A cornerstone of the summer is the BBQ, where friends and family gather to indulge in burgers, hot dogs, cookies, pie and ice cream. Those temptations can quickly halt any progress you’ve made with your eating habits, but they aren’t your only options. Prepare these healthy summer recipes, and your party won’t miss a beat.
It’s probably going to be hot, and you’ll need plenty of refreshments to keep your guests cool and hydrated. Lemonade and soda are common choices, but their high sugar content will contribute to dehydration and carry a bigger load of calories. Instead, offer a pitcher of fruit-infused water, a healthier choice that packs a flavorful punch without the boosted calorie count. Use raspberries, cucumber, lemon or blueberries to sweeten the drink into a delicious, refreshing alternative
Healthier Chips and Dip
Feel free to snack without guilt on our Cheddar Cheese Double Bites Thermo-Snacks using warm Vegetarian Chili ‘N Beans as dip. The crunchy chips offer a healthy dose of fiber without the sodium and fat of fried chips. Of course, drenching the chips in a mayonnaise-based dip will thwart any effort to snack lightly. Replace the mayonnaise dip with another high-protein option, like our chili Thermo-Snack. This combination gives you the texture and crunch of satisfying chips and dip while avoiding the fat and sodium.
Cheeseburgers stacked with delicious toppings are a BBQ staple. But prepackaged beef patties are high in saturated fat, and a slice of cheese is almost 100 calories by itself, according to caloriecount.com. Consider serving turkey or salmon burgers, which contain less fat than even the leanest ground beef. Serve the burgers in lettuce wraps or whole grain buns to cut carbs or take in more fiber. If you must have cheese on your burger, choose a reduced fat cheese.
There’s no room for French fries at an American celebration. These traditional complements to burgers are soaked in sodium and oil. Substitute delicious baked sweet potatoes or zucchini fries for the fatty French fries. Baked sweet potatoes are a filling side that offers plenty of vitamins and minerals in addition to bold flavor.
One of the more popular trends in healthy recipes for the BBQ the fruit plate. Feel free to get creative by mixing and matching your favorite colorful fruit. Blueberries, apples, pineapple, melon and strawberries create a healthy (and beautiful) combination.
Ice cream is an BBQ classic, but the sugary treat can hinder your weight-loss efforts. A refreshing dessert just as cold and fun is the patriotic popsicle. These are easy to create and offer a low-calorie alternative to belt-busting ice cream. You can also try freezing one of our delicious puddings for a frozen treat that’s packed with protein.
This summer, stay on track with these healthier menu options. And remember, these celebrations are about friends, family and fun, don’t just focus on the food! These healthy recipes can help keep the party going without sacrificing the flavor of your summer BBQ.