Creating Healthy Meals Out of Classic Comfort Foods
By Brandi Swieter
Cold weather often means nights in for many people. They’re not out grilling hot dogs and burgers during cookouts with friends; instead, many residents opt for comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese to keep themselves warm on the cold nights. Many of these dishes are rather unhealthy, but just a few substitutions can drastically change their calorie count.
Skip the Butter in Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes make a popular comfort food to enjoy. Some eat them as a main meal while most prefer it as the ultimate side dish. The main problem with mashed potatoes, and also the reason many believe they taste so great, is all the added fat from the milk and butter. If cooks skip all the butter and opt for olive oil instead, this won’t be a problem. Fat-free milk can also drastically reduce the caloric intake. Those who want to spruce up the taste can do so easily by simply adding some pepper or other seasonings, such as garlic, to the dish.
Make Grilled Cheese With Whole Wheat Bread
Whether people simply want a grilled cheese sandwich for the gooey cheese or they want to pair it with a creamy tomato soup, the dish is a staple throughout the cold season. White bread should never get used in this recipe. Whole wheat bread is the healthiest solution, and it should be used for this and any other bread-related meal. The cheese should be a real version rather than the store-bought slices that are almost entirely fake and bad for health.
Replace Cheese With Pureed Vegetables in Macaroni
The ever-popular macaroni and cheese fills the hearts of children and adults alike. With many ways to make the dish rather than just out of the box, it’s no wonder people love the cheesy goodness that is this dish. The cheese, however, is not ideal because it contains far too much fat. Replacing it makes for a much healthier version. Pureed carrots make a fine alternative, as does pureed butternut squash. Even a version with garlic, yogurt, and grated parmesan makes a healthier choice.
Comfort foods are meant to soothe the soul, but they don’t have to fatten the body. With just a few simple changes, anyone craving these types of meal options can make healthier choices that benefit them all around. Making homemade versions rather than purchasing store-bought creations is also preferable for optimal health results.
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