Nothing says fall like your favorite cozy comfort foods! Here are a few tasty ways to make them a little better for you…
I love fall! Cooler weather is the perfect time for snuggling under the covers with a good book or your loved ones. 🙂 It’s also the time that most people think about comfort foods. But unfortunately, foods that taste good and provide a feeling of warmth or security may not always be so good for you…
This fall, enjoy these healthier versions of popular comfort foods guilt-free!
• One popular comfort food is Meatloaf. While it’s certainly delicious, meatloaf can be full of saturated fat when you prepare it using ground beef, veal and pork. You can make this dish much healthier if you choose ground turkey instead – or choose a leaner cut of beef. And don’t be afraid to try something new with this classic dish! For example, salsa and Mexican seasoning can give your meal a whole new flavor. Rather than using bread crumbs to bind the meatloaf, use shredded zucchini or summer squash to add some healthy veggies to the meal that you won’t even notice!
• What better to serve with meatloaf than my favorite – Mashed Potatoes? In some homes, a big bowl of mashed potatoes is a staple with many meals. A lower carb option instead of using potatoes is to give pureed parsnips a try. Parsnips have a similar consistency to potatoes but an entirely different taste as well as being a low-carb healthy alternative. You could also serve mashed sweet potatoes, which contain loads of healthy fiber and vitamins – and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
• Macaroni and cheese is another comfort food people turn to when the weather begins to cool. Using whole-grain pasta instead of white pasta will provide a healthier source of carbs without greatly affecting the taste. You can also add steamed vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower or spinach – to the dish for additional fiber and nutrients.
• Chicken noodle soup has been enjoyed during cooler weather practically since time began – and for good reason! Numerous studies have proven that chicken soup is a natural healer. Not only does the warmth help clear congestion, it also contains naturally occurring compounds which help your body fight infection. You can make it even healthier by adding carrots, broccoli, onions and other vegetables your family enjoys – and be sure to use plenty of garlic for maximum immune-boosting power!
• Fruit Crumbles (or “Crisps”) are a wonderful fall dessert with a healthy aspect. Choose in-season fruits such as apples and pears, and use brown sugar, cinnamon, and fiber-rich oats to make the topping. Just be sure to watch the amount of sugar you use and it can be a terrific dessert for cooler weather.
• Spiced cider is a soothing beverage to round out the day. Rather than drinking coffee after dinner, have a hot, steaming cup of spiced cider instead. Not only will the warmth of the apple cider comfort you, the scent from cinnamon and other spices will warm you on a different level and put you in the perfect cozy fall mood!
Comfort food is loved by many for the sense of safety and warmth it can provide on a cool autumn day. Even if they are normally laden with extra fat or calories, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your favorite fall comfort foods in moderation – especially with some healthier modifications like those listed above.