Now that winter is here many of us are searching for shelter from the dreariness that accompanies these cold months. Whether our goal is to remind us of a better time and place, to fill the belly, or just an occasional indulgence; food can affect our mental health. The term “comfort food” has been coined for a reason. Comfort food is defined as food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, traditionally with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking. Because of this, most people do not associate comfort food with healthy food, and rightfully so, but that does not mean it has to be unhealthy. So, with a few minor recipe changes, and the mindfulness to consume in moderation, those guilty pleasures can just be pleasures. Here are some simple ideas to bring those old recipes back to the table…
- Substitute a leaner meat for your ground beef (turkey, venison)
- Use whole wheat flour and pastas
- Thicken milk with a roux instead of using heavy cream in sauces
- Utilize fat substitutes when baking (avocado, applesauce)
- Instead of frying, coat in a whole wheat panko and bake chicken
The old adage fat=flavor is not untrue, but there are so many other great flavors to use in your foods other than fats. Try using citrus, vinegars, and fresh herbs to replace fat and introduce big, bold flavors to make your comfort foods comfort your body and soul.