When it comes to satisfying food cravings, Filipinos are determined individuals. Especially so during the rainy season, when changes in temperature may cause our palettes and cravings to change as well. Therefore, here are a few guilt-free comfort foods that you can enjoy during the rainy season while maintaining your fitness goals.
A popular choice amongst Filipinos, particularly during the rainy season, ‘sinigang’ is a meal that is best eaten when hot. The main ingredient in this dish is not the type of meat used, but rather the souring agent. The most common souring agent used is unripe tamarind. Vegetables such as okra, spinach and tomatoes can be included into this broth, or a miso broth, for a meal that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
’Champorado’, which refers to a chocolate rice porridge, is a meal that resonates with Filipinos, particularly during the rainy days. Easily prepared at home, this meal consists of 2 main ingredients - sweet glutinous rice and cacao powder. To give the dish a flavourful boost, top it off with some non-fat milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar. For a healthier option, consider eating reduced portions of sweet glutinous rice.
Suitable for the cold weather, Tinola is a clear ginger broth that is best eaten with a hot plate of white rice. Tinola is traditionally cooked with green papayas and malunggay leaves to provide the dish with a nutrient boost. As an alternative to green papaya, you can also opt to use chayote, which will provide you with a similar amount of nutrients.
Another popular dish for the rainy season is ‘sopas’, which is a creamy soup made using only a few basic ingredients. These ingredients include chopped vegetables, macaroni pasta, chicken cubes and milk/evaporated milk. Best eaten when hot, it is not only a good rainy day food choice, but is also suitable for those suffering from a cough, fever or flu.
A healthy meal recipe that can be easily prepared at home, ‘arroz caldo’ refers to a rice porridge combined with chicken shreds. Each home will most likely have a different take when it comes to preparing this dish. The plain version of this meal is called a ‘lugaw’, whereas the version of this meal that is prepared with organ meat is called a ‘goto’.
Succumbing to various cravings will usually disrupt a strict diet and fitness plans. Be comforted in knowing that you can enjoy any of these healthy options without the guilt this rainy season.