Comfort foods awaken our senses, allow us to recall pleasant memories, and even stimulate pleasure centers in our brains. However, these foods also tend to be higher in calories, fat, sugar, and salt. This winter season, we’re here to help you find ways to enjoy your favorite, comforting dishes, without the fear of overindulging!
Power in Preparation
Many comfort food favorites can simply be prepared in a more healthful way. When in doubt, opt to bake, broil, grill, or roast! Crispy Oven Roasted Fries deliver on flavor and texture, while reducing the calories and fat that comes along with standard French fries. Is fried chicken your go-to? Try this Crispy Oven Fried Chicken for a more nutritious spin on a classic recipe!
Simple Swaps to the Rescue
Ingredient substitutions can be used to create classic comfort foods with improved nutrition. Trade high-fat mayo or sour cream for fat-free Greek yogurt in dishes like this Zesty Potato Salad. If pizza is your heart’s desire, swap flour for veggies and avoid excess calories and carbs with this tasty Cauliflower Crust Pizza. Craving ice cream? Try this naturally sweet Banana-Strawberry Ice, and enjoy a creamy texture, without the added fat and sugar.
Spices, herbs, and citrus can also be used to reduce the amount of salt and sugar in recipes. Curb your sweet tooth with this Spicy Chocolate Popcorn, featuring ginger and chili powder, with drizzles of dark chocolate. For a reduced-salt favorite that doesn’t skimp on flavor, try this spice-packed Quick Turkey Chili.
Mindfully Delighting in the Occasional Treat
In some instances, our tried-and-true comfort foods simply cannot be altered or replaced. On special occasions, use these tips to enjoy appropriate portions of the dishes that you hold most dear.
- liminate distractions and concentrate on what you are eating
- Eat slowly, and savor each bite
- Don’t feel that you have to finish everything you’ve been served
- Listen to your body—Stop eating when you are no longer physically hungry