Winter’s Coming: Tips to Flow With It Rather Than Resist

Dec 02, 2019

Photograph by Das Sasha

Falling into the flow of Mother Nature’s seasons allows us to rest, refuel, ruminate (and make Golden Milk and Black Strap Molasses Spice Cake)


Has it really been another full year? I’m sure there are scientific reasons why time feels like it slips away faster and faster each year, but it doesn’t change the fact that summer was just here and now the snow is falling here in the Catskills. Sigh.

Unlike years past, I’ll admit — I’m just not ready for the cold. I want to continue to bask in the sun and feel its warmth on my shoulders. No point complaining about something I can’t control though. So, since I have to wait two whole seasons for the warm weather to return, I search for what I can do in the meantime.

Here are some can-do ideas:

Sit and daydream in front of a crackling fireplace or a table full of flickering candles.

Take a steamy, warm, candle-lit bath filled with essential oils and Epsom salts. (Make sure to dilute your essential oils into a carrier oil or into your bath salts before adding them to your bath water. Otherwise, they will sit on top of the water and can cause skin irritations.)

Eat warming foods with spices that help increase circulation, keeping you warm on the inside. Spices such as ginger and cinnamon work with your body to control blood sugar, improve digestion and reduce inflammation.

Fresh ginger is a versatile medicinal that tastes great in curries and soups or 1-2 tablespoons grated into a cup of hot lemon water for tea. Drinking a warm cup of ginger tea in the evenings can help stave off a cold or flu or offer relief if you are already under the weather. It helps relieve sore throats and coughs. Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which assists in blood circulation to help keep you warm. Keep some candied ginger in your bag during holiday travels to help with nausea and digestion issues.

Golden Milk, photograph by Christine Moss

Golden Milk is a warm and delicious favorite treat that includes ginger. I like to make mine a bit decadent as well, which I personally believe enhances its healing qualities (it’s good for your soul too!). This recipe makes two cups or a really generous mug full.

Add the following ingredients into a blender: 

  • 1 (15oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP fresh organic ginger
  • 1 TBSP fresh turmeric root or 1 tsp. powdered turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. powdered cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 TBSP maple syrup

Blend on high until fully mixed together. Pour into a small saucepan and heat until just warm.

Sip from your favorite mug before a good nap or bedtime.

Blackstrap molasses and maple syrup are flavorful and nutrient-filled sugar alternatives to use in your winter cooking as well.

Although maple syrup is produced in the springtime when the sap begins running, it is a very welcomed flavor in wintertime recipes. High in zinc and manganese, it gives you a boost of energy. Drizzle it lightly over roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, add a splash to your coffee or tea, or use as a prominent flavor in holiday cookies and cakes.

Black Strap Molasses is a byproduct of sugarcane production. The sugarcane is crushed to release its liquid which is then boiled down. The sugar crystals that form from this process are removed and sold as white sugar. The liquid that is left behind is boiled down two more times into a thick sticky black liquid that is molasses. While white sugar has zero nutritional value, molasses has Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese and Iron. It is the least sweet of all the products obtained from sugarcane and has a very rich and distinct flavor that pairs well with the olive oil and spices in the cake recipe I’ve shared below.

But keep in mind that although molasses and maple syrup have beneficial nutrients — they are both still sugar. Please be careful when adding sugars into your diet.

The bottom line is that resistance ruins the life ride. Just writing this blog made me soften a bit and ease closer to winter for a snuggle…because when I step into my winter self I also start to dream, breathe, slow down, rejuvenate, create and fill the inspiration coffers. And guess what, it’s happening. And in this quieter season, we’re working on some café surprises for you too! So, thank you winter.

Could you embrace her too? I wonder what seeds are being planted in your life.

While you are ruminating about that, here’s a Black Strap Molasses Spice Cake recipe to sweeten the transition. Happy Winter! Love from my kitchen to yours.


~ Chef Christine Moss, The Garden Cafe Woodstock

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