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Just as our wardrobes change as we transition into winter, so should our homes.  One of the most important places to make a few tweaks is in the kitchen.  I asked natural foods chef, Andrea Beaman, and organic recipe queen, Carrie Vitt, for their top wintertime tips for creating a healthy, holistic kitchen.

1.  Stock up on bone broths

“For me a holistic healthy kitchen in the winter time includes lots of homemade stock in the freezer (fish stock, chicken stock, duck stock).  It’s a great mineral and amino acid rich broth to use in warming soups and stews.  I think stocks are so important to any home kitchen that I have an entire chapter dedicated to stocks in my new book: Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!

~ Andrea Beaman, Natural Foods Chef, author, and television host dedicated to alternative healing and green, sustainable living.  Try her Basic Beef Bone Stock and Chicken Stock.

Carrie's chicken stock recipe in action

I always keep it [homemade chicken stock] on hand in the freezer for when the first sign of a cold arrives.

~ Carrie Vitt, author of Deliciously Organic: Simple Dishes, Vibrant Flavors Everyone will LoveShe makes a tasty immune-building chicken stock that incorporates the whole bird (cooked chicken and broth, a two-fer!). 

2.  Cook with coconut oil

Carrie often uses coconut oil when whipping up one of her fabulously healthy meals because of its antiviral properties.  It’s also safe for high heat cooking, making it a great all-purpose cooking oil.  When the temperatures drop, coconut oil will solidify; but it melts easily.

Side note:  As I mentioned in this post, I use coconut oil (separate batch for hygiene) as a moisturizer too.  It melts in seconds when applied to skin warm from a hot shower.  It’s antiviral/antibacterial properties work topically too, so you’re moisturizing and protecting at the same time.

3.  Keep immune-boosting supplements on hand

Carrie also recommends her favorite vitamin C powder–Pure Radiance C, made from organic and wild berries–as a supplement to support immune health during flu season.

I swear by Thieves Essential Oil blend from Young Living.  It has 100% therapeutic-grade essential oils of clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary that combine to deliver antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial protection.  During times of stress (hello holidays!) and flu season this oil, along with Inner Defense Softgels (which also contain Thieves but with oregano, thyme, and lemongrass) give me a fighting chance of staying healthy.

4.  Sharpen your knife skills

No, you don’t need to practice knife throwing or even perfect your slicing technique.  All you have to do is sharpen your main prep knife.  Why?  Dull knives don’t just make hard winter veggies difficult to cut, they are a more serious hazard to your health than sharp knives.  Most knife injuries occur due to dull blades, which need more pressure to cut, making it more likely for the knife to slip off food and cut your hand instead.  Not a jolly good time.  If you don’t have a knife sharpener (or don’t know how to use the one you have), you can get them sharpened at hardware stores, cooking retailers, and some restaurants.  A Japanese restaurant in my neighborhood offers the service for $5.00. (These are NYC prices, so they’re probably cheaper elsewhere.)  No excuses…remain sharp for safety!