On these chilly winter days, the kitchen becomes a sanctuary - a place to whip up a steamy and scrumptious meal to chase away the winter blues.
Whether you're craving a classic hearty casserole to share with family, a flavourful and warming curry for solo wind-down nights, or a velvety smooth soup to instantly reset your day, Infusions4chefs has got all the ingredients you need to whip up quick and easy dinners, satisfying lunches, and decadent desserts that'll banish those chills for good.
What ingredients keep you warm?
While layering up and cranking the thermostat is essential in frosty times, warming your core with the right ingredients can give you an extra edge against the chill.
Heat things up with chillis:
Does spicy food keep you warm? The answer to this is, yes! Sort of. Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that triggers your body's heat-generating thermogenesis process, making you feel warmer. Capsaicin creates the fire and heat in chilli peppers, characteristics that make them a beloved ingredient for food lovers and chefs worldwide. Found in dishes across various cuisines, chillis are the hero ingredient in many favourites from fiery curries to smoky salsas.
Here are some of our top chilli ingredients that are perfect for adding spicy heat to recipes:
- Chipotle Chilli Whole Dried 200g - £10.99
- Roquito Infused Chilli Oil 500g - £8.49
- Chilli Powder 1Kg - £7.89
- Stokes Chilli Jame 2.4Kg - £15.99
Stock up on those carbs:
Complex carbohydrates can be a good heat source as they help to keep your metabolism and heat production going for longer. Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and quinoa take longer to digest, which keeps you fuller for longer and helps warm you up. A healthy and delicious breakfast option on a cold day is a bowl of porridge made with oats. Add fresh fruit and seeds for an extra nutrient boost. We recommend Glebe Farm’s Gluten-Free Porridge Oats. These British oats are wholegrain, gluten-free, and milled at Glebe Farm in Cambridgeshire, making them a creamy and warming breakfast choice.
The power of ginger:
If you're looking for an everyday ingredient to help you stay warm during winter, consider ginger. This pungent root is known for its culinary and medicinal uses, but it also has the amazing ability to warm your body from the inside out. This effect is called the hyperthermic effect, and studies have shown that consuming ginger can raise your body temperature by up to 0.5°C within just 30 minutes. Although it may not seem like much, on cold days, a little bit of ginger could be just what you need to feel better. Ginger comes in many forms, from tea to crystallised chunks, making it easy to include in a variety of recipes this winter.
Here are some of our ginger ingredients available at Infusions4chefs:
- Ground Ginger 575g - £6.99
- Opies Stem Ginger 1.8kg - £19.09
- Scrubby Oak Sweet Ginger Vinegar 250ml - £6.99
- Laila Ginger Paste 1Kg - £2.99
What meals are good for cold weather?
Capitalising on the thermogenesis properties of chilli, here are some spicy curry recipe ideas to help keep you warm on chilly winter evenings.
- Phaal Curry - originating from the Bangladeshi Sylheti cuisine, Phaal is renowned for its intense heat and complex flavour profile. While not for the faint of heart, its incorporation of some of the spiciest chillis the world has to offer makes this curry a must for those with the chills. Simple to make, create a basic curry base with ingredients such as garam masala, ground cumin, chopped tomatoes and ginger paste. Use the hottest chilis you can get your hands on, like ghost peppers and scotch bonnet. Add in a protein of your choice and vegetables, if desired. Cook through until you’ve got a fiery curry which is intensely spicy, but still balanced in flavour.
- Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Vegetables – a simple and quick recipe idea providing medium to hot heat. You’ll want to start with a spoonful of Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste and cook until fragrant. Add in Coconut Milk and simmer, then add in the chicken, or tofu if you’d like to make a vegetarian version, and simmer for a further 5-7 minutes. Next, add in your vegetables of choice, we’d recommend bell peppers and broccoli, and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. Taste and adjust with seasoning as needed then serve immediately over cooked Jasmine Rice. And there you have it, a quick and easy curry that provides enough heat to give you a little warming uplift.
On a cold day, there's nothing quite like a warm and comforting bowl of soup. Whether you're in the mood for a creamy tomato, a hearty lentil, a spicy chilli, or a fragrant minestrone, there's a soup out there for every taste and preference. Making soup is easy and convenient, ideal for a busy family looking for a nutritious and hearty meal, and packed with winter-warming goodness.
Here’s a soup recipe suggestion, how about a simple and warming Ginger and Carrot Soup that will soothe your soul?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1.Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
- 2.Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- 3.Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
- 4.Add the carrots, celery, and potato. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- 5.Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
And here’s some tips to elevate your ginger and carrot soup this winter:
- For a smooth and creamier soup, use an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender in batches and puree until smooth.
- If you prefer a chunkier textured soup, simply mash some of the vegetables with a fork before blending, leaving some larger pieces for texture.
- For a heartier soup, add cooked chicken, brown rice, or lentils before blending.
While wrapping yourself in a blanket and stoking up the fire are essential parts of winter survival, don't neglect the power of your plate! By incorporating these warming ingredients into your diet, you can build a natural furnace from within and chase away the chills. From the spicy kick of ginger to the hearty goodness of whole grains, let your winter meals be a celebration of warmth and flavour.