Dark days and poor weather can leave many of us feeling tired and uninspired in winter. However, there are lots of wholesome things you can try at home which may improve your mood, energy levels and overall health. Try sippping on a turmeric latte for immunity, roll out pastry to focus your mind, and replenish your nutrients with a healthy salad.

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Get started with our suggestions below then read our best baking ideas, winter comfort food recipes and best recipes for a healthy gut.


Practice mindfulness

Stir a bubbling pot of soup, slowly sweat onions to make the base for curry or carefully roll out pastry and use to top homemade pie – these little moments are pure kitchen therapy. Follow Edd Kimber's recipe for the best flaky pie crust, then check out our pie recipes for rich fillings such as creamy chicken, steak and red wine, ham hock and cider or fish and peas.

Chicken, leek, tarragon and bacon pie

Bake and share

Whether you pack up your finished bake and take it round to a neighbour, or you invite loved ones round for a slice of cake and a cuppa, you'll feel joy knowing you've spread a bit of happiness. And what better way to do that than with cake! Try our easy chai-spiced banana bread with melted chocolate icing, or have a look at our loaf cake recipes.

Spiced chai banana bread

Nourish your body

Winter food can be heavy and rich, so break things up with a fresh and zingy salad such as our miso-roasted cauliflower with avocado, lentils and pickled onions. It's delicious and great for your gut, thanks to the fibre-rich lentils and cauliflower. We have lots more hearty, healthy salads to give you a boost.

A Platter Topped with Roasted Cauliflower, Lentils and Slices of Avocado

Slurp on chicken noodle soup

If you're feeling under the weather, a bowl of warm chicken soup may be just what the doctor ordered. It can soothe a sore throat, relieve cold symptoms and provide healthy calories, which the body needs when its fighting something off. Transform chicken sausages into meatballs for this comforting Thai soup flavoured with coconut, ginger and chilli. Or browse our top chicken noodle soups.

Tom Kha Soup Recipe with Chicken Meatballs

Spend your Sundays well

Take your time putting together a meal that requires a little more TLC, such as lasagne. You can enjoy your efforts for dinner or pop a few portions in the freezer to eat on busy days – you'll be pleased you did. Make our ham, spinach and mozzarella lasagne or try our other versions.

Ham, spinach and mozzarella lasagne

Opt for laid-back lunches

Make life a little easier with lunches that are quick to throw together but guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied – anything on toast is a good place to start. We love these quick homemade baked beans but you could have avocado on toast or spicy cheese on toast.

Posh beans on toast

Unwind with a podcast

When it's cold outside, there's only one thing for it. Make yourself a cuppa and curl up on the sofa to listen to our food and drink podcast. There are new episodes every week and we cover topics from 10 things you need to know about the Great British breakfast to how to raise your baking game. Listen on our website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Olive podcast

Enhance your skill set

Why not immerse yourself in learning a new skill in the kitchen? Make jam, tackle sourdough or try an adventurous bake. If you've never made pasta before, give it a go with our pasta dough recipes.

Nests of fresh linguine pasta on a wooden board

Boost your immune system

It never hurts to give your body a hit of vitamins and minerals, especially during the winter months when your reserves may be depleted. Serve up a nutrient-dense dinner, such as our roast broccoli salad with preserved lemons and lentils – it's packed with vitamin C. For more inspiration, check out our best healthy dinner recipes.

Roast broccoli with lentils and preserved lemon

Warm up with a curry

Fiery chilli and fragrant spices are the antidote to cold, grey days. Maunika Gowardhan's creamy chicken curry is made with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and garam masala for a deeply flavoursome dish. Get more ideas from our best ever curry recipes – we have chicken, pork, lamb, fish and veggie options.

Creamy Indian Chicken Curry

Sip on a hot drink

Be your own barista and make the perfect hot drink at home. This golden latte is made with earthy turmeric, which has a host of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

A cup of turmeric late on a stone saucer with a gold teaspoon alongside

Eat seasonal

The best thing for our health (and the health of the planet) is to eat seasonal fruit and veg when possible. Not only does this mean it's at its nutritional best, the taste is also far superior to imported produce. For a comforting dinner, try butternut squash stuffed with feta, rice, lemon, raisins, dill and pine nuts. Or have a look at our top squash recipes for more ideas.

Two butternut squash halves stuffed with feta, rice and sultanas

Cut back on booze

Drinking less alcohol is an effective way to boost your energy levels – something we all need during the lethargic winter months. Set yourself the challenge of going without for a set period of time (like a month) or on the same days every week. You may be surprised by how good you feel. This virgin mojito is a great alternative tipple, or have a look at our best mocktail recipes.

Virgin mojito

Feed your gut

Making kimchi is a labour of love, as it involves the slow process of fermenting vegetables with vinegar and spices. But you'll be rewarded with a punchy-flavoured pickle that can be used in anything from cheese toasties to baked rice dishes. Plus it's thought to improve your gut health. Use our recipe to make kimchi or, for another fermentation project, try making your own kombucha.

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Jars of bright red homemade kimchi

Slow things down

The beauty of a slow cooker is you can pop a few ingredients in, close the lid and head out for a walk, and when you get home there will be a hearty, rib-sticking meal waiting for you. Give it a go with our slow cooker sausage casserole, then check out our best slow cooker recipes. For tips on how to use your slow cooker, read our guide.

Slow-cooker sausage casserole

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