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Healthy Updates to 7 Old-School Favorite Foods

By KERI GLASSMAN

Today we're taking a look at old school food favorites and transforming them with a modern delicious, nutritious twist. Hope you will enjoy.

1. PB&J
This childhood classic that withstands temperature changes and smooshing can be made new again by using NuttZo. Have you heard about this new organic nut butter made from 7 different nuts and seeds? It contains peanuts almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and hazelnuts, and it contains 50% of your  Omega-3 ALA per serving, taking classic peanut butter to a whole new level of nutrition. NuttZo is full of heart healthy fats and antioxidants. Spread it on whole grain bread or high fiber crackers, and while you're upgrading your nut butter, why not try substituting your sugar-filled jelly with freshly sliced strawberries, an all fruit spread or even dehydrated fruit for a little crunch?

Related Articles:
17 Reasons Why You Probably Need More Omega-3s in Your Diet
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2. Spaghetti & Meatballs
Don't roll your eyes before you try spaghetti squash and turkey or grass fed meatballs. Roasted spaghetti squash is a fierce alternative to regular pasta and turkey or grass fed meatballs are lower in fat than most conventional meatballs. Add some marinara for an extra dose of nutrition. Never made spaghetti squash? No problem, here's how.

3. Beans & Rice
It is truly hard to improve on beans and rice, but even the most devoted lover has to admit that cooking time is a factor in making this dish perfect. If your modern self doesn't have hours to labor over those beans, whip up some quinoa in 20 minutes and pair it with peas (opt for frozen peas instead of canned to avoid BPA and toxic chemicals) for a delicious balance of fiber rich, nutrient dense flavor.

Related Articles:
Tips to Avoid Toxins in Packaged Foods
Quinoa: How to Pronounce It and Why You Should Eat It

4. Cheese & Crackers
(Moo)ve over cheese (full of saturated fat) and crackers (not much nutrition here), make way for guacamole (heart healthy fats) and baked lentil chips (higher in fiber, with whole food ingredients than most crackers). You will love the butter and crispy replacement and your waistline will love the switch!

5. Pigs in Blanket
Back in the day, old hors d' oeuvres rules required mini artery clogging, sodium filled hot dogs wrapped in processed bread and toasted up to serve to dinner guests. I know they are beloved, but it's best if you limit yourself to one or two per year. Replace this piggy cocktail failure with goat cheese stuffed dates. They're full of fiber and the sweet and savory punch will be all the rage at your next dinner party. You and your guests will love them!

6. Cookies & Milk
While nothing could possibly replace this duo, for a more grown-up version try a date & nut bar instead of cookies and a "skinny latte" instead of milk. Depending on the exact type of date & nut bar, you may want to consider dividing it into smaller pieces to make sure you don't overdo it - keep in mind portion control. This combo improves the nutrition profile by lowering the calories and adding antioxidants. Dates, nuts and low fat milk fuel this treat, making it snack-worthy every once in awhile.

7. Macaroni & Cheese
Try replacing macaroni and cheese with whole grain pasta carbonara, which is a delicious pasta dish dressed with egg and a little parmesan, instead of all that cheese. You can even add some Canadian bacon, leftover vegetables or a couple of spoonfuls of marinara for extra flavor.

We hope you will enjoy these "healthified" takes on classic comfort foods. You can always go back to the classics from time to time, but make these your new "go to" modern upgrades.

Readers - Which of these old school faves do you love? Are there any that you hate? Will you try any of these healthier new school "upgrades"? Which one will you be making first? Do you "healthify" other classic comfort foods by changing and updating the recipes yourself Leave a comment below and let us know?

Keri is a contributing editor and advisory board member for Women's Health Magazine, and she is also the Nutrition and Health contributor for NBC's New York Live. Keri is regularly featured on national television programs including NBC's The Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America, Access Hollywood Live, The View, The Talk, The Chew, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, The Rachael Ray Show, The Steve Harvey Show, MSNBC, The Fox News Channel, and CNN. She hosts an original series called "A Little Bit Better" which is featured on Youtube's LIVESTRONG Woman channel.

Keri resides in New York City with her children, Rex and Maizy. Whether she is training for a marathon, going to the farmers' market, or drinking her nightly cup of herbal tea, Keri lives and breathes a Nutritious Life while inspiring others to do the same.

Follow Keri on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+, and Pinterest!

>> Read more of Keri Glassman's articles here! <<

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