While our sweet tooth can be called upon at any time, comfort food cravings are inevitable during the winter months. Not only are we surrounded by holiday treats for months on end, but there’s something about the chilly weather and cozy atmosphere that intensifies our desire for warmth and indulgence. From fresh-baked pies and holiday cookies to hearty dishes like mashed potatoes and pasta, it’s hard to resist the urge to indulge. However, rather than restrict yourself, what if you could indulge in a mindful way? Enter: antioxidant-rich snacks that satisfy both your comfort cravings and your commitment to well-being. Cheers to mindful indulgence!
The 10 Healthiest Comfort Food Snacks Packed with Antioxidants
#1 Pitted Dates with Ricotta Cheese and Cacao Nibs
Packed with nearly 7 grams of gut-healthy fiber per serving, Medjool dates are so much more than nature’s candy. They’re full of antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids, not to mention nutrients like potassium, copper, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
To make this yummy comfort food, stuff them with a spoonful of ricotta, cottage cheese, or your favorite nut butter. And for an extra flavonoid punch, sprinkle them with antioxidant-rich cacao nibs for a chocolate, crunchy treat.
#2 Apple Nachos
When you’re craving something sweet and crunchy, these apple nachos are just the thing. Rich in flavonoids and quercetin, which are highly concentrated in the apple skin, antioxidant-rich apples have been shown to protect the brain from oxidative stress and support digestion. The addition of vitamin E-rich almond butter and omega-rich nuts and seeds takes this comfort food snack to a whole new level of healthy.
Here’s how to make it:
Step #1: Start by thinly slicing any apple variety of choice. Then, arrange them on a plate or platter.
Step #2: Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with almond butter.
Step #3: Add antioxidant-rich toppings, such as chia seeds, cacao nibs, and crushed nuts (like almonds and walnuts). Option to add shredded coconut and a drizzle of raw honey.
#3 Baked Peaches with Coconut Yogurt
Rich in vitamins A and C, essential antioxidants for skin health and immune function, it’s no wonder peaches are expected to be a top trending food this year! Full of sweet and juicy flavor, they’re the perfect comfort food when you want something sweet without the excess sugar. When baked and topped with probiotic coconut yogurt, they mirror an ice cream-like dish.
Here’s how to make them:
Step #1: Simply halve a fresh ripe peach and remove the pit.
Step #2: Then, drizzle with raw honey, and bake until soft and tender.
#4 Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and polyphenol antioxidants, avocados are one of the healthiest antioxidant sources to reach for. And let’s not forget about cacao, an excellent source of flavonoids. The combination of these ingredients not only creates a mouth-watering comfort food snack, but it also serves as a guilt-free antioxidant-rich treat.
- 1 cup of coconut milk or creamy non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted
- 1-2 tbsp raw honey
- 2-3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
Step #1: Scoop out the flesh from the avocado and add to a high-speed blender along with the remaining ingredients.
Step #2: Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste test and adjust ingredients as desired. Enjoy!
#5 Whipped Cottage Cheese Cups with Berries
This three-ingredient snack tastes like dessert, except it’s low in sugar and jam-packed with antioxidants, protein, and minerals. Whipped into creamy perfection, cottage cheese, the viral star of this treat, is packed full of protein.
As an added bonus, berries like blueberries and strawberries provide a burst of all-natural sweetness while skyrocketing the antioxidant capacity of this dish! Shown to reduce inflammation, fight free radical damage, support cognitive health, and reduce the effects of aging, don’t underestimate the power of these small but mighty fruits.
Here’s how to make this antioxidant-rich comfort food snack:
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup mixed strawberries and blueberries
Step #1: In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the cottage cheese, vanilla extract, and raw honey or maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste test, adjusting any ingredients as desired.
Step #2: Once desired taste and consistency is achieved, transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to chill and firm.
Step #3: Serve with fresh berries, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and an optional drizzle of honey.
#6 Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts
If you’re team-savory, these crispy smashed Brussels are calling your name! Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins like C and K, Brussels sprouts are one of the healthiest cruciferous veggies — and they just so happen to make a mouth-watering comfort food dish!
Here’s how to make them:
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
To serve (optional):
- Nutritional yeast
- Parmesan cheese
- Dijon mustard
Step #1: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Meanwhile, boil Brussels sprouts in a pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until slightly tender. Drain and cool.
Step #2: Once cooled, place Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet. Gently smash each sprout with a fork or the bottom of a glass.
Step #3: Drizzle olive oil over the smashed Brussels sprouts then season with salt and pepper. Option to add any additional toppings such as nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.
Step #4: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are crispy and golden brown.
#7 Chaga Hot Chocolate
Give your health a boost with this cozy, comforting beverage. Not only will it satisfy all your chocolate cravings, but it will also help modulate your immune system, protect against free radical damage, and supply your body with a slew of nutrients (including B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and calcium). While there are so many beneficial medicinal mushrooms — including Reishi mushroom, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, and Turkey Tail Mushroom — Chaga boasts more antioxidants in comparison. In fact, it’s believed to be one of the highest sources of antioxidants in the world! We paired it with polyphenol-rich cacao for a dynamic combo that packs
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp Chaga mushroom powder
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup or honey, optional
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of cinnamon, optional
- Whipped coconut cream, optional, to serve
Step #1: In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk over medium heat until warm but not boiling.
Step #2: Once heated, pour mixture into a high-speed blender with the Chaga powder, cacao powder, honey or maple syrup, vanilla extract, and pinch of cinnamon. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Step #3: Pour into a mug to serve. Option to top with coconut whipped cream or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
#8 Olive Oil Marinated Artichoke Hearts
This simple, savory snack contains two rich sources of antioxidants: artichoke hearts and olive oil. Staples in the Mediterranean diet, one of the healthiest diets in the world, these foods are a great source of monounsaturated fats and polyphenol antioxidants. Research indicates that these antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and polyphenols, may play a role in reducing inflammation and protecting cells from oxidative stress. Dip in hummus, serve with crackers, or enjoy alone as a healthy comfort food snack.
#9 Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
A crunchy and satisfying snack, roasted pumpkin seeds are not only delicious, but they are also packed with antioxidants and healthy fats. And interestingly enough, enjoying pumpkin seeds in their roasted form proves to be the best way to obtain their full antioxidant profile! According to research, the total antioxidant capacity of pumpkin seeds increases as the roasting temperature increases. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and zinc.
To make the pumpkin seeds, lightly coat the pumpkin seeds with coconut, avocado, or olive oil and toss with cinnamon and sea salt. Then, spread pumpkin seeds evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
#10 Matcha Coconut Butter Cups
Rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and reduces inflammation, matcha is one of the most powerful antioxidant sources. While traditionally enjoyed in matcha lattes, we’re mixing this antioxidant powerhouse with melted coconut butter for a sweet treat that’s easily made paleo and keto-friendly. Covered in polyphenol-rich cacao, this healthy comfort snack will help you kick sugar cravings and support your overall health.
- 1 cup coconut butter
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional for non-keto)
- 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (for the chocolate coating)
- 2-4 tbsp cacao powder (for the chocolate coating)
- Pinch of sea salt
Step #1: Add the coconut butter to a saucepan and heat on low heat until melted. Pour into a bowl and add the matcha powder, optional maple syrup or honey, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Mix well until the ingredients are combined.
Step #2: Using a silicone mini-muffin mold, spoon the coconut butter mixture into each mold, filling each about halfway. Place in the freezer to set.
Step #3: Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate coating. Melt the coconut oil, then stir in the cacao. Mix until well combined.
Step #4: Once the matcha coconut filling is firm, remove from the freezer. Pour the melted chocolate over each cup, covering the filling completely. Place the cups back in the freezer to set, for at least 30 minutes. Once solid, serve and enjoy! Keep stored in the freezer.
Find Comfort In These Antioxidant-Rich Snacks
Incorporate these antioxidant-rich comfort food snacks into your winter menu, and indulge without compromising on nutrition! No matter if you’re craving something sweet — like stuffed dates or apple nachos — or something on the savory side — like smashed Brussels or crispy pumpkin seeds — these guilt-free treats will satisfy both your taste buds and your nutrient needs. Celebrate the season with a perfect balance of flavor and health.