Throughout the year I look to nature as a guide for how to live in rhythm with the seasons. During the winter, trees, shrubs, and other perennials slow down and put their energy down into their roots. The focus becomes internal, a time to rest, recuperate, and dream of what's to come next. It is also a time to reflect on the lessons and blessing of the previous year. What worked? What didn't? How can we take better care of ourselves and our community? In my world, work slows down and it's the ideal time to nurture what I've built. A time to repair old clothes, get through the pile of books on my nightstand, and deepen my relationships.
Instead of being out late, in groups, with lots of phrenetic energy--as I would in the spring and summer, winter feels like a time to be at home, sharing more intimate thoughts and feelings over a warm drink. Below I've shared 5 of my favorites for a warming winter.
Turmeric Butter Chai
In the Himalayas, it's traditional to add butter or ghee to hot tea. Fat helps the body absorb certain vitamins and nutrients so adding butter not only makes it more filling but also a more nourishing drink. Our Turmeric Chai blend is a favorite at the shop in the winter months. With it's warming, spicy flavor and anti-inflammatory properties this tea oozes coziness and comfort. Adding butter, milk, sweetener, and even a pinch of salt makes this a beverage that warms the body and soul.
- 1 TBSP Turmeric Chai from Mountain Rose herbs (sold by the ounce at our shop)
- 1 tsp Grass Fed Butter
- Milk, to taste
- Sweetener of choice
Brew tea and let steep for 5-6. Add in butter, milk, and sweetener. For a frothy, silky texture put brewed tea, butter, etc in a blender for 10-30 seconds.
Warm Spiced Hemp Milk
Though I didn't drink warm milk regularly as a child, everything about this drink feels blissfully nostalgic. As an adult with many food sensitivities (dairy among them), this warm hemp milk is a delightfully heartwarming and nourishing beverage, and a wonderful treat to welcome anyone in from the snow.
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, only if using water as a base)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (optional, only if using water as a base)
- 1 pinch of sea salt
Put all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy it hot or put it in the fridge and drink cold.
Hot Chocolate with Red Wine and Raspberry
My fondest memory from the holidays last year was when a dear friend came to town and we drank these as we wandered through the halls of the Grove Park Inn, sticky and giggling with sugar highs, looking at all the gingerbread houses in the hotel's annual competition. It was a night that felt like home and this drink is inextricably entwined in the memory. The red wine adds a sophisticated flavor to the palate and the raspberry syrup ties it all together. Top it off with whipped cream and your own sweet memories are bound to be made.
- 3/4 cup your favorite hot chocolate
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 tbsp raspberry syrup // or 1/2 tbsp seedless jam
- Topped with whipped cream
Brew your favorite hot chocolate then add in the red wine and raspberry syrup. Mix well. Top with whipped cream.
Note: If you can't find quality raspberry syrup you can mix organic raspberry jam 2:1 with water and heat to combine. Strain out seeds.
Lemon Balm, Nettle + Tulsi Tonic
Cold days and long nights notoriously lead to low vibes and compromised immune systems. Sipping teas throughout the day can be a great tonic to keep sniffles and blues at bay and the brightness of summer alive inside. Lemon Balm is used for lifting the spirit, Nettle is high in a broad spectrum of nutrients, and Tulsi balances hormones and reduces stress (among many, many other things).
Equal parts: Lemon Balm + Nettle + Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Steep in hot water for 5-6 minutes. Add sweetener, if desired.
Didn't it Rain: Herbal Coffee
A shop favorite that was carefully crafted over many years by Villagers' founder, Natalie Pollard. This beverage has the rich flavor and aroma that everyone loves about coffee but none of the caffeine, jitters, or adrenal draining effects. Didn't It Rain was actually formulated to ease adrenal fatigue, detoxify the liver, and calm the nerves, while still maintaining a much loved morning ritual.
Many people start by mixing it with their morning coffee and slowly adjusting the ratios until they are just drinking the herbs. Whatever method you use to brew your brew can be used for Didn't It Rain too.
Can be purchased online here.