6 Winter Comfort Foods That Are Actually Good For You

By Clare Acheson
19th Jun 2016

winter comfort foods
winter comfort foods

When it comes to chilly days, all too often we reach for the nearest carb-fest to warm us from the inside out, and we know we’re not alone in our secret cold-snap binging. Snuggly roasts, drool-worthy meats, and every variety of carbohydrate are our culinary electric blankets, and, as a result, by then end of winter our bod tends to resemble a sack of potatoes (and, let’s be honest, if we had a sack of potatoes right now we’d suggest you fry those suckers up).

The struggle is real, people, but it’s going to be shorts season before you can say ‘pass the salt’, so we’ve partnered with our buddies at Youfoodz to bring you six delicious winter comfort foods you can indulge in guilt-free this winter. And if the #foodporn pictures aren't enough to tempt you, .

Here’s why you should be going hard on these six delicious cold-weather comfort foods (not to mention, YouFoodz is giving everyone a FREE AMERICAN-STYLE HOTDOG meal with every order made before next Wednesday 22nd. Done deal.):

#1: Hearty Home-Style

There’s nothing quite like a home cooked meal to warm the soul and fill the belly, and we’re calling it; casseroles take the top spot every time! Crammed with a tonne of veggies, heart-healthy lentils and energy-sustaining proteins, casseroles are their very own one pot superfood. Bow down!

If the thought of hours of pre-prep (those veggies wont chop themselves) isn’t exactly compelling you to pull on that apron—yawn—, do yourself a favour and stock up on Youfoodz’ Healthy Meatball & Mushroom Casserole for those extra chilly nights. 

#2: (Not So) Fast Food

Nothing has you reaching for the takeaway menu or hitting up your nearest drive-in faster than when the temps drop. Cooking is hard when it’s cold! Fried feeds are the holy grail come wintertime, but unfortunately they just undo all of that hard work you put in during bikini season when enjoyed too often. Life’s a bit of a b***h like that.

If you’re looking for ways to dodge the excess calories, but still want to indulge in your favourite treats every now and again, smart swaps are your best friend. Youfoodz take on a classic cheat meal has all of your bases covered; the American Spud Dog still has the classic kransky, caramalised onions, cheese, even sauce (!), but have swapped out the carb-loaded bun with a healthier alternative, roasted spuds. Nice!

#3: Spicy Treats  

Winter and spicy foods go together like Posh and Becks (the hot seasoning is obviously Becks in this scenario). Heat-laced spices have long been toted as able to help flush out a blocked nose or head cold, but there’s actually some science to the folklore. Turmeric, a common curry spice, is anti-bacterial, meaning it’ll kill any nasties that they come in contact with, as well as warming you up from the inside out.  

While we’d never stand in the way of you and your meat, the key thing with seasoning is to remember to go easy on the oil, and load up your accompanying rice or salad with as many veggies as you can handle—peas, pumpkin, sweet potato and eggplant make for ideal inclusions, especially when paired with chickpeas, which are both low-carb, and great for keeping you full and energy-fuelled all day. Couldn’t be bothered making it from scratch? Youfoodz have your back with this delish Charcoal Chicken & Dirty Rice. We’ve got a fridge stocked with these handy single servings.

#4: Yes You Mexi-Can

Burrito fans, you too can survive the winter months without blowing out, thanks to one glorious spherical invention: the burrito bowl. Packed with beans—a good-for-you slow release energy source that’s great for building muscle—burrito bowls are your new best friend. Youfoodz do an epic burrito bowl with black beans, beef, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and loads of fresh veg (get a load of it here). Bonus: unlike its tortilla wrapped cousin, the burrito bowl is a cinch to eat, so can be consumed without shame at your desk, or in public. (Stay classy, Mexican fans.)

But Mexico's culinary blessings don't stop there: Youfoodz also do a mean enchilada that's as nourishing as it is filling. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too, kids.

#5: Pesto Gnocchi

All hail, the ultimate winter comfort food. Gnocchi is one of our all-time favourite winter dishes, because anything made from potato and covered in pesto is going to be a winner, but if you’re looking to pimp your pasta this winter, make sure you’re adding in a few handfuls of fresh spinach to your carb delight. Why? It’s physics people! Beefing up a sensible serve size with leafy greens means you’ll consume less of the potato parcels, with all the noshing pleasure that comes with your fave Italian dish. Youfoodz do a mean, good-to-go pesto gnocchi that is the perfect base for your spinach feast, ready to be eaten while wrapped in a doona in front of Netflix.

#6: Sunday Roast

No, this is not a drill. Having yourself the most lavish of winter roast dinners CAN be good for you, so long as you’re going easy on the red wine and plating up a medley of mouth-watering veggies alongside your roast, and not just a stack of roast potatoes.

If a roast with all the trimmings is a little bit too much hassle (because on, like, a Tuesday, you ain’t getting me to peel one carrot let alone a whole bag…), here’s one we made earlier: Youfoodz Rosemary Roast Lamb With Veg, And Mint Pea Mash. You’re welcome.

Image credit: Youfoodz

Editors note: This article is sponsored by Youfoodz and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy. 

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