses –


This isn’t as sweet as refined sugar. And it will make baked goods darker and with a strong taste. Use 1–1/3 cup of molasses for every cup of sugar and reduce the liquid by 5 tbsp in the recipe. But because molasses is acidic, you will also need to add an extra ½ tsp of baking soda for every cup of molasses used.


* Use fruit juice concentrate –


This makes for a really great sugar substitute and adds an interesting taste to baking. Use ¾ cup for every 1 cup of sugar and reduce the liquid by 3 tbsp.


Best Living Recipes #4. Reduce the fat with a fruit puree or low-fat yogurt.


You don’t want to remove all of the fat, though – some fat is helpful and healthy as it helps us digest food slower and keeps us full longer. Plus, fat just makes things tastier. But replacing the butter or oil with applesauce and pumpkin puree is a better way to bake healthier and still maintain some moist and tasty baked goods. If this frightens you, then just use 2 eggs whites in place of every whole egg to reduce the fat in baking.


Best Living Recipes #5. Use low-fat dairy products.


When recipes call for sour cream, use the low-fat version of it instead. Use 2% milk instead of whole milk or cream. You likely won’t even notice a difference with these changes.


Baking recipes with these recommendations will make it much easier to get into that swimsuit once the winter is over. So try it out the next time you’re baking a cake and let us know how it goes.


recipesOne Dozen Warm and Cozy Wintertime Recipes & Treats


There is nothing more enjoyable in the cold than sitting around the fire and enjoying cozy treats and recipes. Here are some wonderful recipes and best foods you can enjoy sitting by the fire with whom you love.


Best Ideas #1.Peppermint punch living:

Peppermint ice cream, ginger ale, and Baily’s mixed together with a peppermint stick. Add a little whip cream to the top for an extra treat in your recipes.


Best Ideas #2. Hot chocolate a la The Polar Express living:


Heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate chips, milk, and vanilla. Stir everything together over low heat until chocolate is melted and fully incorporated with the other ingredients.


livingBest Foods #3. Apple pie living:


You don’t even need a recipe for this. Really any apple pie will do. Heat it in the microwave and you have one warm delicious treat.


Best Ideas #4. Cinnamon buns living:


Warm gooey cinnamon buns. Not exactly bathing suit ready, but a nice treat nonetheless.


Best Ideas #5. Baked oatmeal bars living:


Get your morning oatmeal in a handy little bar. Add your favorite sweet recipes (dried figs, raisins, chocolate chips) to make it a living sweet treat.


Best Ideas #6. Apple crisp living:


Apples make perfect sweet treats and recipes. They taste great warm and a nice crunchy apple crisp is the perfect winter soul-soothing treat.


Best Ideas #7. Brownies living:


It doesn’t matter how you make them as long as you eat them right out of the pan. Because a warm fresh brownie is the ultimate warm and cozy wintertime treat.


Best Ideas #8. Banana bread living:


This isn’t too difficult to make. Some nice ripe bananas mashed up with flour, some sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. It tastes best warm with some butter (or peanut butter) and a cup of tea.


Best Ideas #9. Hot apple cider living:


Take it up a notch by adding some hot buttered rum and a cinnamon stick. Sure to keep you warm on those cold nights. Or just top your hot apple cider recipes with a hint of caramel.


Best Ideas #10. Eggnog living:


You can’t go wrong living in cold with a little eggnog. For a classic holiday treat, try eggnog with rum and almond. A virgin drink that tastes great is a cider nog. Apple cider, an egg, and some sugar make this a best sweet treat for the wintertime living.


Best Ideas #11. Mug cakes living:


Use your coffee mug for more than just coffee. Take your favorite cake and bake it in your coffee mug for a quick treat. And since it’s a single serving you don’t have to feel like you need to eat the whole cake. You can satisfy your sweet tooth by whipping up this one simple single-serve cake.


Best Ideas #12. Hot vanilla living:


Instead of hot chocolate, try hot vanilla. Some milk, sugar, and vanilla extract make a tasty hot vanilla. Heat the milk and sugar in the microwave and then add the vanilla. Top it with a dollop of whipping cream, chocolate syrup, and a dash of cinnamon. Are you feeling warm yet?


With winter living right around the corner you will want to make sure to stock up on all of the things you’re going to need to stay warm and cozy. Just don’t forget the booze and the chocolate. With those things you are sure to find recipes that will keep you warm, cozy, and very happy living in the cold.


What are your best family cold living ideas, treats and recipes?


bestBest Ideas & Spices to Warm Your Wintertime Meals & Foods


Using ingredients that are in season is sensible and an inexpensive way to cook recipes. This goes for the spices too. Take advantage of those in-season spices and really make your wintertime family cooking and living special. Here’s how to spice it up with spices.


When you think of wintertime spices you probably think of allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. But there are also cardamom, cloves, coriander, and star anise. These are all best spices that add a lot to your cooking recipes during the cold living months. Not just your meals for ideas, but your desserts as well. Let’s talk about the uses and ideas for each of these spices.


Allspice Living Ideas


This spice is the dried berry of the Jamaican pepper tree. It can be mistaken for peppercorn. The allspice berry is best when dried before it reaches its full maturity, because this is when it possesses the most flavor. Allspice is used in many Caribbean and Latino recipes and it’s best in savory and sweet recipes. It is best for tomato and barbecue sauces as well as desserts such as applesauce, fruit compotes, and oatmeal cookies. It couples well with cloves and cinnamon for a delicious spice cake.


Living Nutmeg Ideas


This spice is deliciously strong. It has a very strong, sweet taste, while also being quite pungent. It is best sprinkled over vegetables, especially squash and spinach. You can use it to spice both red and white meats, fish, desserts, and white sauce recipes. It’s integral of course in your eggnog, but go ahead and try it in other drinks like coffee, tea, or cocoa. When you are going for the sweet and savory with nutmeg, remember that a little goes a long way. Be subtle with your use of nutmeg when seasoning your meats.


Ideas in Ginger Living


Ginger is an Asian spice. It is so versatile and really well-known. It’s obviously one of the main ingredients in gingerbread. Ginger is best for settling upset stomachs too, so it’s a great spice to keep around. Make a ginger tea the next time your stomach is upset. Just steep it in hot water. You can use ginger in dessert recipes, to season roasted vegetables and meats, and for seafood and stir fries. It’s the perfect complement in soups like carrot or sweet potato recipes.


Cinnamon Living Ideas


Who doesn’t love a good cinnamon stick? This has got to be the best winter spice that everyone truly associates with winter living. With its sweet and woody taste it is the perfect addition to not only desserts, but also many hot drinks.


Just do not eat cinnamon by the spoonful. Not only does it taste bad, it really does a number on your lungs. It can be best for keeping healthy in the winter, though; if you add it to your tea with a little lemon juice and honey, it helps with cold and flu season. Use cinnamon in spice blends for things like curry or a jerk seasoning. But even just bringing the smell of cinnamon in your home with cinnamon sticks has a warming, cozy feeling. So enjoy that cinnamon living.


Cardamom Living Ideas


Known as the “Queen of Spices,” this spice comes from India. It’s smoky in flavor. Cardamom mixes well with citrus flavors. It’s great in sweet and savory dishes and recipes like curries and rice. Ground cardamom can be used in soups, pates, stews, and purees. Add a few seeds of cardamom to rice pudding, ice cream, custard, or sprinkled over fresh fruit. Cardamom can also be used to treat indigestion or other stomach problems and it’s a natural diuretic.


Ideas in Living Cloves


These are dry flower buds of a tree native to Indonesia. Clovers are great in roasted meats (think ham), baked beans, split pea or bean soup, desserts like apple pie, stewed and baked fruits, and pickles. Add cloves to broccoli or cabbage to aid in the digestion of these vegetables. Flavor soups and barbecue like sauces with cloves. Added to curries and other spicy dishes it will help with the heat.


Cloves make for the best home remedy for toothaches and other mouth or throat problems. A clove is also best for skin problems like acne or even styes on the eye. Wet the clove with some water and apply it directly to the eye. Cloves have a soothing, warming effect that really help with home remedies.


Coriander Living Ideas


This spice comes from the cilantro plant. The seeds of coriander have a flavor similar to lemon peel. This is one spice where you can never have too much. It’s perfect for tempering other spices that are too pungent or that you have over spiced with. It’s best at balancing things out.


Coriander works best with cumin. This is great in Latin American cuisine like enchiladas or even in a pot of beans. It can also be found in many curry dishes and recipes. It’s perfect for spice rubs for chicken and fish. It also adds a nice flavor to homemade pickles. Toasting them lightly really brings out the flavor. Use them untoasted in sweet dishes and recipes.


Star Anise Living Ideas


This is a beautiful spice that has a strong licorice taste. Star anise is used in many Asian dishes – think Peking duck. Try it in fresh and pickled fruits, soups, stews, braising broths, curries, stir-fries, and with pork. It adds a sweet licorice pepper flavor to savory dishes and recipes. Use it sparingly, but making a braise for meat with it is great. Mix it with broth, onion, and soy sauce. These flavors work best with the star anise to naturally intensify the flavor of the meat.


Wintertime living is about warm and hearty foods, and these spices all work so well in soups and stews. That’s what makes them special ingredients to add that extra flavor to your dishes and recipes. And many of them can even be used to be more healthy. Since many people get sick in the wintertime, adding these spices might just help keep the sickness at bay. So experiment with all of these cold living spices, and really embrace each and every one of them.


recipesThis winter living, grab some good foods that will give you and your family energy, make you feel cozy, bring in the tradition, and fill you with flavor.  And just try to stay warm out there.


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Courtney & Betina~LaDy LaDuke


  1. Crazed in the Kitchen says:

    Yum! I live where it’s warm in the winter, but this all sounds great anyway. Plus, some good reminders to stay healthy. Thanks!

    • LaDyLaDuke says:

      It’s warm here too actually, but when you turn on the TV, most of the country seems to be freezing to death these days.

  2. Roz K. Walker says:

    I love this list! I will be bookmarking it. I love to use flax seeds, but never thought to use is as a egg substitute. Do you have a post that shares more on how much to use?

  3. Where we are, although it’s cold, it’s not THAT cold, but we still do like to make cozy hot meals! I especially like crock pot soups and stews–easy and warm!
    Thanks for the good ideas!

  4. Columba Lisa Smith says:

    I had no idea coriander is from cilantro! I love cilantro in summer salads. Here in California we are longing for cold, wet weather, believe it or not! We got a measly 3 inches of rain in my county during 2013. It’s a serious drought! Nonetheless, warm treats are always welcome.

  5. Great tips. I have been trying to do better with what I put in my body and have been doing pretty well. I’ve given up pop and am drinking so much water it is crazy! I’ve seen Cardamom in a few recipes, but I didn’t know what it was. Maybe I will try it out.

  6. Cardamom, Coriander, and Star Anise are all spices that I have not used. These are going on my list. I tend to get stuck using the same spices over and over again….I need to branch out. Thanks for the information. HUGS!

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