Healthy Comfort Food: Our Recipes That Lift Spirit and Body


The scene is as follows: the heroine of the film has just been dumped by her boyfriend. Her best friend runs to comfort her and pulls out the heavy artillery: an XXL tub of ice cream. Seen and revised, this situation can be taken from any romantic comedy, where ice cream is the favorite post-breakup victor of a generation fed on pop culture. But this sweet treat isn’t alone in the group of beloved treats. According to Harris Interactive’s study for Deliveroo in 2018, pizza, hamburger and spaghetti carbonara are the three favorite comfort foods of the French, who also admit to falling for chocolate, pastries and cheese when feeling sad or depressed. As if, to get back on your feet after a little rest, nothing beats fat, salt, and sugar. At such times, “we don’t think about what will really be good for us, our culinary instincts are not rational at all,” explains Victoire Loeb, culinary journalist, consultant and author.

comfort food

Who has never devoured ham shells or Nutella sandwiches like an 8-year-old dreaming of better days? “There’s this idea of ​​retreat with comfort food that goes beyond even what we eat,” she continues. It’s a matter of texture, and even a container: “Eating in a bowl with a spoon can take us back to childhood and bring us that sense of relief we seek when everything is going well,” she explains. However, beyond the pleasure provided by the first bites, these hard-to-digest foods do not have truly energizing nutritional properties. Is comfort food just fast food in disguise? Nye, says Clemens Katz, co-author of Comfort food…health and organic (Éditions Terre Vivante), who offers a slew of (really) helpful recipes in her book. Brain-bursting healthy dishes with textures worthy of even the most comforting foods. For us sauces, creams, gratins, purees! And if it’s made with spirit-boosting ingredients, even better. On the other hand, this contains magnesium (a puissant antistress by nature), tryptophane (which is part of the production of serotonin), omega-3 (which maintains equilibrium nerves) and vitamin C (which tones the nerves). body). Follow the guide.

The (Really) Convenient Shopping List

In order not to fall into a slump, chef and naturopath Angèle Ferreux-Maeght makes a list of foods that should always be in the house.

cabbage This super food is full of chlorophyll, iron, vitamin C, and folic acid, which aid in the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness.

Comfort food recipe? Cabbage chips are prepared by rubbing the leaves with a little olive oil, mustard, brewer’s yeast, and soy sauce. Bake at 160°C for 20 to 30 minutes until you get crispy sheets of good quality.

Small fatty fish Its Omega 3 content allows for better communication between nerve cells and more neurological stability during times of stress or slight anxiety.

Comfort food recipe? We make creamy rillettes by crushing herring, mackerel, or sardines with good raw butter and a little seaweed. We spread it all on wholemeal sourdough bread.

Oilseeds Walnuts, hazelnuts or even pumpkin seeds contain vitamin B6 and magnesium, favorite allies in the fight against depression.

Comfort food recipe? We make a homemade spread with three good handfuls of hazelnuts from Piedmont. After spreading it on parchment paper, bake it at 200ºC, until it is slightly toasted. It is then massaged with a cloth to remove the skin, and then gently blended to a creamy consistency. Melt the dark chocolate with a little vegetable milk. Mix it with hazelnuts.

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© JHJR / iStock

dark chocolate Magnesium, found in large amounts in dark chocolate, plays an important role in regulating the nervous system and has calming effects.

Comfort food recipe? We soak hot chocolate coating by heating 1 liter of vegetable milk (rice or oat), in which we melt half a wafer of dark chocolate once we turn off the heat. Mix and then sprinkle everything with a pinch of cinnamon.

trumpet cake Full of trace elements and minerals, buckwheat is a rejuvenating food and is very easy to consume in the form of pancakes, which can be bought ready-made in organic stores.

Comfort food recipe? Bring vegetables from the day before to life by reheating them in a pancake, then adding a dollop of hummus or avocado. In the sweet version, a simple drizzle of maple syrup in a preheated pancake will take you back to childhood.


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