10 Healthy Comfort Foods
Is there really such a thing as healthy comfort food? Natasha Corrett explains how you can enjoy your favourite childhood meals without sacrificing flavour.
What do you think of when you think of comfort food? ‘It’s carby and feels naughty,’ says Natasha, ‘it’s also ‘manfood’ - the kind of meal my husband Simon is thrilled when I make.’ We tend to crave comfort food when we’re exhausted – either emotionally or physically – and when we’re intuitively looking to slow down.
Carbohydrates promote serotonin production, so when we crave potatoes or pasta it can be our body’s way of telling us we need more of this feel good neurotransmitter. Many of us have come to feel guilty when we eat starchy foods but the fact is we do need some carbs in our diet as they are critical for our brain, kidneys, and red blood cells.
It’s all about moderation, says Natasha: ‘You can’t just eat lean salads all the time,’ she says, ‘if you never allow yourself to have comfort food then you are going to crave it at some point and go for the unhealthy version - which is either full of sugar or gluten’.
So how do you make comfort food healthy? ‘I don’t cook with any wheat, gluten, cow’s dairy, refined sugar so by omitting those things the food is naturally healthier, plus I pack the recipes full of vegetables,’ says Natasha.
This rule even applies to the brownies, featured below:
‘Using sweet potato gives the brownies a wonderful texture. It also means you can use less sweetener [in this case date syrup] since you have the natural sugar of the sweet potato,’ says Natasha, ‘So, you can have your cake and feel like you’re polishing your halo at the same time!’
Here are ten of Natasha’s Favourites:
- Mac & Cheese
- Sticky Toffee Pudding and Custard – Honestly Healthy For Life
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Vegetarian Gluten Free Lasagne
- Pea Carbonara – Honestly Healthy
- Pasta Pesto Frittata – Honestly Healthy Gluten Free Pasta E-Book
- Banana and Pecan Bread
- Sienna’s Spaghetti Bolognaise - Honestly Healthy For Life - Wild Mushroom and Millet Risotto
- Butterbean and Butternut Curry - Honestly Healthy Cleanse