The pandemic followed by subsequent lockdowns gave everyone a lot of stress. Due to this, people relied on different things to comfort them or help them cope – one of the common options being food.
Most of us tried to deal with the lockdown by indulging in our comfort food, including all kinds of junk items and the best luxury chocolates and desserts available.
While indulging in our comfort food may have worked for us by leaving us with warmth and improving our mood to an extent, giving up on your health and fitness entirely is probably not the smartest idea.
That said, comfort food when paired with the right ingredients can prove to be healthy for your system and improve your overall lifestyle. Through a few simple tweaks, you can turn your go-to food into something healthy without compromising on taste.
So, without further ado, here are a few healthy comfort food ideas for a better lifestyle.
1) Healthy Pasta
Flour is the main backbone for every type of pasta. If pasta alternatives like zucchini or squash noodles do not appeal to your taste buds, using flour alternatives may do the trick.
Whole wheat, quinoa and oat flour are a few options you could consider for your pasta.
Although the preparation may be a little different from the traditional pasta, the health benefits it provides will be worth it.
Moreover, adding in greens like kale or leek can further enhance the nutritional value of the dish. Incorporate more green veggies instead of dairy in your pasta for a healthy and comforting pasta dish.
2) Dark Chocolate
Almost everybody’s go-to comfort food, chocolate is a sweet treat like no other. A favourite for people of all ages, chocolate serves as the ultimate comfort food across the globe.
Although chocolate may be scrumptious, the excess of sugar and added artificial ingredients, that are sometimes used in making them, can be relatively unhealthy.
Alternatives to traditional sweet chocolate or candy, however, can greatly improve your lifestyle. Opting for healthier versions like dark chocolate can prove to be good for your health. So why not indulge in luxury chocolates that are not only scrumptious and comforting but also healthy and fulfil your sweet cravings?
Although an acquired taste, dark chocolate is a great alternative due to the various health benefits it provides. It contains a lot of antioxidants and improves blood flow. Dark chocolate also reduces the risk of various heart diseases.
Another idea you can consider is to substitute regular chocolate in traditional desserts with dark chocolate to create a healthier dessert.
3) Homemade Pizza
Greasy takeout pizza may be popular amongst all. However, its effects on our body are something you must consider.
Pizza is a popular comfort food choice which can be tweaked and made much healthier. Homemade pizza, for example, is always a good idea as you can customise the pizza according to your preferences.
Switching the all-purpose flour for the pizza dough with whole wheat flour is also an instant way to make the pizza healthier. Moreover, opting for healthier toppings like veggies and lean meats will increase the nutritional value.
Furthermore, you can opt for healthier oils to make the pizza non-greasy so that you can eat to your heart’s content without worrying – after all, nothing beats eating a fresh homemade pizza!
4) Replace Beef With Tuna
Tuna serves as a great protein alternative to beef. Although this might require a little more persuasion, replacing the red meat with tuna can prove to be a much healthier choice for you.
Substituting meat with tuna for your burgers, wraps or sandwiches can help improve your lifestyle without compromising on the comfort factor.
The reason behind this is that tuna is a hearty fish with a unique texture, similar to that of beef. The omega acids and non-greasy qualities are what makes it a much better choice than beef.
Furthermore, tuna is very versatile and non-greasy; it can be cooked according to your requirements.
5) Shepherd’s Pie With Veggies
A classic dish full of warmth and hearty ingredients, shepherd’s pie can be turned into something healthier.
Through the simple addition of lentils and veggies, the dish can become more nutritional thanks to its increased fibre value and reduced fats. All this without compromising what the dish is all about – warmth.
Moreover, you can experiment and try different veggies and seasonings for extra flavour in the pie.
To Sum Up
While comfort food may provide you solace, it may not necessarily improve your lifestyle and health. One of the things the pandemic has taught us is to focus on our health.
Since the food you eat decides your lifestyle, switching to healthier options will prove to be a great choice for you in the long run. By swapping out a few ingredients in the recipes, you can make your favourite comfort food into a much better and healthier dish.
Author Bio: Rifat works as the lead of content for meltchocolates.com. She is a big fan of all things food and loves to try out new recipes. You’ll often find her immersed in a book, obsessing over fictional characters.