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6 tasty swaps for your favorite comfort foods

When cravings hit, we want to reach for salty, sweet, or fried foods… They can make us “feel good” in that moment, but are loaded with calories from sugar, fat, or salt—with little protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The problem is, when you eat unhealthy food in large amounts (without balancing it out with nourishing and whole foods), there’s a higher risk of serious health issues like chronic illnesses and diseases. And these foods can be addictive, so you may end up eating more than you wanted to. 

Small changes can make a big impact though. Did you know our taste buds change every few weeks? While there’s still hope that you may end up liking broccoli again, we have a few plant-based options that are easier to enjoy… and filled with nutritious ingredients to help you combat cravings. Plus, they’re good for your digestive system and a healthy gut, means a happier you. Check out our roundup of alternatives below. Happy eating!

Kale Chips

Made of kale leaves, these chips are baked until crispy and the perfect swap for potato chips. They’re loaded with goodness like fiber, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and antioxidants.

Find them pre-prepared in your local supermarket, or make them yourself at home. Top with sea salt, nutritional yeast for a vegan cheese-like flavor, or your favorite spices for a savory snack.  

Protein Bars

When you need an afternoon pick-me-up and reach for that candy bar, try grabbing a better-for-you protein bar with sweet ingredients like chocolate or cookie dough or caramel instead. You can still satisfy your cravings and take in some extra protein that will help you feel fuller, longer. 

Look for bars made with whole-food ingredients instead of sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients for essential vitamins and nutrients including calcium and iron. 

Veggie Pizzas

Now matter how you slice it, pizza is a favorite indulgence for many of us. This dish is one of Italy’s most delicious creations and can still be enjoyed in a healthier way with a few tweaks. Load up your pizza dairy-free cheeze and as many veggies as you like—think mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, arugula, spinach, eggplant peppers, or broccoli. You can also try gluten-free or whole wheat crusts for more complex carbs and fiber. 

Baked Fries

It’s hard to eat just one deep-fried French fry… High in fat, sodium, and oil, these greasy snacks are full of unhealthy calories. When eaten as a staple, they may not do your heart any favors down the line. Don’t worry, here’s a better-for-you option: sweet potato fries that are baked in the oven or an air fryer, not fried. You’ll still have those savory, crunchy bites, but with more vitamins and less fat. It’s a win-win. 

Banana Pancakes

Reinvent a childhood classic with banana as the star and a handful of simple ingredients. It’s so easy to make and they’re ready in minutes. Plus, kids love them too. All you need are mashed ripe bananas, eggs or egg replacement (like flax eggs, Just Egg, or Follow Your Heart) vanilla, and quick-cook oats. Upgrade the flavor with vanilla extract and cinnamon. 

You’ll get healthy whole grains, magnesium, and zinc from the oats instead of using white flour. Bananas help digestion and are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6 which can help you sleep. Top with your favorite fruits for even more nutrients. 

Chia Pudding

Jumpstart your morning or end your day on a high note with this powerhouse superfood—chia seeds. Whip up a batch of pudding that’s a great substitute for cereal, or desserts like custard and mousse. Mix together the chia with nut or coconut milk and leave it in the fridge for a couple hours. The chia gets thick with the perfect pudding consistency. Top with cacao nibs for extra sweetness. 

Did you know? Chia seeds are amazing and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (supports heart health and reduces inflammation) fiber, protein, and zinc. Just making a few simple plant-based switches to your diet can help you feel better and lead a more healthy lifestyle. Hope you enjoy trying them out and customizing them to your tastes. 

Strapped for time to cook? Try adding Veestro’s vegan meals to make healthy eating even easier.

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