Cooking with Kate: Fight the Blues in 2016

The holidays are over, and winter, it seems, is finally upon us with cold temperatures and gloomy days. But with New Year’s Eve and the 2016 coming quickly, there is no time to be overtaken by winter blues. Use these tips to take on the new year and keep those winter blues away:

  • Get some sunshine! Sometimes it’s hard to do because of our unpredictable Texas weather, but 20-30 minutes of sun a day allows your body to produce much needed Vitamin D.
  • Eat high energy, low sodium snacks like the easy Cocoa Almond Trail Mix recipe below.
  • Get some exercise! 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 4-5 times a week boosts adrenaline and increases energy.
  • Turn up the tunes! Listening to upbeat, cheery music can help brighten your mood.
  • Get outside! Fresh air and spending time outside can reduce stress. Even if the weather is cold – bundle up and take a walk through the woods or go for a family bike ride.

Cocoa Almond Trail Mix

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole almonds
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dried apricots, quartered
  • ½ cup dates, halved
  • ½ cup unsalted pecan halves, dry-roasted
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts, dry-roasted
  • ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds, dry-roasted
  • ¼ cup raisins

In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and brown sugar. In a small skillet, heat the almonds, honey, and vanilla over very low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the honey has melted and the almonds are sticky, stirring constantly. Add the almonds to the cocoa powder mixture, stirring to coat well. Add the almonds to a fine-mesh sieve, shaking gently to remove the excess cocoa. In a large bowl, stir together the almonds and the remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Many blessings for a Happy New Year to you and your family!