Six ways to keep cozy

This article was originally published in February 2013

Cook or bake, sip something warm, pamper yourself, or help someone in need — here’s inspiration galore to warm both heart and soul.


1. Warm up with stews, soups and braises

Make a chilly night warm with a fragrant pot of stew or braised short ribs. Try these much-loved recipes from around the globe.


2. Sip on something hot

Feel the heat when you sip on a bottle of Prometheus Spring’s Capsaicin Spiced Elixirs, whether you warm one up or drink it over ice. Extracted from chile peppers, capsaicin is a spicy antioxidant that forms the foundation of these pick-me-up blends. It’s known to help soothe sinuses and clear up congestion, and it can elevate your mood, strengthen immunity and boost metabolism, making these elixirs a prime choice for battling seasonal sluggishness. Try flavors such as Lemon Ginger, Lychee Wasabi and Pomegranate Black Pepper.

Need a caffeine fix? Pick up the Love Buzz coffee blend from Equal Exchange, available in bulk. Sweet, sultry and smooth, it’s certified organic, fair trade and locally roasted.

Make your own Spiced Cocoa Mix »


3. Fire up your oven and bake

Baking warms both your kitchen and your belly. And PCC offers a wide variety of flours, including arrowroot flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, and whole-wheat pastry flour; sweeteners, such as date sugar and fruit juice concentrates; and much, much more. Many are available pre-packaged, but be sure to visit our bulk section for a range of baking ingredients available by the pinch or pound.

For those who prefer to work from scratch, find dozens of baking recipes on our website. Find recipes »

If you pin, check out our Let’s Bake board on Pinterest for fun ideas!

Newly gluten free?

Spend a rainy day experimenting with PCC’s array of gluten-free baking options, including quinoa, nut and sorghum flours. Learn more »

Baking biscuits, coffee cake and more is a snap with Whole Wheat Insta-Bake from Hodgson Mill. This general purpose, whole-wheat baking mix is made with 100 percent whole grain, stone-ground flour from non-GMO ingredients. The blend is just right to create homemade biscuits, pancakes, cookies, waffles and more, with recipes right on the box.


4. Help others keep cozy

As you clean out your closet to make room for new sweaters and coats, don’t forget how easy it is to help others in need. Donate that warmth at any PCC location through February 9 as part of KCTS 9’s annual Mister Rogers’ Sweater Drive. Donated gently worn sweaters, coats and cold weather gear will be distributed to Wellspring Family Services and Northwest Center, serving Seattle and King County. Learn more »

Scoop, portion and parcel lentils, rice, granola and other bulk foods for your local food bank by volunteering at a PCC Food Bank Packaging Party. Using shopper donations, PCC purchases healthy bulk foods at wholesale prices and then distributes them to 10 local food bank partners. View a list of packaging party dates in 2013 by location.


5. Snack with spice

Enjoy the warm zing of ginger Imparting a “spicy” flavor, ginger also helps boost your immune system, lessen the severity of a cold and relieve chills while warming the body.

SunRidge Farms Wild Ginger Harvest Mix — A zesty blend of crystallized ginger, chocolate chips, dried fruit, roasted almonds and cashews, available in bulk.

My Chi Delights Ginger, Almond & Sesame Treats — Energizing nibbles locally made in Seattle that provide four grams of protein per serving and are Non-GMO Project Verified.

KIND Cashew & Ginger Spice — A sweet-spicy blend of cashews and ginger satisfies in this bar that contains only four grams of sugar.

Crisproot Chips Thai Ginger — Offering crunch with a little punch, these ginger-lemongrass-flavored chips are made from cassava root, which contains two times more fiber than potatoes.


6. Pamper yourself

Build a fire — PCC carries two sustainable fuel options to spark a relaxing evening. Java-Logs, made from recycled coffee grounds, reportedly emit up to 78 percent less carbon monoxide and up to 66 percent less creosote than cordwood fires. Tacoma Firelogs are made of 100 percent wood waste from a Tacoma mill.

Soak your way to peace — Soothe your tired muscles and boost your mind and spirit with aromatic and therapeutic organic bath salts from Shepard Moon Concoctions, made in Seattle. Ease aches and pains, boost circulation and improve a host of other ailments. PCC also carries bath salts from Soothing Touch and pure essential oils from Aura Cacia.

Soothe tired muscles — Try Elemental Herbs Herbal Cool Sore Muscle Spray, which provides fast pain relief for sore muscles and achy joints through a carefully formulated blend of herbs and organic plants. PCC also carries Tiger Balm and Badger Sore Muscle Rub.

Warm your feet — Treat your feet to a cozy, comfortable pair of Maggie’s Organics socks, made with certified organic, fairly traded cotton.

Related reading

Cruciferous vegetables

Hear Nick explain how cruciferous vegetables help our bodies ward off several forms of cancer and otherwise boost our overall health.