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  • Writer's pictureKanning Kathy

Winter Comfort Foods with a Healthy Twist

Updated: Dec 5, 2017

Winter Comfort Foods Made Healthy

There’s nothing more comforting than a nice hot meal on a winter’s day. The problem is, what many of us consider to be winter comfort foods aren’t always as healthy as we might hope. Below are some slight adjustments to change our favorite comfort foods into more waistline friendly meals.

  • Macaroni and Cheese, Lasagne and Other Pastas: Use whole wheat noodles and replace any flour in the recipes with whole wheat flour. Add more vegetables and reduce the cheese and meat content.

  • Fried Chicken: Instead of frying, try baking your coated chicken.

  • Soups: Forego the canned varieties that are extremely high in sodium and cholesterol. Make yours fresh where possible. It’s not as complicated as you might think and it tastes much better. When making your own soup, always skim the fat of your soup stock and use plenty of vegetables. If you don’t have time to make your own stock, choose the low sodium pre-made varieties.

  • Chili and stew: Choose leaner cuts of meat. For example, a turkey chilli can be just as hearty and delicious as its ground beef counterpart. Of course, don’t forget to load up your chilli with vegetables. When making stew, always cut fat off the meat before cooking and use wheat flour for thickening your delicious meal. If serving bread, use whole wheat and reduce or forego the butter. A warm whole wheat baguette dipped in homemade chilli or stew just doesn’t need the extra added fat and cholesterol.

It doesn’t matter what your preferred comfort foods are, you can use these guidelines to prepare many of your favorite meals:

  • Whole wheat flour replaces white flour.

  • Olive oil replaces butter, margarine and other oils.

  • Skip the butter on bread and vegetables. Use seasoning instead.

  • Reduce sugar in recipes. Use ingredients like carrots, apple sauce, vanilla, cinnamon or other extracts to add sweet flavor.

  • Choose leaner cuts of meat and cut off any visible fats before cooking. 

  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk.

  • Reduce salt in recipes dramatically. Most recipes don’t actually need salt, excluding ones that include yeast for leavening. 

  • Cook more meals instead of eating packaged ones.

  • When in doubt, add more vegetables.

Eating healthy shouldn’t mean avoiding your favorite comfort foods. Keep these tips in mind when preparing your next meal to stay healthy, happy and trim this winter.


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