Guilt-free goodness: Take your favorite fall comfort foods to the next level
There’s nothing quite like a good dose of comfort food on a chilly day. But some of those savory delights are a little light on nutritional value. As we grow older, our nutritional needs change — for instance, vitamin B12, folic acid and potassium are all of particularly great value in a senior diet. But, that doesn’t mean you have to say farewell to your favorite dishes. In fact, with a few simple modifications, the classics can keep you healthy and satisfied. Whether you’re prepping for a family get-together or just fixing an everyday lunch, look for opportunities to take your seasonal specialties to the next level.
Swap for seasonal powerhouses
Say your favorite fall meal is a hearty pasta, but it leaves you feeling a bit weighted down. Why not swap the noodles for vegetables? Vegetables are nutrient-dense and pack a ton of flavor, making them both delicious and a great source of energy. Fall gives us a bounty of gourds, and nearly all of them make excellent pasta substitutes. Zucchini, squash and pumpkin noodles cook in no time and serve as excellent vehicles for your favorite pasta sauces and toppings. And, if you don’t have a spiralizer at home, you can grab pre-made veggie noodles at many grocery stores and make a healthy, hearty meal without any hassle.
Reach for nutrient-rich options
Not every fall staple has a simple substitute, but there’s almost always room for adjustment. For instance, think of a nice piece of bread. Very few items can offer a comparable chew or come anywhere near the versatility of a good slice of bread. So, instead of cutting bread out entirely, look into your options for stepping up the nutritional value of the bread you do eat. Sprouted whole grain and 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain breads are low on the glycemic index and can be a good source of fiber, which supports healthy digestion and can help protect against heart disease.
Find a new favorite
Sometimes the best twist on an old favorite is an entirely new take. Say you love a rich and creamy baked potato soup. Save that one for special occasions and say hello to a cauliflower chowder for an everyday fix. You’ll still get that creamy taste and wonderful texture from the other vegetables in this hearty offering. And even the biggest potato fans should be pleased to find that cauliflower brings plenty of flavor to the table, too.
Get even more nutrition know-how (and inspiration) from our collection of recipes and resources. And, once you have a new favorite, why not share the flavors of the season in the company of new friends? Get in touch to learn more about life at Holiday Retirement.