Is it spring?
Is it summer?
Is it seriously still snowing?
The weather is changing, and so are our cravings. Here are some of our favorite foods that can be eaten hot or cold, allowing us to be as whimsical with our menu planning as mother nature is with spring weather.
We can all get behind microwave oatmeal on winter mornings, but those steamy complex carbs get less appealing as temperatures creep up. No worries, this standby is more versatile than you might think.
Keep it cool – Prepare overnight oats in a mason jar or covered dish, with one part oats, two parts milk of choice, chia seeds, cinnamon, and your favorite add-ons (nut butter, berries, yogurt, etc.). Wake up to a nourishing, cool breakfast.
Make it cozy – start your classic oatmeal from scratch, or pop overnight oats in the microwave to take the bite out of a surprise chilly morning.
Holy heat wave – Need an extra cool quench? Add double the milk to overnight oats and throw the whole shebang in the blender for a springy smoothie.
Beets are often associated with their seasonal winter harvest, but they can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Roast them up when temperatures dip. Enjoy the leftovers cool or warm.
Pickled or shredded beets also make cool addition to a salad or sandwich. A few good reasons to eat a beet at any temperature — cancer-preventing phytonutrients, immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, potassium and a great boost to stamina.
Hot, cold, caffeinated, relaxing, … the right combination of stuff distilled in water can do it all. Try icing down ginger tea, peppermint green tea, even chamomile to take the edge off after a rough, unexpectedly warm day. Lemon makes a great addition to hot or cold tea, gives you a splash of vitamin C, and brings in flavor without added sugar.
Meet the hearty all-stars of changing season that also last in the fridge. Carrots are packed with beta-carotene and fiber, vitamins A, C, K, B8 and minerals like iron. They promote healthy eyes, mouths and hearts and help prevent cancer. They even come in all kinds of colors. Taste the rainbow, and enjoy hot or cold!
Snack on cool, crunchy raw carrot sticks or roast them up for a cozy side on a chilly evening.
Keep this magical green in the fridge as long as it’s available fresh, and in the freezer in the off-season.
Build a salad around spinach to enjoy twice as much potassium, protein, calcium, iron, niacin, vitamins and key minerals as lettuce.
What if it decides to be winter again? Toss spinach in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil to enjoy wilted and warm. Sprinkle in your favorite salad topping to keep it decadent.
Putting it all together – our favorite hot or cold salad adapted from
Thug Kitchen‘s Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad.
1 shallot, diced
1 teaspoon mustard of choice
3 tablespoons vinegar of choice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium beets, peeled and chopped into small chunks
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 teaspoon of vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground pepper
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup diced herbs of choice
Cover the beets and carrots in your olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Spread them on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 for about 20 minutes.
Mix all dressing ingredients together well to prepare.
Cook the quinoa and get your spinach ready (de-stem, sort, rinse, etc.)
As soon as your quinoa is done, drain to get rid of any extra water, and mix the spinach and dressing in. The heat will wilt the spinach just enough. Add your roasted root veggies, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy immediately or cool it down and eat it straight out of the fridge for days.
Make it your own! Add in kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, other root veggies or some citrus.
Share your own creative twist in the comments!