As the nights draw in and the weather cools it’s easy to grab some warming comfort food to make us feel cosy.
Unfortunately, a lot of traditional comfort food is not beneficial for our health if eaten regularly. Often containing a high fat and salt content, it can leave us feeling sluggish and carrying a few extra pounds.
Simply swapping a few ingredients can make all the difference whilst still maintaining the taste and that important warming feeling. Take a look at our healthier versions of some classic comfort foods.
This chilli provides heaps of protein and fibre and by using fresh ingredients it's lower in salt as well. Using beans and whole grains is a great way to keep the fat content down whilst still filling you up.
Plus, with fresh toppings it not only has a great taste there no additives either, so this recipe is a real win, win.
To serve 4-6 you will need:
- 1 chopped medium red onion
- 1 chopped large red pepper
- 2 chopped carrots
- 2 chopped celery sticks
- 12 chopped ripe tomatoes
- 2 cans of black beans
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ pint water
- Lime juice
- For the topping, chopped avocado, coriander and low-fat grated cheese and crème Fraiche.
- Add onions, pepper, carrot and celery into a pan and add olive oil and cook until tender (about 10 mins).
- Add spices and cook for a further minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes, drained beans and water, then bring to a simmer for about 30 mins.
- Remove from heat and add lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with coriander, avocado and cheese, then enjoy!
This low carb pizza crust is also low in calories and fat, and if you make your own you can ensure you get one of your vegetable helpings for the day too! Simply top with more veggies as well as some low-fat fibre and this pizza will keep you feeling warm and cosy.
To serve 4-6 You will need:
- 1 cauliflower riced
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 bag of mozzarella shredded
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Topping to taste, we like red pepper, mushroom and spinach
- Rice the cauliflower - this can be done in a food processor or blender.
- Then saute for about 10 minutes until softening.
- Add cooked cauliflower into a bowl with egg, mozzarella, garlic and seasoning and mix together.
- Form into a dough and put on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 mins until crispy and cooked through.
- Add pizza sauce, toppings and a sprinkling of cheese and back for a further 5 mins and enjoy.
Once you've tried pizza with a cauliflower crust this gluten-free variety will be a game-changer - give it a go!
Mushroom and chickpea burgers
A big burger is traditional comfort food but with more of us moving away from eating meat, what can we replace it with?
This vegetarian burger is full of fibre, high in flavour but low in fat. You can choose to eat it in a wholemeal bun or a lettuce wrap - give it a try, you just might be converted.
To serve 4-6 you will need:
- 300g chopped mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms are fine
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 chopped spring onions
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 can drained chickpeas
- 1 lemon use juice and zest
- 100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Fry mushrooms, spring onion and garlic for about 5 mins.
- Stir in curry powder, cumin, lemon zest and juice and cook for a few more minutes until fairly dry.
- Mash chickpeas with a potato masher and add to the mushroom mix
- Shape into patties and shallow fry for 3-4 mins until crispy (you can also bake but they won't be as crispy).
- Serve in a bun or a lettuce leaf with toppings of your choice - sliced tomato and jalapenos go well.
Immunity boosting green soup
After a day outside or sitting at your desk a big bowl of steaming soup is often what's needed but these are frequently loaded with hidden salts, fats and calories.
But making your own soup ensures you know what you're eating. Plus you can add the most beneficial ingredients. One of our favourites is this green soup.
This easy nutrient-packed soup will help boost your immune system and keep the hunger pangs at bay.
For 4-6 you will need:
- Big handful of kale
- 1 leek
- 4 broccoli florets
- 1 cup of cream
- 1 Pint vegetable stock
- 1 sachet Britt's Superfoods wheatgrass juice
- Pine nuts for garnish
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Reserve a few kale leaves and shred. Place in oven with a little olive oil to crisp (about ten mins) and save for garnish.
- Chop the leek and sauté, then add the chopped kale, chopped broccoli and minced garlic. Leave to soften but not burn and then add vegetable stock or just water.
- Cook until soft but not losing colour and then turn off to cool. Once cooled process in your blender.
- Meanwhile, mix the defrosted wheatgrass juice into the cream. The finished product is packed with antioxidants, which can help fight off infection and it tastes great too.
- Once the ingredients have been cooked and blended, simply bowl up, adding the wheatgrass cream, crispy kale and pine nuts as an attractive additional boost.
We hope you enjoy these recipes and give them a try. As it gets darker and cooler it’s easy to forget that our immune system is influenced by the health of our gut.
Ensuring we continue to eat a varied diet full of fruit, vegetables and pulses, gives us the best chance of creating the right environment for our gut to be happy, meaning that our immune systems are ready to go.
Adding a superfood juice to your diet can help to ensure that you're getting the nutrients and vitamins you need to stay well through the colder months.