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Winner of MasterChef shares his winter warming recipes including ingredients scientifically proven to keep you and your family warmer for longer

Winter is fast approaching bringing with it longer nights, colder weather and evenings snuggled up under a blanket in the comfort of your home.

But, did you know that rather than turning up your heating a couple of degrees, there are certain foods you can eat that are scientifically proven to help you stay warmer for longer?

It’s true! Certain foods are proven to increase red blood cell count (RBC count) which in turn improves your circulation and contributes to your body temperature.

To help you stay warmer this winter, Wren Kitchens have teamed up with Thomas Frake MasterChef 2020 Champion to identify the foods most that are proven to keep you warmer whilst turning these ingredients into three delicious recipes.

Three recipes proven to keep you warmer for longer this winter

Bonfire Baked Beans
Serves: Two
Time: 45 mins
400g (240g drained) tinned cannellini beans
200g passata
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ancho chilli flakes
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp black treacle
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Packed full of smoky, sweet and spicy flavours, this bonfire baked beans recipe elevates the traditionally tinned teatime staple into something delicious and heart-warming. The brown sugar and black treacle add a sweet and sticky depth of flavour, whilst the smoked paprika and ancho chilli flakes add a fiery and smoky kick

As well as being flavourful, the chilli flakes in this recipe increases the thermic effect of food (TEF), which increases your metabolic rate and makes you feel physically warmer.

Calf’s liver, bacon and onions
Serves: Two
Time: 45 mins
4 slices of calf liver
3 tbsp flour
½ tsp mild curry power
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
75g butter
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
4 rashers of smoked bacon
1 white onion
50ml sherry or port
300ml beef stock
1 tsp tomato ketchup
6 fresh sage leaves
2 large baking potatoes
50ml double cream
50g butter
Pinch of salt
2 handfuls of spinach
25g butter

Hearty, comforting and delicious, this take on liver, bacon and onions is like a warm winter hug in a bowl.

Caramelised liver and smoky crisp bacon pair perfectly with rich creamy potatoes and a sweet onion gravy. Like beans, liver is high in iron, which can work to increase your red blood cell count and warm you up. Serve piled high in a bowl with lashings of gravy for a superb seasonal supper.

Sticky banoffee pudding with caramelised walnuts

Serves: Six
Time: 50 mins
100g ripe bananas
100g pitted dates
200ml boiling water
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
50g (plus extra for greasing) butter
2 eggs
150g dark muscovado sugar
2 tsp black treacle
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
150ml double cream
150g butter (softened)
150g dark muscovado sugar
60g walnut pieces
60g caster sugar
2 tbsp water
Pinch of salt

Sweet and sticky, but light and fluffy, these sticky banoffee puddings warm the soul with steaming hot sponges, a decadent toffee sauce, and crunchy caramelised walnuts. Nuts, like chilli flakes, increase TEF, speeding up your metabolism and consequently warming you up.

Ripe bananas add an extra caramel sweetness, whilst black treacle and cinnamon add warming winter spices. Serve steaming hot with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream for an indulgent winter dessert.

For the full winter warming recipes by Thomas Frake, please go to

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