9 guilt-free, feel-good comfort food ideas

Comfort food is almost always associated with guilty pleasures, but it doesn’t have to be. And when we need some TLC, the last thing we want to feel is shame. That only makes matters worse. So, when it comes to comfort food, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Here are nine comfort food ideas that will help you do just that.

1. Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake

source: topwithcinnamon.com

You probably weren’t expecting chocolate to make it on this list, but we’re not talking about any old Snicker’s bar here.

Most chocolates and chocolate baked goods come mixed up with dairy, GMO’s, emulsifiers, gluten, and sugar, sugar, sugar. But chocolate doesn’t need any of those other ingredients, and this recipe proves it – there’s no gluten, dairy or grains here.

Besides, chocolate is rich with magnesium and antioxidants and supports a healthy cardiovascular system, making this fudgy cake the perfect go-to for a happier heart.

2. Guacamole with Pomegranate and Walnut Crackers

source: https://madeleineshaw.com

This might come as a surprise too, but guacamole should have a place on your comfort food menu, especially Madeleine Shaw’s refreshing take on this all-time classic.

The pomegranate seeds give a tart burst of antioxidants which can help when we’re under stress. And her walnut crackers give you a better alternative to tortilla chips, which are almost always high in calories, but very little else.

3. Spaghetti Squash Mac-n-Cheese

source: https://ifoodreal.com

You can still eat Mac-n-Cheese when you need some tasty TLC, but with this recipe, you trade a pasta-induced coma for something delicious and nourishing. And even if Mac-n-Cheese just doesn’t sound the same without noodles, just give this a try. You probably won’t even miss them once you make this easy and quick recipe.

4. Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese

source: theironyou.com

Like Mac-n-Cheese, it might be hard to imagine a satisfying comfort food without bread, but you’d be surprised how glorious cauliflower can be. This oozing sandwich does require some prep time, but futzing around in the kitchen with your favorite playlist is one great way to unwind and relieve stress.

5. Try Pho

If you like Chinese takeout, it might be a good idea to try Pho instead. This spicy Vietnamese soup is warm and filling, without being full of the processed foods, sodium and MSG that are frequently found in Chinese takeout.

With Pho, you get whole foods, like beef, onions, ginger, scallions, cilantro and a nice mix of spices like pepper, cinnamon, star anise, garlic and more.

6. Mimi’s Coconut Raisin Cookies

Save room after dinner for these treats, but don’t leave any room for guilt. These cookies are made with almond butter, maple syrup, shredded coconut and a handful of other heartwarming ingredients – perfect for any day, good or bad.

7. Sweet Potato Mash with Burnt Sage Butter and Walnuts

source: taste.com.au

Even though white potatoes and sweet potatoes have roughly the same amount of carbs, sweet potatoes are a little lower on the glycemic index and contain more fiber. So, why not try this potato mash with earthy sage butter and toasted walnuts to balance out the natural sweetness. It’s a meal on its own and a very comforting one, too.

8. Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup

source: againstallgrain.com

Sweet potatoes make an appearance in this hearty soup, too, along with butternut squash and a long list of nostalgic herbs, like thyme and rosemary. Some research shows that chicken soup can reduce inflammation in the body, as well as provide your body with nutrients that are easy to absorb. And on rough days, we need all the help we can get, making this soup every girl’s go-to comfort food.

9. 5-Minute Vegan Golden Milk

source: minimalistbaker.com

It’s hard to imagine anything better than a big mug of hot cocoa, but this golden milk might  take first place. Here, creamy almond milk is enlivened with black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and maple syrup.

And if you’re wondering why turmeric-infused milk is so comforting, here’s why. Apart from being tasty and warming, it can also lower inflammation, as well as blood sugar levels, according to Dr. Mercola.

So there you have it – nine, guilt-free, feel-good comfort foods. Which one are you trying tonight?

Salads can be downright boring, and that’s unfortunate. We need to eat vegetables as part of a healthy diet, but salads? They can be a bit blasé. But now that spring is on its way, it’s time to pry ourselves away from our cold weather comfort foods, and try some fresh and lighter fare instead. These 7 colorful salads don’t disappoint. 

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