So you’ve had a long day. Someone was rude to you at work, your car broke down or simply nothing went your way. Those French fries across the street are calling your name and when you get home to open the fridge, you remember the ice cream you have stashed at the back of the freezer just hiding behind the ice cube trays.
But before you reach for that tub, hold your horses! There are a few ways you can make some of the most popular comfort foods a little bit healthier!
You can choose low fat versions, bake instead of fry, use fresh ingredients to make your own instead of using store-bought ingredients, and so much more! Here are a few ideas on how to modify (healthify?) 6 of the most popular comfort foods:
OK so what you really want are French fries…but how about having tasty baked potatoes skins instead?
Bake the potato until it is soft inside and cut it in half so you can scoop out the inners. Keep the skin and drizzle with olive oil and spices of your choice (we like cyan pepper and Himalayan salt), sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and pop back in the oven until crispy. Yum!
2. Ice Cream
Want a healthier substitute? Freeze one of your fruit smoothies and voila! You can now eat it like it's ice cream.
Simply pop a bunch of chia seeds in low fat Greek yogurt and soak for at least an hour in the fridge (or even the freezer overnight for an ice cream substitute). Add a spoon of honey if it needs sweetening.
Use shredded chicken instead of roasted chicken (less fat) and try out a quinoa crust. Make sure it is chock full of veggies! Note: to get that creamy texture for the innards, you can roll the vegetable/ meat filling in a little flour (wheat or garbanzo flour works), and as the ingredients cook, their juices will form a cream-like sauce.
5. Fried Egg for Breakfast
How about mini egg white frittatas? Grab your muffin tray and coat with oil or butter (something to prevent the food from sticking). Pop in a handful of spinach and a thick slice of tomato.
Pour whisked egg whites over the produce and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Much better! Plus the small portion will allow you to only eat half an egg if you choose!
Try it with sliced zucchinis and eggplants instead of pasta, and use fresh tomatoes in a food processor instead of store-bought sauce. You can always thicken it with some finely chopped pine nuts or almonds. Also, don’t forget to choose a part skimmed or low fat cheese option for these recipes!
So there you have it — 6 popular comfort foods made a little bit healthier. Now you can come home, munch on them, and tuck in after a rough day without feeling worse when you wake up the next day! How do YOU "healthify" your favorite comfort foods?