Today I was cycling in the city (as you may know everybody cycle in Amsterdam), when it started to rain. The rain was cold, but I had yet to cycle against the wind for 5 kilometers to arrive home. When I finally arrived home my jeans were soaking wet, as well as my shoes and socks.
A day like this is very usual in Amsterdam. If it’s not raining, the weather is really cold and my fingers are freezing when wearing ski gloves on my bicycle. Looking just slightly elegant is impossible as I’m always wearing “North Face” raincoats 8 months a year.
In order to survive a long, rainy winter like the one we have in Amsterdam, these winter foods can help boost your mood and energy levels:
Pomegranates: I love the color and taste. They are full of antioxidants and available from September through January. I like eating the arils (juice sacs) like popcorn, making a bit of a mess.
Blood oranges: love the color too. Blood oranges’ red pigment, anthocyanin, is an antioxidant. I cut them in slices to eat them without ‘bloodbath’.
Lychees: are not my favorite fruits (they look a bit like an eye when you peel them) but they’re nice to buy for more variation in your diet. Lychees are high in polyphenols (an antioxidant), containing 15% more than grapes, a fruit commonly referenced as high in polyphenols.
Kaki (Japanese persimmon): can be very sweet but the very high proportion of beta-carotene (provitamin A) makes the kaki fruit nutritionally valuable.
Brussels sprouts: I find them easy to prepare: I just put them 7 minutes in the microwave, and add some nutmeg and pepper.
Leeks: to make comforting winter soups (when feeling like taking the time to make a soup).
Radishes: no cooking needed (when feeling lazy).
Hot chocolate made with sugar free soy milk: comforting drink after having cycled in the rain. I make it with cocoa and sugar free soy milk for no sugar content. (The fruits I listed above are already high on sugar). I add a bit a vanilla extract if I’m missing the sweetness of a real hot chocolate.
Roasted barley tea: another comforting caffeine-free hot drink.
Natural peanut-butter: I eat 2-3 spoons directly from the jar for extra energy or by cold weather.