Healthy Fall Comfort Foods

Healthy Fall Comfort Foods

What does fall mean to you? Does it conjure up images of falling leaves and pumpkin patches? Fall if all about comfort and there’s nothing more comforting than a great meal.

We have healthier versions of classic fall comfort foods to cozy up to.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte


Fall is without a doubt pumpkin spice season. This vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe from Wholefully has just 195 calories per serving while a Starbucks drink has a whopping 380 calories! The original recipe from Wholefully called for coconut milk but we decided to omit the coconut milk.

Start by whisking together ¼ cup pumpkin puree, 2 cups of unsweetened almond, oat or soy milk, 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture for 5 minutes while stirring continuously.

For the pumpkin spice mix, mix together 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of allspice, ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

Remove the pumpkin puree and almond milk mixture from the heat and add in the pumpkin spice mix, 2/3 cup of brewed coffee and stir.

Pour into mugs and sprinkle with a little pumpkin spice mix or cinnamon.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


This Pumpkin Mac and Cheese from The Iron You is the perfect combination of fall flavors and comfort food. Each serving has around 270 calories and serves 5.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. In a saucepan on very low heat, start by melting ½ cup grated Dubliner or aged cheddar or sweet cheddar with 1 pat of butter and 2 tablespoons of milk. Add 2 cups of pumpkin puree and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Cook whole wheat pasta slightly before al dente. Remember, the pasta will continue cooking in the oven so it’s best to leave it a little underdone. Add cooked pasta to the cheese and pumpkin puree and mix well. Spoon the mixture in a lightly greased baking dish.

The original recipe recommends just sprinkling panko bread crumbs for the topping. But we decided to add more flavor to our panko.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons whole wheat panko bread crumbs, a pinch of garlic powder (add more or less according to taste), and 1 tablespoon of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Sprinkle the panko mixture on top of the pasta and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup


This Italian soup of meat and vegetables from Eating Bird Food is a hearty treat during the colder months. One serving has 242 calories and plenty of fiber.

Start by heating 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 chopped carrots, 1 chopped yellow onion, and 2 chopped celery hearts. Cook the mixture until soft and translucent. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add sautéed vegetables and add 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes, 1 peeled and diced potato, 1/2 head of thinly sliced savoy cabbage, 2 cubed medium sized zucchini, 1 can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed), 1 can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed), 1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed), 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 2oz rind of parmesan cheese, 1 bay leaf, 2 cups of water, and 32oz chicken or vegetable stock into the slow cooker. Cook the mixture on high for 4 hours or until potatoes are cooked and fork tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper, remove the rind and bay leaf, sprinkle fresh parsley and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Keto Mulled Wine


This mulled wine recipe from Vegannie isn’t just keto-friendly, its vegan, low-carb and gluten-free too! This recipe serves 5 and has 116 calories per serving.

Combine 1 bottle of red wine, 1 sliced orange, 2 cinnamon sticks, 5 whole cloves (the original recipe called for 8 cloves) and 8 drops of liquid stevia extract (or any sweetener you prefer) in a stockpot and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer for at least 15 minutes but don’t let it boil. Take off the heat, ladle on mugs and serve. You can also add ¼ cup of brandy but we prefer to add the juice of 2 oranges and 2 tablespoons of brown rum.


"Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte" - Wholefully

"Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mac and Cheese" - The Iron You, March 12, 2013

"Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup" - Eating Bird Food

"Keto Mulled Wine" - Vegannie