Hard economic times tend to put people in the mood to save some money while at the same time fleeing to what is familiar. Enter the foods that make us happy, bring good memories, and make us feel “warm and fuzzy!” Comfort foods have no boundaries since each of us has our own memories. This makes such foods an ideal topic to put into focus.
• Interest in wellness and healthy lifestyles is growing. The foods that give us comfort may be in the caution zone for a healthy lifestyle. My grandmother had a perpetual can of bacon grease that served as the medium and seasoning for just about everything from her fabulous home-fries to green beans.
• Add to this the fact that for many of our customers the cooking skills (and the time) for some of the comfort foods of the past may be lacking!
Enter the supermarket staff team of registered dietitians, chefs and other culinary experts to the rescue. It’s time for a makeover of comfort foods that meet our customer’s expectations for flavor, time, and skill level and of course, nutrition.
Basic to the makeovers are:
• Experiments with spices, herbs, flavored vinegars to heighten flavor as we gently tweak the sodium and fat content.
• Introduction of alternative and whole grains, beans, and leaner protein sources to such comfort foods as chili, meatloaf, pot pies and casseroles. Such changes will help not only the budget but also the heart!
• Demonstrating basic cooking skills and giving an opportunity to taste. We can seal the deal when we pass along the idea that healthy food can taste good and... leave a warm and fuzzy feeling.