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Hygge for Winter Thriving

ansley knoch

by Ansley Knoch, Purchasing Director

Unless you’ve been really unplugged lately, you’ve probably at least heard the term “hygge.” It is everywhere right now. And with good reason—all of us could use a little more hygge in our lives. Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a Danish and Norwegian word that does not have a direct translation to English, but is generally described as coziness. It’s way more than that, though; it’s the contentment that comes from finding joy in the mundane, embracing each moment, and slowing down enough to enjoy quality time with loved ones. Especially during the winter, when many of us were wishing we were anywhere but here, hygge can help us love every season—eventhe cold, snowy, slushy ones.

Many Scandinavians thrive in wintertime by getting outside regularly—skiing, snowshoeing, even just a walk through your local park. In Norway, they say, “There is no bad weather, just bad clothes.” And it’s true! Get yourself some long underwear (Boody makes some excellent leggings and long sleeve tops in a super-soft bamboo blend), a proper hat and mittens (Andes Gifts has great alpaca ones), and get some fresh air. It doesn’t have to be for very long, but it makes coming home so much sweeter (particularly once you’ve made it hyggeligt).

When below freezing temperatures force you to spend most of your time inside, take advantage of the opportunity to make your space a cozy and welcoming haven. Keep things extra tidy for starters—who could enjoy being trapped inside surrounded by clutter? Turn off the harsh overhead lighting in favor of candles (Wisconsin Candle Company makes great local soy wax candles that are free of pthalates). Make sure you keep yourself nice and toasty with a great pair of wool socks (Maggie’s has options for hiking the trails and snuggling inside) or slippers. Find time to replace a quick shower with a long bath, preferably with some nice smelling bath oil (we offer a huge variety of single essential oils and blends to suit your mood in our Wellness section) and a good book.

Hygge is not about holing up in your cozy cave and waiting out the winter, no! It’s sharing a meal with family, lounging with a friend and a hot beverage, hosting a casual get together, and sharing the treasure of simple luxuries like a steaming cup of cocoa and a cookie fresh from the oven. Seriously, hot beverages are a thing that we all need right now and having them with friends is like a tiny hygge party—mull some cider in the crockpot, make a giant teapot full of tea, or get tricky and learn how to make glogg! So much more could be said about hygge, food, and friendship, but I’ll leave off with a handful of recipes that pack a big cozy wallop for a relatively small investment of time.


Overnight Oatmeal with Tasty Toppings

Waking up to a hot breakfast? Yes please!

  • 2 c. steel cut oats
  • 6 c. liquid—water, milk of choice, or a mix of both
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 3 Tbs. butter Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom—whatever floats your boat

Topping suggestions: Pecans, hemp seeds, toasted coconut, almond butter Apples, bananas, simple fruit compote from frozen berries

Directions: Oil the inside of the slow cooker, add all ingredients (except toppings) and stir. Cook for 7-8 hours on low. Stir, and serve topped with fruit and nuts of choice.

Mixed Berry Galette

This one is so easy because you can pull almost everything out of your freezer and magically turn it into a gorgeous rustic treat, perfect for any occasion.

  • 12 oz. frozen berries 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (or home made pie crust if you’re fancy)
  • 1/3 c. sugar (I like to use the coconut sugar from the bulk aisle)
  • 2 Tbs. corn starch 1/2 lemon, juiced 1 Tbs. butter 1 egg, beaten

Directions: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
Roll out the puff pastry and prick the center a few times with a fork.
In a medium bowl mix the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and frozen berries. Pour the berries into center of crust and fold the edges up around sides.
Brush the edges of the galette with egg. Top the berries with the butter, cut up into a few pieces.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool completely before serving. Crockpot Lentil Veggie Soup Soup = hygge 2 c. butternut squash, peeled and cubed 2 c. carrots, sliced 2 c. potatoes, chopped 2 c. celery, chopped 1 c. green lentils 3/4 c. yellow split peas 1 onion, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 8-10 c. vegetable or chicken broth 2 tsp. herbs de Provence Salt to taste Add at the end 1 bunch kale, chopped 1 cup parsley, chopped 1/2 c. olive oil 1/2 lemon, juiced Parmesan cheese

Directions: Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Place about 4 cups of soup in a blender with the olive oil. Pulse until semi-smooth and creamy-looking. Add back to the pot and stir to combine. Stir in the kale and parsley. Turn the heat off and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Season to taste and add the lemon juice at this point. Serve with crusty wheat bread and butter.

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