Prepare for colder temperatures with these cozy, comforting meals

Ready or not, cold weather is just around the corner, and one of the best ways to keep the winter blues at bay is by serving up heaps of heartwarming foods. (Bonus points if extra carbs are involved!) Perhaps the most significant challenge when it comes to prepping comfort dishes—or any meal, for that matter—is that meal inspiration can be hard to find. Any time-strapped parent will tell you that between work and making sure the kids finish their homework, there isn't always time to get creative in the kitchen. The solution? Use seasonings to give your tried-and-true recipes major character and complexity.

With a range of unique and flavourful blends made with all natural ingredients, Kanel Spices can transform any dish into an instant gourmet creation by incorporating lavish flavours.

Check out these family-friendly recipe ideas using some mightily mouth-watering blends…

1. Heart-warming pasta

PastaThere's nothing like a piping plate of pasta to warm the heart—and soul—on a brisk day. When you're short on time (and who isn't these days?), a meal-in-minutes pasta dish can be the best ally. For something fresh and straightforward, toss noodles with olive oil and Aglio Napoletano, a zesty spice blend made with garlic, herbs, nutritional yeast and crushed red chillis. Top it off with parmesan cheese, and dinner is served.

2. Roasted chicken

ChickenAn immaculately roasted chicken with tender, juicy meat seems French-restaurant fancy, but with the aromatic Organic Sunday Roast spice blend, you can easily pull off this classic dish in the comfort of your kitchen. Coat the entire chicken liberally with the spice blend and melted butter, stuff its cavity with herbs and garlic, and cook it for about an hour and a half (or until juices run clear when poked with a fork). After letting it rest for a few minutes, serve with sides like mashed potatoes and roasted veggies for a truly mouth-watering meal made for brisk nights.

3. Coconut curry soups

SoupThough we can’t deny that canned soup can be a serious source of comfort, some days, you prefer to go the DIY route. On those days, a homemade version made with carrots, squash or sweet potato should do the trick, especially when seasoned with Vadouvan Curry. This French-influenced blend is milder than a classic masala, and is generously laced with sweet shallots and garlic. The steps are straightforward: simply bloom the curry in a pot, add veg plus coconut milk, purée to your heart’s content and, just like that, you have soup for supper, and—if you’re lucky—for leftovers too.

4. Veggie chilli

ChilliChilli is a cold-weather classic and an ideal choice for a weeknight supper. Combine ingredients like diced tomatoes, beans (pinto, kidney or black) and other veggies, such as red peppers and carrots, into a pot or slow cooker, season with Organic Taqueria Blend—a Mexican-inspired spice mix with cayenne, cumin and paprika—and let the flavours mingle. Don't forget to garnish with chopped cilantro, sour cream, piles of cheese... or all three! It's comfort in a bowl.

5. Almond milk latté

LatteSweeten up your weekdays and weekends alike with this drinkable delight. Steeping a dash of Cinnamon Soul in almond milk can help you whip up a lively chai latté. This blend contains Saigon cinnamon, a super-spice known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, toasted hazelnuts and almonds, maple sugar and beetroot, which explains why your latté might turn slightly pinkish once you incorporate this blend. (Cinnamon Soul also makes a great topper for oatmeal, yet another satisfying blistery morning breakfast.)

Comfort food doesn't always have to mean ‘high in calories’, and with the right products in your pantry—like Kanel's full line of spice blends and sea salts—you can cook up wholesome, hearty meals that will keep you warm and cozy, with family tummies satisfied right into spring.