Nik’s Picks: Healthy Comfort Food
Who says you can’t “have real cake” and eat it too? I LOVE finding great swaps that are “win/win” choices when I’m in the mood for satisfying food options that “hit the spot” while being healthy.
Win/win means that I feel great now, and feel great later. I do my best (though I’m never perfect) to crowd out win/lose habits with those that leave me feeling great all day. Win/lose means I feel good now but don’t feel great hours and sometimes even DAYS after the fact. Those types of choices just aren’t worth the aggravation they cause my gut and brain.
So when I have a craving for something sweet, indulgent, savory, salty, creamy, rich, or traditional comfort food I grew up loving, I turn to my favorites below with an “Eat this, Not that” approach.
These comfort food options are SO delicious (made from real whole foods) and leave me feeling deeply satisfied without sugar highs and crashes, bloating, fatigue, skin irritation, brain fog, or other symptoms I’d feel from their counterparts.
Nik’s Pick’s Approved Comfort Food List
**P.S. You can find most of these brands online or on their website. Where there is a * symbol, that means you can find them on Thrive Market and use this link to save up to 30% off the best Health Food brands!
*Birch Paleo Pancake/Waffle mix – this simple mix sweetened with monk fruit and entirely gluten-free and grain-free is a great option to have in your pantry for those Saturday mornings when you want pancakes. They are so buttery and delicious, get nice and golden brown on the pan, and you don’t even need syrup thanks to the monk fruit! But if you are in the mood, grab some organic maple syrup or Lakanto monk fruit maple syrup and enjoy. You’ll get some protein and fiber leaving you satiated and full for hours.
*Simple Mills Pizza – This mix doesn’t require any eggs – just apple cider vinegar, water, and healthy oil of choice. Each box makes enough for 2 people to have their own personal pizza. Once your dough is rolled out into desired shapes, bake for 15 minutes, throw on toppings, and bake another 15 minutes in the oven and you are DONE! Deep-dish style delicious thick-cut doughy crispy pizza. I love topping mine with organic sugar-free pizza sauce and if you need to go dairy-free, Miyokos and Kite Hill make great options! Top with veggies and protein!
If you don’t want to cook at all, try Capello’s pre-made pizzas in your health food store freezer section or on their website.
Capello’s Pasta – Capello’s also makes terrific grain-free pasta. The noodles are thick and savory like ramen and pair beautifully with organic sugar-free pasta sauce, veggies, protein of choice, and more. (PS you can make incredible cashew creamy alfredo sauce easily if you can’t tolerate dairy). You can find Capello’s pasta also in the freezer section of health food stores.
*Simple Mills Brownie Mix – For “Betty Crocker” style without artificial ingredients and high sugar content, use Simple Mills. Or put your own unique spin on them with these Sweet potato Brownies by Rachel Mansfield!
Capello’s Cookies or Easy DIY Recipe – For pre-made cookie dough ready to bake, Capello’s is simply the best. Cut, roll, and bake in 10 minutes flat.
For DIY cookies, check out my favorite recipe here:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
I use natural coconut sugar instead of white, processed sugar. You will never be able to tell the difference and it has less of an impact on your blood sugar. Also made with rolled oats which have heart-healthy fiber. I love One Degree Sprouted Rolled Oats on Thrive Market or at your local Health Food Store.
- 3/4 cup rolled oats*
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt*
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (Miyokos if you are dairy-free)
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar*
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (sugar-free Lily’s or Lakonto are great to reduce sugar)*
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Grind oats in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 1 sheet at a time, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
Toasted Bread- The smell of toasted bread with that golden brown, crunchy surface and fluffy inside can’t be beat, but most brands are chock full of ingredients I don’t recommend to my clients. That’s why I am SO grateful for brands like these that make incredible bread I recommend everyone try. Here are some of my faves in one place – the last one is to bake yourself. Most can be found in your local health food store’s freezer section or Base Culture is on Thrive!
- Barely Bread
- Unbun Foods – bread, pizza crust, bagels, etc.
- *Base Culture bread – LOVE this for Avocado toast, with eggs, nut butter or cheese spread, or even a toasted BLT!
- AWG Bakery
- Cloud Bread recipe – swap organic cream cheese for Miyokos brand if needed
What is your absolute favorite comfort food? If it’s not on this list, let us know as we continue to grow and share more delectable options for you to try!