When you think of comfort foods, what comes to mind?
Which foods are nostalgic and have a sentimental value? You know those ones that soothe your soul and make everything feel good again….
With winter well under way we crave foods with a comfort factor, whether for indulgence, nostalgia or to cater for boredom! Comfort food used to be traditional home cooked foods that brought on a sentimental feeling as you remembered your mother or grandmother cooking in the kitchen, the aromas coming from the stove and oven, the care around every ingredient that was used, the preparation, the family time. Our elders gave us the most beautiful gift in providing nourishing home cooked meals made from real ingredients that nurtured and nourished both the body and the soul. And we are finally returning back to these meals to give us love at meal times.
I’m personally a sucker for soups, broths, pho and laksa. It takes me back to my childhood, especially those days when I was sick. There was nothing more comforting than Mum bringing me the BEST chicken broth soup. It always had so much flavour, so much heart and so much love in every bowl. Eating the chunks of chicken was optional depending on how I was feeling. But that both was just the best thing in the world. And somehow it always made me feel better. Little did I know at the time (Nor did my mother) that there was a reason it made me feel better. It wasn’t all psychological!
The University of Minnesota ran a study and declared that foods have NO effect on a person’s mood. I beg to differ! Traditional broth and soup may not pull you out from a deep depression, but it can certainly remedy many ailments that will elevate your mood! Being such a healing elixir of nutrients it helps soothe aches and pains when down and out with the flu and heals the respiratory infection, it is one of the few foods that can be stomached when suffering with a tummy bug and for me personally is just outright comforting when I’m feeling miserable and down in the doldrums.
As I grew older, the Asian varieties of laksa and pho became my best friend through Uni. Load those soups up with lime and chilli! I could have it them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Little did I know at the time that I was consuming the healthiest comfort food around. The carriage, fats, gelatin containing amino acids (arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline), protein and minerals all working their magic on my body.
There is nothing quite like wrapping your hands around a warm mug of bone broth. It’s cozy, it’s soothing, it’s reliable, it’s comforting and it’s nourishing. It’s been around since prehistoric times and is once again making a surge into main stream culture, which excites me to the core!
What are some of your favourite comfort foods?