As we are thrown deeper into Winter, there are a lot of changes we can make to protect us from the cooler temperatures. Here are 4 winter warming foods to eat on your period.

 
When the temperature drops, we immediately opt for extra clothing layers, grab the hand cream and lather on the lip balm. But, how do we adjust to the colder climate from the inside out?
 
These recipes contain ingredients known for their immune boosting abilities. These are helpful to keep those pesky colds away during the ovulation stage of your cycle. It is thought that when we ovulate, we become more susceptible to illness. This is because when our oestrogen levels soar, our immune system is slightly suppressed. This makes us more prone to coughs, colds and bugs.

 

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Shepherd’s Pie:

 
Nothing says ‘Winter warmer’ like a pie. Here is Deliciously Ella’s twist on the traditional shepherd’s pie. The combination of sweet potato and maple syrup gives a uniquely sweet flavour. Vitamin C loaded paprika not only strengthens the immune system and protects against cold/flu, but can also help relieve congestion if you’ve already got cold symptoms.

 

Ingredients (serves 4):

 
600g sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
Small splash of almond milk of your choice
230g black beans (drained weight), drained and washed
230g red kidney beans (drained weight), drained and washed
400g can tinned tomatoes
150g button mushrooms
4 spring onions, sliced
1 large red onion, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
1 tbsp maple syrup
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

 

Method:

 
Preheat the oven to 200⁰c, grill setting.
Boil the peeled sweet potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain and leave to one side.
Fry the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt, in a drizzle of olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion softens.
Add the paprika and slices of spring onion, sauté for 2-3 minutes, ensuring they are coated in the paprika, before adding the mushrooms and mixing again.
Add both of the beans, coating them in the paprika, and sauté for a further 5 minutes.
Then add the tinned tomatoes, maple syrup, lime juice, pepper and coriander, mixing everything through.
Once the sweet potatoes are soft, mash them with the almond milk and a pinch of salt.
Spoon the bean mix at the bottom of a baking tray and top with the sweet potato mash.
Place in the oven to grill until it starts to crisp on the top, about 20-25 minutes.

 

Pineapple and Sesame Broccoli:

 
Broccoli also builds up your immune system. This warming recipe, adapted from bon appétit’s recipe, blanches then roasts the stems and florets. This reduces the risk of over-boiling which gets rid of its nutrients. Pineapple has also been found to reduce the intensity of cramps (we tried and tested it in the office – it works!), so the perfect food to eat on your period.

 

Ingredients (serves 4):

2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
Garlic clove (1), finely grated
1 tbsp plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
650g pounds broccoli
3 small shallots, thickly sliced
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps sesame seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ small pineapple, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter (or dairy-free alternative)

 

Method:

 
Place a roasting pan in oven; preheat to 220°c.
Whisk ginger, garlic, 1 tbsp vinegar, and 1 tbsp soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
Remove stalk from broccoli. Peel, trim, and divide broccoli into large florets.
Blanch stems and florets in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green, about 10 seconds.
Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; let cool.
Pat dry and toss in a medium bowl with shallots, olive oil, and sesame seeds; season with salt.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high.
Cook the pineapple, tossing often and adding a splash or so of water if needed to keep mixture saucy.
Do this until slightly softened and browned in spots, about 3 minutes.
Add 1 tbsp butter then toss until sauce is glossy and emulsified.
Stir in remaining 2 tsp vinegar and soy sauce. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, transfer broccoli mixture to hot roasting pan. Roast until lightly browned but still crisp-tender, 8–10 minutes.
Add to reserved dressing and toss to coat; season with salt.

 

Layered Berry Crumble:

 
For something fruity and warm to sweeten winter evenings, try this oaty crumble by taste. Choosing frozen berries will ensure you get their locked in goodness, even when they are out of season. Combine a mix of berries rather than one or two to give your body the best boost. Blueberries contain iron, calcium and magnesium, which can all help combat PMS symptoms. It’s important to replace the iron lost through your bleed, so iron-rich blueberries are a great choice for this recipe.

 

Ingredients (serves 4):

 
500g frozen berries
3 tsps vanilla essence
2 tbsps brown sugar
For the crumble topping:
50g butter, chilled and chopped
50g brown sugar
35g plain flour
140g rolled oats (or gluten free alternative)

 

Method:

 
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine the ingredients for the crumble topping.
Using your fingertips, rub the ingredients together in a bowl until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Combine berries, vanilla and sugar in a bowl.
Spoon half the mixture into a 4cm-deep, 20cm (base) pie dish.
Sprinkle half the topping over berry mixture.
Repeat with remaining berry mixture and topping.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Serve with cream, custard or ice-cream.

 

Immune Booster Brew:

 
Finally, this warming drink by Angelique Panagos has a suite of natural ingredients known for their immune boosting and anti-inflammatory abilities.

 

Ingredients:

 
500ml boiled water
1 cinnamon stick
5cm chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
5cm chunk of fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
Sprinkling of black pepper
1 tsp Manuka honey

 
Add all ingredients to a teapot or cup and steep in the boiling water for 5-10mins and enjoy. Serves 1.

 
What are your favourite winter-warmers? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @totmorganic.