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Food for Hibernation

January 12, 2024
Greg Georgaklis

It is January — the beginning of a fresh new year. All living things are conserving their energy here in the Northern Hemisphere, waiting for the return of the sunlight, a precious commodity, and our source of life and growth.

I’ve been making soups and stews galore to warm me up and satisfy my craving for nutrient-dense food. At this time of year, we need food that provides some of that missing solar energy. Fortunately, when grown well, vegetables, grains, meats and dairy store plenty of nutrition to get us through the winter months.

When local salad greens are scarce, a good cabbage slaw with grated winter vegetables and savory spices satisfies my craving for crunch and my need for extra nutrients. It goes well with soup or stew, or it can be a hearty, satisfying main dish. The trick with these is to let them marinate for at least an hour before eating, and the best part is they are even better the next day, after the flavors have melded.

I particularly like to make winter salads from the more tender cabbages like Savoy or Napa, and I top them off with nuts (more crunch, more nutrients) and some dried fruit for that burst of sweetness and additional texture. This winter I encourage you to explore what our local farms have in abundance, knowing that seasonal eating and food produced well is just what your body needs on these cold dark days. Enjoy this beautiful winter slaw on its own, or add warm crusty bread, quality butter, and a steaming bowl of stew or soup. Your family will thank you, and your body will, too.