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Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Comfort Foods

Strawberry shortcake

Comfort food is one of the elemental parts of cooking and baking that everyone encounters. The recipes or foods fill up your stomach and, in a way, your soul. This is generally why they’re called comfort food. Unfortunately, this comfort doesn’t extend to the feeling you get a few days later when you look at a scale. Comfort foods are typically high in fat and sugar. It is why people like them so much. There are a few tricks you can try though to be able to keep either your comfort food or the idea of it. OROGOLD has a few recommendations to cover just this. They should give you at least a few ideas on how to move forward into a healthier lifestyle.

Substitute Ingredients
Everyone knows the kitchen is the experimental room of the house. You always end up shy of a particular ingredient you need for a recipe and end up trying something that should work in its place. More often than not this works out just fine. Apply this to your comfort foods too. Use low fat milk when recipes call for others kinds. Switch to healthier oils for cooking. Try using a sugar substitute in the right ratio with a filler to get the flavor without the calories. There are plenty of healthier cooking and baking guides available online that can give you direct substitutes for a wide variety of ingredients. This won’t necessarily work for every recipe and might make some not turn out quite right. It should work for most though without any noticeable change in texture or taste. Consider it a nice way to update your favorite recipe that was lovingly passed down the generations.

Try a Different Kind of Sweet
A fair amount of comfort food gets classified as being “sweets”. These range from cookies to cakes to puddings. They all draw on sugars and other things that taste wonderful to create a tasty collection of flavors. Sometimes you need to step back and away from that though. If you need something sweet, OROGOLD recommends finding a fruit that you enjoy and keeping it around your home. A single fruit often is enough of a treat to satisfy a sweet craving without you needing to make a batch of cookies or a cake. That or you can slightly tweak the idea of the food you want. You can make a portion-sized and relatively healthy strawberry shortcake with a healthy mini-cake or muffin top, some sliced strawberries, and a dollop of low fat whipped cream. The idea is to go with similar flavors and textures without making the actual, often unhealthy, recipe.

Not Everything can Make the Meal
Full meals often need tweaking like we suggested in the first tip, but there’s an additional side to that. You can substitute turkey for beef and safflower oil for another oil all you like, but you might need to alter the portions of a meal too. Comfort foods that heavily feature the use of meats are one of the best examples for this. Meats have a lot of vital nutrients in them, but they can also have a lot of fat. Take the time to trim away all of the fat you can when cooking with meat. Additionally, use less of it. The same is true of recipes using heavy, starchy foods. They do taste good, but cutting a few out of the recipe and using other things as filler you’ll improve the health of the meal. It really isn’t an option in things like mashed potatoes, but you can try alternate ways of flavoring them to make them healthier. Low-fat margarine or garlic being used in a mashed potato recipe instead of butter can go a long way towards making the recipe at least a little healthier.

The main trick when it comes to finding healthier ways of enjoying comfort food or skipping it comes from a willingness to be flexible. You need to be willing to accept new flavors or textures for your cravings to break away from traditional comfort foods. OROGOLD recommends trying recipe alterations with recipes you don’t use as often at first to get the hang of the idea and see how substitutions and alterations affect different foods. That or trying recreating the idea of the food in a smaller way. The end result should be a healthier you without you needing to sacrifice much of the joy of comfort foods.

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