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Comfort without Compromise: Food That Your Tastebuds and Body Would Love

Comfort food has been with you through your highs and lows. And yet, despite its ability to sweep away the blues, gorging down on these carb-heavy mouthfuls shouldn't be your regular.

Maintaining a balanced diet can be especially difficult when your coping mechanisms involve savory and deeply fulfilling food.

Of course, there's no harm in treating yourself to a heaping breakfast plate of fried chicken and waffles every once in a while. All things are great in moderation. But in the challenges that you face daily and the rising pressure that comes with it, you might succumb to a bowl of ice cream more often than what's recommended.

You'd be smarter to remind yourself that satisfying spoonfuls of your choice comfort dish are nothing but a blissful respite. It can have terrible long-term effects on your body when not properly monitored. But this is also not the end.

There are plenty of healthier alternatives to transform your usual calorie-packed food into glowing nutritious servings. Here we'll show you two heartwarmingly delicious recipes that won't let you down in the health department.

Apricot Bulgur Muffins

As rice alternatives go, bulgur wheat sits at the top of our recommendations. And it's not only because it's a low-calorie and high-fiber grain — although this is already impressive on its own — but because it's a truly versatile food ingredient.

From salads and paella to hearty desserts like these apricot muffins, you'll have countless ways to enjoy eating bulgur. Sonia from The Healthy Foodie created this spectacular recipe with bulgur, and we'd love for you to try these out with Duru Bulgur's Fine grains. These muffins are perfect whenever you need a snack for a quick fill.

Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes

Servings: 12 large muffins

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Fine Bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup date paste
  • ½ cup unpasteurized honey
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add-ins and garnish:

  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 chopped cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the Fine Bulgur and boiling water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients and whisk well. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients all together. Once 15 minutes have passed, it's time to put the soaked bulgur along with the wet mixture. Stir it well, and then add in the dry mix.
  3. Get the chopped apricots, walnuts, and shredded coconut and fold them into the rest of the mixture.
  4. Prepare your muffin pan and line it with paper liners. Scoop out equal parts of the mixture and place them on each muffin cup. The batter should be mounded higher than the cups. Use extra slices of apricot or walnut to garnish the top.
  5. Put these in the oven for 10 minutes at 425°F, then decrease the temperature to 350°F for another 8 to 10 minutes. To test if they're ready, insert a toothpick at the center of the muffin, and it should come out clean. The muffins should appear golden at this point.
  6. Take the muffins out to cool down for a few minutes. You can store these in an airtight container for up to a week.

Vegan Mushroom Bolognese

Red sauce spaghetti with meatballs is classic comfort food that can swiftly take you back to your childhood days. But now that you've grown older and wiser, you may be looking for more gut-friendly and low-fat options.

Here's a special treat inspired by Janine Ratcliffe's vegan bolognese. We've gone and replaced the dried porcini mushrooms with a few aromatic drops of Umbria Terra Di Tartufi's White Truffle Oil. Read on and try this out for your next meal.

Prep and cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • Few drops of White Truffle Oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g finely diced chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 stalks of finely diced celery
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • Star anise
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Small bunch of torn basil
  • 400g tagliatelle

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large non-stick pan and once it's hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the chestnut mushrooms, add a pinch of salt and keep frying until they soften and release liquid. Continue stirring until the moisture has disappeared and the mushrooms have turned dark golden brown.
  2. Take out the mushrooms from the pan, then add in the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Pour in another tablespoon of olive oil and stir. Put on the lid and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Gather your herbs (thyme and rosemary leaves), celery salt, star anise, and tomato purée. Add them to the pan. Place your cooked chestnut mushroom back in as well.
  4. Stir your sauce for a minute, then toss in your chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. You'll know the sauce is ready once it's rich and thick. Add a few drops of White Truffle Oil to your liking. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way because of its heady aroma.
  5. Toss in the basil just before serving.
  6. For the tagliatelle, cook according to the pack's instructions. Drain and toss into the sauce to serve.

These two recipes prove that you can enjoy eating food that comforts your soul without compromising your health. As you go further down your wellness path, you're bound to discover more options available for you. And once you do, The Goodwill Market will be glad to have your back. Find sugar-free and gluten-free options from our online shelves. We're here to serve you veritable essentials for your daily nutrition. — (TGM)

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