6 Belly Warming Winter Stew Recipes to Beat Out The Cold

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Winter is upon us, which means snow-covered driveways, mugs full of hot chocolate, and warm sweaters are upon us as well. It’s the perfect time for cozy winter stew recipes!

Stew is the perfect dish when you’re in need of something warm, satisfying, and filling. I’ve always found that my appetite increases in the winter. Surely it’s all in my head, right?

As it turns out, though, our appetites really do increase during the winter months. (And only partially because of the holiday spirit.) According to experts, we also tend to eat more during the winter because the chilly weather sends our comfort food cravings through the roof. Our bodies send out messages asking for warming foods, specifically warming foods that are high in carbs and sugars.

When we accept those cravings and dive into platefuls of high-carb, high-sugar foods, we also dive into a cycle of high to low blood sugar levels. This cycle, therefore, is also a cycle of hunger. When we get hungry again, we choose more high-carb, high-sugar foods, and the cycle continues.

On top of this, the shorter days and longer nights has an impact on the amount of food we eat. I’m one of those people who likes to be in bed relatively early, but not five o’clock-early when the sun goes down. But, I tend to stay inside once the sun drops. And there’s really not much to do during that time period except eat, clean, and eat some more.

You can probably relate to at least one of these factors attributing to weight gain over the winter. In fact, the average person gains about one or two pounds during the winter, while those who are overweight are known to gain more. Here, at SkinnyMs, we work to shed the pounds, not gain them–even during the winter months.

So, we’ve put together various stew recipes for various stew lovers. These stews are the perfect way to warm your body up, fill it up, and keep it quiet despite the cold weather.

1. Slow Cooker Chunky Squash and Chicken Stew

This stew is incredibly hearty–making it the perfect wintertime meal. There are 27 grams of protein and less than 300 calories per serving! The comforting tastes of squash and sage make this meal even cozier than you’d think.

Plus, squash is the perfect ingredient to use when trying to fill up and quiet those winter-weather cravings. It’s actually one of my go-to foods during the winter, AKA flu season. It’s good for boosting immunity since it’s so high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, that’s not all squash is good for. Some other health benefits of the delicious, vibrant food are:

  • Improve vision
  • Bone strengthening
  • Manage diabetes symptoms
  • Prevent certain cancers
  • Minimize insomnia symptoms
  • Get rid of ulcers and infections
  • Blood pressure reducing

The list goes on and on, and gives both me and you more reasons to enjoy not only the delicious flavors of squash, but also the delicious flavors of this stew!

2. Instant Pot Chunky Beef Stew

Beef stews are super warming, making them super satisfying during the colder months. This stew is loaded with nutritious vegetables as well. But, if you’re not a huge vegetable lover like I am, don’t let the healthy servings of veggies in this stew steer you away.

The beef and potatoes don’t necessarily over power the tastes of the vegetables but, rather, compliment them and give them more of a beefy, potatoey taste. I for one, can never pass up potatoes or anything that might taste like potatoes. This means that this soup is one not to pass up.

The only downside to beef stews is that they, unfortunately, usually take over a day to prepare. This beef stew, however, will take less than an hour! It’s also less than 300 calories and although it still gives you the carbs your body craves during the cold weather, it’s packed with 23 grams of protein too. This high amount of protein will surely end that cycle that I spoke about earlier–you know, the one that starts with craving carbs and ends with gaining weight? Put an end to that cycle with this stew!

3. Slow Cooker Gnocchi Stew

This is yet again another stew that will both satisfy those pesky carb cravings and put an end to them all at once. The chicken and gnocchi in this stew will surely fill you up, while the abundance of vegetables will surely provide you with tons of vitamins.

Want to know another great thing about this stew? It goes great with a piece of warm, multigrain bread. If you’re like me, and you’re always looking for a reason to munch on bread, here’s your chance!

Just make sure you opt for the multigrain bread instead of the typical white bread that you might be served at a restaurant. I promise that flavors won’t be lost by choosing the healthier option–especially when dipping it in the leftover broth after the actual stew is all gone.

My boyfriend is Italian and gnocchi is his ultimate favorite Italian food. With that being said, this stew is a regular meal in our house. He isn’t a big vegetable eater, but he also doesn’t realize the amount of vegetables that are in this dish because all of the other ingredients turn the “gross” vegetables into yummy ones. So, by eating this stew, he gets to enjoy his favorite food and I get him to eat vegetables. It’s a win-win!

4. Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Minestrone Stew

Salvage the last of fall vegetables this winter by whipping up this delicious root vegetable minestrone stew. A serving has less than 300 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 10 grams of protein.

Oh, and let’s not forget the carbohydrate-craving satisfier: pasta!

That’s right,  you don’t have to give up all of your favorite, warming carbs this winter in order to refrain from gaining that terrible winter weight. Pair it with other nutrients and some protein to convince that body of yours into thinking that its cravings have been satisfied.

This stew, along with the other stews provided here, does just that while also acting as a great addition to my winter wonderland fantasy. Now, I can almost smell the comforting aroma the stew gives off while it’s cooking and I can almost taste the yummy flavors as I sit in front of that fireplace.

5. Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Tomato Stew

Our Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Tomato Stew is one that the entire family will love, which means it’s the perfect dish to bring to your next holiday party!

Like I said earlier, my boyfriend is Italian. So, if you’re thinking that this is another recipe that he loves, you’re half right. This is recipe that both my boyfriend AND his whole, big, Italian family love!

The first time I brought a batch to a family gathering of theirs, I didn’t tell them that it was a healthy dish and they didn’t even notice. In fact, they wished that I had brought two servings. Later, when one of my boyfriend’s uncles asked for the recipe, the truth came out and I told them that it was a healthy recipe made with ingredients like:

  • lean ground turkey
  • coconut milk
  • egg

They didn’t even miss the spaghetti that is usually paired with meatballs and they couldn’t believe that something could taste so good and be considered healthy. Welcome to the world of SkinnyMs!

6. Vegetable and Quinoa Stew

This stew is also known as the “Fridge Cleanout Stew” because it uses ingredients you probably have in your kitchen. It’s vegan and the perfect meal for when you’re snowed in and can’t make it to the store. I, for instance, have made this meal when I’ve been snowed in and, let me tell you, it hasn’t disappointed.

My favorite ingredient in this stew is the quinoa. Aside from quinoa always being in my pantry—making it the perfect ingredient to use when I’m snowed in—it’s also so high in health benefits. The superfood is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, and calcium. It’s also one of the only plant food sources that contains all 9 essential amino acids.

On top of the nutrients it contains, quinoa is also a great food for losing weight and maintaining blood sugar. Quinoa has a low glycemic index, which means that it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as much as other foods. Foods that are lower on the glycemic index are also known to cause stave off hunger for much longer.

So, clean out your fridge and create this Vegetable and Quinoa Stew. It is incredibly nutritious and, of course, delicious! You shouldn’t wait till you’re snowed in to try it, but once you are snowed in, you’ll be so excited to have an excuse to whip out this recipe. I know that’s what I look forward to on my snow days!

Which stew are you making this week? Let us know in the comments!

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