Whenever you miss home or someone, you cook something that will give you that nostalgic feeling. This is called comfort food. Comfort foods will give you emotional satisfaction, but it’s characterized by high carbohydrate or sugar content. If you do not want unnecessary things, you should consider modifying comfort food recipes.
Remember that if you modify your recipes, you can pass it down to your kids in the future. Comfort foods do not need to be unhealthy. You just need to know quick comfort food recipes that are good for the body.
Here are some tips for modifying your recipes:
Replace your oil
As much as possible, you should use cooking oil sparingly. It’s prudent to consider baking, as it requires little to no oil. If you need to sauté or fry, at least replace your regular cooking oil (like coconut and palm oil) with healthier oils like extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil.
Avoid heavy cream
Homemade mac and cheese is a favorite, but it’s loaded with heavy cream, cheese or butter. This is not good for you. If you prepare dishes with creamy sauces, you should ditch the heavy cream and try to create a healthier cream substitute – using low-fat milk thickened with flour.
This substitute can significantly decrease the calories and saturated fat intake. If you make potato salads or other creamy salads, try to use low-fat mayonnaise or reduced-fat sour cream. One tablespoon of this substitute has 90 calories and 10 grams of fat.
Skip the saltshaker
You should limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg or equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt every day. This is challenging to determine, especially if you do not prepare most of your meals. The best thing to do is to prepare your meals and ensure that you replace added salt with sodium-free taste enhancers like squeezed lemon or lime and chopped fresh herbs.
Use whole-wheat flour
If you’re preparing bread and cookies, the traditional way is to use all-purpose flour. If you want to be healthy, you should modify the recipe a little. You just need to try using whole-wheat flour instead. It will add more fiber to your diet – about 12 more grams every cup. It will also boost your magnesium, zinc and B vitamins.
Add vegetables and grains to meaty dishes
Meat dishes like meatloaf and burgers are satisfying, but if you want to enjoy it without tipping the calorie scale, you can add whole grains or diced vegetables to the meat. This will bulk up the portion size, and it will avoid tipping the calorie scale. You can start putting at least ¾ to 1 cup of diced vegetables and cooked grains for every pound of meat.
Reduce the cheese
Cheese will undoubtedly improve the taste of any dish, but if you want a healthier upgrade, you should consider extra-sharp goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano or cheddar. It will give you that flavor but with lesser fat and calories.
You can modify comfort food recipes to integrate more fiber, vegetables, and fruits in your diet. This will also significantly decrease the saturated fat, salt, and sugar, which are not good for your health.