Cozy Foods + Drinks
‘Tis the season for cozy, comforting food and drinks. But, comforting foods don’t necessarily have to be limited to those that are super fried, greasy, or made with heavy cream. In this post, I’ve included some of my favorite healthier and more natural versions of some popular comfort dishes that are perfect for the winter season. My family and I honestly cannot get enough of these! Best wishes to everyone this holiday season, I hope it is both relaxing and refreshing.
Simple Hot Coco (Yields 1 serving)
I have had this hot chocolate recipe on repeat since Christmas break began. It is simple, creamy, and even naturally sweetened. Perfect to sip on while watching your favorite Christmas movie!
1.5 cups almond milk (or just one mug full)
1/2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs cacao
1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
Heat the almond milk in a mug in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Add the coconut oil and microwave the milk for about 45 more seconds until the oil is melted completely.
Put the contents of the mug into a blender and add in the cacao and maple syrup.
Blend on high for 30 seconds (if your blender has multiple settings) and pour into a mug! Add extra cacao on top as desired.
Butternut Squash Soup (Yields 1 large bowl)
When vegsarach posted the recipe for this soup on her instagram, I knew I would just have to give it a try. Butternut squash soup has been my favorite soup for as long as I can remember so having an easy recipe like this for the wintertime is so key. I used Sara’s recipe as a base and then added a few extra spices towards the end!
1 butternut squash
Olive/ avocado oil
1/4 red onion
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
1/4 tsp Tony’s seasoning (because I use this in everything)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pumpkin seeds to top
1.) Roast the butternut squash. I did this by preheating the oven to 375 degrees, lining a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and then cutting in half and taking out the seeds from the squash. After this, drizzle the squash with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on it. Add about a fourth cup of water to the lined pan and set the butternut squash in it, skin up. Bake for 40-45 minutes until soft. Scoop it into a separate bowl when it is finished.
2.) While the butternut squash bakes, start caramelizing the onion. I would recommend just caramelizing a whole one and using the leftover caramelized onions throughout the week. Just heat the sliced onion in a pan with a little oil over medium heat, stirring often. Once the onions start to brown, put a lid over the pan and stir occasionally until the onions are flimsy, dark in color, and sweet in taste. This process may take up to 20 minutes.
3.) Once the squash and onions are ready, add both of them to a blender or a food processor as well as the coconut milk and all of the spices except the salt and pepper which are best if added after tasting.
4.) Blend the mixture until it is your desired soup consistency. You may need to warm the soup up a bit in the microwave or on the stovetop if it is not quite warm enough. Top with pumpkin seeds and enjoy!
Crockpot Apple Cider (Yields about 7-9 cups)
Apple cider is the best Christmas-time drink. Although my goal for this recipe was to make it naturally sweetened with just fruit, I noticed that in order to get that true apple cider flavor that my family and I are used to, a little added sweetener was best. However, if wanting to do a lower sugar option, this drink is delicious with simply the fruit and spices. Whichever way you decide to make this drink, it will be incredibly cosy and seasonal! My version was inspired by this recipe.
1/2 of an orange
1 cinnamon stick
Dash of allspice
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup or brown sugar (optional)
1/2 gallon of water
Peel and cut the apples and stick them inside the crockpot along with the half of a sliced orange.
Add all of the spices, optional sweeteners, and water to the crockpot.
Turn the crockpot on low and allow it to cook overnight. It will be ready in about 6-8 hours but it is okay if you leave it on for a bit longer.
Drain all of the fruit using a mesh strainer. You can use the cooked apples for homemade applesauce if you do not want to simply throw them away. Enjoy sipping your cider by the fire!
Sweet Potato Fries (Yeilds 1 serving)
I’ve been making this recipe at least twice a week since I’ve been home for Christmas. It is such a crowd-pleaser amongst my entire family and it makes the perfect, comfort food for winter. I would also suggest throwing some cubed sweet potatoes on the same cooking sheet and eating them as a hash for breakfast the next morning!
One sweet potato (or more if desired)
Avocado or olive oil
Dash of oregano
Dash of Tony’s Italian Seasoning
Dash of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning
Dash of crushed red pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash, peel (optional), and cut the sweet potato into long slices, warming in the microwaving for 30 seconds if it is too hard to cut.
Drizzle the oil on the potatoes and add the seasonings. Place straight onto a baking sheet (or line it with aluminum foil) and bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy. Flip the sweet potatoes over at around 15 minutes.
This pizza has been a winter break staple. It is the perfect food to have as a snack when friends come over since it is so simple and versatile. Lately, I have been topping it with some winter veggies I have prepped, making it all the more seasonal and cozy.
1 slice of lavash bread
About 2-3 tablespoons of pesto (or however much you prefer)
Nutritional yeast (for dairy-free) or cheese of choice
A drizzle of olive oil
A dash of salt/pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a piece of lavash with pesto. Add cheese or nutritional yeast if desired.
Add the winter veggies. For the lavash pizza pictured, I had pre-roasted the sweet potato but had not cooked the brussels sprouts or the purple cauliflower. I just cut them up and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds and added them to the pizza since they will roast a bit in the oven.
Add a dash of salt/pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to the pizza.
Bake on a baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes or until the lavash is crisp then dig in!
Merry Christmas Eve!