Tag Archives: hot cocoa

Baking Up Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

The holidays can be a hard time if you have dietary restrictions, especially if you have Celiac disease. If you or your loved one needs to avoid gluten, bring one of this week’s gluten-free cookie recipes.

Whip up these adorable Vegan Gingerbread Cookies with your kids for Christmas Eve.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Image and Recipe via VegAnnie

 

These Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies are perfect with a mug of hot cocoa.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

 

Whip up these spicy and delicious Chai Spiced Cookies for a warm winter treat.

Chai Spiced Cookies
Image and Recipe via Texanerin

 

These light Lemon and Lavender Meringue Cookies are just right after a big dinner.

Lemon and Lavender Meringue Cookies

 

These Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons are a light take on the classic.

Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

Image and Recipe via Holy Cow Vegan

 

Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti are perfect to dunk in your coffee Christmas morning.

Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti

 

Bake with your family today with these Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies.

Chewy Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Hot Cocoa and Winter Health Risks

Long View: Cold Hands, Hot Cocoa

I always remember December from my childhood, when the weather got subzero, and the wind was playfully whipping snowflakes around. School was out for the holidays, and my sister and I always loved to play outdoors, despite the frigid temperatures.

We would come downstairs with our garb, and Mom would get us all bundled up to brave the weather. Snowsuits, scarves, hats, gloves, and boots were standard outerwear those days. My mom would secure the scarf so that it would stay put, and the hat would cover my ears and my forehead. When she was through, I could barely see and hardly move.

I remember stiffly walking out the door, hoping that with more movement, I would loosen up enough to enjoy some of the winter wonderland we called our yard. Hot cocoa would be waiting for us when we came in, and it was like magic what that cup of warmth could do!

Today, I run out of the house without a coat, hat, gloves, or scarf, thinking, I’m just going to the car, then running in to work. My days of bundling up are over. This is what happens when you go from 6 years old to 60. But honestly, what am I thinking?

Winter health risks should be a concern for our aging population. (Hey, that’s me too!) The most obvious risk is the weather itself. Midwestern winters can consist of ice and snow. Driving is a challenge. Walking is even more of a challenge. Slips on ice are a major risk, so it’s important to wear the right shoes or boots with good traction if you have to go out.  

Hypothermia is also a common winter weather health risk. Hypothermia means your body temperature has fallen below 95 degrees, and once it gets to that point for a prolonged period of time, you can’t produce enough energy to stay warm.

Symptoms include shivering, cold pale skin, lack of coordination, slowed reactions and breathing, and mental confusion. It’s good to pay attention to how cold it is where you are, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Also, make sure you’re eating enough to keep up a healthy weight. Body fat helps you stay warm.

Frostbite is another health risk during the winter months. Frostbite means your skin has been over-exposed to cold temperatures, and it usually affects the nose, ears, cheeks, fingers, and toes. It can be severe and cause permanent damage to the skin, and even progress to the bone.

Frostbite can affect anyone who is exposed to below freezing temperatures, in particular, those who aren’t wearing the right clothing. It’s important to wear layers, preferably 2 to 3 layers of loose-fitting clothing, as well as a coat, hat, gloves, and a scarf. Covering up your nose and mouth will also protect your lungs from the cold air.

As for drinking a cup of hot cocoa, well, that is a winter weather health benefit! According to a study at Cornell University, hot cocoa has almost twice as many antioxidants as red wine, and 2 to 3 times more than green tea! This winter, enjoy the magic of the season by keeping yourself safe and warm.

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.