Healthy Ways to Transform College Students’ Favorite Foods
It’s Monday morning. You’re sitting in your 11am class, starving, because you overslept and didn’t have time to eat breakfast. Class is almost over and you are ready to book it home so you can whip up one of your favorite foods. Sound familiar? As college students, we tend to always be in a rush and end up forgetting to pack a snack- let alone a healthy and filling one. By the time we get home, we end up raiding our refrigerator to find anything and everything to eat. However, we don’t realize the full impact this has on our everyday health and wellbeing.
We overlook how our body needs proper nutrients to fuel our mind, body and overall spirit. There are many sayings that I know we’ve all heard a 100 times that support how important healthy foods are for our wellbeing: “You are what you eat”, “Eat good, feel good”, or “You’re not you when you’re hungry”. The list goes on; however they are popular sayings for a reason… not to mention all of the studies and scientific proof that supports them. Because of our busy schedules and heavy workloads, we don’t always pay as much attention to eating as healthy as we should, but kiss that problem goodbye. You are about to learn how transform the classic go-to foods that college students adore into healthy alternatives of each.
Starting with everyone’s number one choice: Pizza!
Right now you are probably thinking it is close to impossible to change the pizza recipe while maintaining its same delicious and savory flavors. Here’s the trick: substituting pie crust with baked eggplant slices. By doing this you are eliminating the large amount of carbohydrates that comes from the base of the pizza, with a vegetable.
Ingredients: 1 eggplant, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, sauce and cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut up and place thick, circular pieces of eggplant on a baking sheet.
- Coat each eggplant slice with olive oil (both sides).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (flip eggplant slices over halfway through).
- Add a thin layer of sauce, diced pieces of mozzarella cheese, and cheery tomatoes on top!
- Bake for another 4-5 minutes.
- Garnish with garlic, salt, pepper, basil- which ever you prefer!
Let it cool for 5 minutes & enjoy your mini eggplant pizzas! Not only are they delicious, but a healthy replacement too!
How can we transform fried rice into a healthier food option you ask?
Simple, by using minced cauliflower instead of rice. You can either buy it chopped up or buy a cauliflower hear and cut it up yourself. I recommend buying it chopped because it saves time and effort-since we are always in a rush!
Ingredients: Cauliflower, soy sauce, egg, preferred vegetables (spinach, peas, peppers, onions)
- Sauté diced up cauliflower for 8-10 minutes with olive oil.
- Add in your favorite fried rice veggies (this can include onions, spinach, peppers, peas). Whatever you like, throw it in there!
- If you’d like to include egg, use a spatula to push vegetables around the side of the pan, creating a circle in the middle with vegetables surrounding it.
- Crack the egg in a bowl, scramble and then add to the center of the pan (scramble egg until cooked, then mix with the rest of the ingredients).
- Cook for another 5-10 minutes (depending on which veggies used).
- Mix in low-sodium soy sauce; add to taste.
There’s nothing like a classic PB&J Sandwich- that’s what I used to think too!
This recipe happens to be crafted by yours truly. By using whole wheat rice cake as a bread substitute, you are eliminating an unhealthy carb, with a healthy substitute. Instead of using jelly with too much added sugar, berries make for a natural “jelly” replacement that burst with flavor in each bite! This recipe can be eaten for breakfast or a snack during the day, either way it fulfills your sweet craving!
Ingredient: whole wheat rice cake, peanut butter, blueberries, blackberries, (strawberries work as well), honey
- With your whole wheat rice cake as your base, spread a thick layer of peanut butter on top.
- Wash a handful of blueberries or blackberries and lay them nicely on the spread.
- Drizzle a tablespoon of honey over the entire rice cake.
Speaking of sweet, let’s talk desserts!
I’m sure we can all agree, when it comes to dessert there is nothing like ice cream. Well, for me, of all people to say that this ice cream replacement is tied for 1st with the best “ice cream” I’ve had, that means a lot. The secret ingredient: frozen bananas. The key to making this recipe is having banana frozen prior to when you want to make this. What is also awesome about this is that if your bananas are going bad before you can finish them all, you can freeze them so they don’t go to waste! So it’s time to bring out the blender because we are about to whip of the best “nice cream” you’ll ever have.
Ingredients: 1-2 frozen bananas, almond milk, chocolate chips or any other preferred ice cream topping (peanut butter, granola, berries, sprinkles, etc.)
- Add chopped up frozen bananas to the blender.
- Pour in a cup of almond milk (other preferred milks work too).
- Blend! (you can add in topping before and/or after blending).
The frozen bananas create the consistency of the mix, so there is no ruining it. All there is left to do is spoon out your nice cream and add whatever you desire on top of your fruit based dessert!
I hope you try and enjoy these easy and efficient recipes to replace our favorite unhealthy foods.