Mood Boosting Food For The Days When You Feel Low
On your off days when you are feeling low and specifically unhappy, it might be a good idea to gorge on a tub of ice cream, bars of chocolate, greasy pizza or anything that is your comfort food. But the glitch with comfort foods is that they provide you instant high (of comfort and hormones) and loads of regret later when it dawns on you that your binge-eating is not healthy. Even if it is your coping mechanism, there are various food options and recipes that are delicious and instant happy food that put you in a great mood.
Note: When we say that these foods can boost your mood, we don’t generalize on a mental health condition where you might be feeling under the weather for a prolonged period. If such condition exists, please consult a licensed mental health professional/therapist.
Coming back to the mood boosting food, here are a few of them with easy recipes that will help you fight all the unhappy days a little better. Take note and get started with whatever ticks you.
1. Dark Chocolate Brownies
One of the best mood enhancing foods out there, chocolate in any form is bliss. And if you are looking for a healthy alternative, try baking a batch of dark chocolate brownies, and you might uplift your spirits in no time. After all, cocoa in its pure form is full of magnesium and antioxidants that reduce anxiety.
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (ideally with 100% cocoa)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Take your cake tin and grease it with coconut oil.
- Place the parchment paper and grease this as well. Keep it aside.
- Set your oven to pre-heat at 190°C for 10 minutes.
- Now, for the batter, heat the coconut a little bit.
- Let it cool down, then add the spelt flour, eggs and maple syrup.
- Whisk it until you find a smooth and glossy batter. Add baking soda, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of coffee powder and vanilla essence and whisk again.
- Add the almond milk, chopped dark chocolate and if you want extra nuttiness, roasted almonds, or walnuts.
- Pour the batter in your tin, sieve a bit of cocoa powder over the top and put it in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on your cake’s quantity.
- Take it out, let it cool down for 15 minutes and enjoy either straight from the tin or cut into square pieces.
2. Oats and Banana Pancakes
Pancakes is certainly a feel-good food, but you can make this a healthy dish when you skip the white flour and copious amounts of chocolate syrup and sugar.
- 2 cups-soaked oats
- 1 cup sugar/honey
- 1 ripe mashed banana
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup melted butter
- Warm milk
- Mix or whisk the soaked oats, mashed bananas, and honey/sugar together in a large bowl.
- Take a different bowl, the one in which you melted butter would do. Now, add vanilla essence, two eggs to this and a little bit of milk.
- Make sure the melted butter has cooled down.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together till bubbles show up.
- In the oats-banana mixture, make a well in the middle of the bowl, add the wet ingredients and fold it in, mixing it all up.
- Add milk if needed to get a consistency that will spread on the non-stick pan.
- Grease the said pan with butter and wiped it off with a paper cloth.
- Now, pour the batter with a ladle and spread it. Flip when you see bubbles forming on your pancakes, and you get that lovely brown texture.
- Have it hot with maple syrup or honey as we are going with mood elevating healthy foods.
3. Banana, Kiwi and Almond Smoothie
Probably the easiest recipe to follow, smoothies are hassle-free to make, wholesome in their nutrition content and excellent mood enhancing food. You can mix and match any berries you want but if you are looking for a specific recipe, follow this one.
- 2 Bananas
- 1 finely chopped kiwi
- Chopped almonds to your heart’s desire
- 1 cup curd
- Honey (as per your taste)
- Ice cubes
- Take a blender, put all the above ingredients in it and blend.
- Top it with chopped almonds, ice cube and your favourite feel-good movie to ensure you are back from feeling down.
4. Walnut-miso Noodles
When we talk about food for good mood, how can we skip this uber-healthy and delicious dish packed with omega-3 fatty acids and nutritional content from the whole-wheat noodles you will be using to make it.
- ½ cup or 4 ounces of whole-wheat noodles/spaghetti or linguini
- ½ cup of toasted walnuts (15 minutes on a frying pan)
- Bell peppers, spring onion, broccoli, mushroom
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white miso soup paste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- White vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Warm water
- First, put your choice of whole-wheat noodles in boiling water, as per the package’s instructions.
- Add a pinch of salt and olive oil so that it doesn’t stick together and become mushy.
- As the noodles come to a boil, take your veggies (anything you love and find at the seasonal market), chop them up finely and toss it with salt on a frying pan.
- Toast it for a couple of minutes with a little olive oil.
- Now, for the miso sauce, take the roasted walnut, olive oil, garlic, honey, white vinegar, salt, and white miso soup paste in a blender.
- Keep adding warm water slowly until this becomes a thick paste. Taste and when you are satisfied with the miso sauce, keep it aside.
- Now in a bowl or plate, add the boiled noodles, the tossed veggies, and the miso soup. You have your walnut-miso soup ready for devouring.
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