There’s nothing very glamorous about food in February. Our barbecue is currently sitting under a mound of snow, and we’re only capable of dreaming of the grilled Caesar salads and cedar plank salmon instead of executing the dishes.
My Popsicle molds are gathering dust as summer treats such as cherry limeade popsicles just don’t fit the bill on a blustery winter day. In the grocery stores, as much as we embrace what’s in season now, the produce hardly compares to the sweet berries and tender greens of summer.
So how does one survive the February food blahs? How do we get excited to cook on these dark, cold days? And what kind of snacks are worth writing home about?
Today I’ll share what works for me and hopefully you’ll add your tips in the comments!
If you haven’t cracked your favorite fruit butter yet, and your jars of canned cherries are gathering dust, then what are you waiting for? Now is the time to reap the benefits of those hours of canning you put in last year.
We’ve been spooning up silky soft apricots in honey syrup and enjoying homemade jam for most breakfasts. They provide a welcome burst of fruit on the tongue. The Strawberry-Honey Jam pictured above is often spooned over ice cream or yogurt for a special treat.
Go ahead. Open some jars!
As much as I adore kale, I crave other varieties of salad during the winter months. Craving is almost putting it mildly: I NEED those antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Here are a few of my favorites, with plenty more inspiration over on my Winter Salads Pinterest board.
- Kale Salad with Maple-Poppyseed Dressing
- Apple-Fennel Salad with Pecans & Pomegranate
- Beet & Orzo Salad with Feta
- Citrus & Pomegranate Salad
If the splash of color on my Just Smoothies Pinterest board doesn’t inspire you to haul out the blender and whip up something refreshing, then I don’t know what will.
If you put up any berries in the freezer last summer, now is prime time to spin them with yogurt and a bit of honey for a smoothie.
- Coconut Milk-Raspberry Smoothie
- Cran-Raspberry Smoothie
- Kara’s Purple Flurple Smoothie :: Simple Kids
Photo by Katie
Comfort Food & Drink
Go ahead, you deserve it. Give into the cravings and make a batch of your favorite comfort food. In our house, it’s pancakes, especially in winter, and hot cocoa or Ovaltine on snowy days.
Keep those comforting hot beverages coming:
- Hot Spiced Cashew Coconut Milk :: Gourmande in the Kitchen
- Flavored Toffee Caramel Dessert Coffee
- Hot Spiced Apple Cider
- Peppermint Twist Hot Chocolate :: Food for My Family
Spice it up
Spices are my absolute favorite way to affordably add flavor to a dish – without the fat, too! They stimulate the appetite, arouse the senses, and if enough chillies are used, can thwart annoying cold symptoms, too.
Get started here: What You Need to Know About Buying, Storing, and Cooking with Spices.
During winter, my crisper drawer is packed full of citrus: blood oranges for salads, clementines for school lunch, grapefruit for breakfast, and lemons for baking. They replace my beloved summer fruits in everything from pancake syrups to cake to salads.
- Lemon Oregano Rubbed Roast Chicken
- Pompelmocello (grapefruit limoncello) :: Food for My Family
- Creamy Orange Cardamom Curd
- Citrus & Pomegranate Salad
- Lemon, Cornmeal & Almond Cake
Do you body a favor after the holiday and Super Bowl excess and try a cleanse. I don’t mean some crazy detox that costs tons of money (we’re trying to spend less here), but instead take a week or two and cut out taxing foods on your body. What might they look like? Sugar. Caffeine. Dairy. Perhaps gluten.
Shannon outlines taxing foods in this post on a physical ‘spring cleaning‘ and shares suggestions for foods that are easy to digest. Your body will appreciate the change of pace.
In this month’s edition of Eat Well, Spend Less we’re talking about making food more fun. Check out what the other ladies have up their sleeves…
- Alyssa from Kingdom First Mom
- Carrie from Denver Bargains
- Jessica from LifeasMOM
- Katie from Kitchen Stewardship
- Mandi from Life Your Way
- Shaina from Food for My Family
- Tammy from Tammy’s Recipes
How do you beat the February food blahs?