Transform Your Favorite Summer Staples Into Healthy Crowd-Pleasers
Ahhhh Summer! The sun is getting strong and hot, but you’re bod is not. If you want to enjoy all the season has to offer this year, you can take advantage of all the indulgences and get into bikini shape with a few simple modifications and what I call ’smart swaps’ with my K.I.S.S. approach. That way you can keep have your cake and eat it too – but give the nutritional value an overhaul and help your friends and family take full advantage of the benefits, without any sacrifice. It only takes a few simple ingredient tweaks or swaps to make the best summer staples much healthier. Here are some possible meal makeovers that your waistline can live with this summer:
It might be a favorite summer entree, but barbecue ribs aren’t exactly the healthiest menu choice. You can still enjoy some finger-licking flavor by changing around some of the worst ingredient offenders when it comes to your health. For this recipe, swap out a sugary barbecue blend with a spicy glaze or dry rub. Using a little bit of honey can give you the same sweet flavor without the refined sugar. It’s all about big flavor, and limiting your portion sizes.
Grilled Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are a simple summer cookout option, but they are typically filled with a lot of saturated fat and chemical preservatives. If you still want serve them as an option, use a chemical preservative and nitrate-free version. Instead of a product that is primarily made with beef, consider choosing chicken or turkey hot dogs. There are also some hot dogs made from vegetable protein that can make for a great meatless option. Choose a sprouted grain bun and organic sauces to complement your dish.
There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a juicy burger covered in melted cheese – but that’s not always the healthiest option. Choose a leaner variety of ground beef, ground turkey or even bison and enjoy the benefits of lowered cholesterol, more protein, and reduced calories. Wrap your burgers in lettuce and top with a sprinkle of feta cheese for a balance of good fats and veggies without the refined carbs.
I always say, deny the fry. Fried chicken lovers don’t have to sacrifice their favorite meal this summer if they choose a cleaner preparation. Rather than make use of your deep fryer and a heavy batter for your chicken pieces, try baking it in the oven. I’ve got a great overhaul with my savory oven-fried chicken that won me the competition on the show Recipe Rehab using whole grain pretzel crumbs and dijon mustard for the coating.
Tender pulled pork is a great dish to serve at summer parties or weekend cookouts. It’s possible to make it much cleaner if you follow some simple guidelines. First, be sure to pick a cut of pork that contains less fat than the average portion. Then, before you start cooking your pork, do a more thorough job of cleaning off the remaining pieces of fat. That way, you can still get the smoky flavor you love.
If you love macaroni salad, you may not love of the crazy calories and high carb load. You can lessen that blow with some smart swaps. Start with a whole grain or veggie-based version of your macaroni noodles, so you can add the power of fiber into your salad. Then, mix everything together with something like Just Mayo from hamptoncreek to take away some of the unhealthy impact of mayonnaise. Just Mayo, made from plants, is a more natural choice for your salads.
Finally, it’s time to take a look at your dessert options that can be made into healthier and lighter choices. If you love pie, you probably think you need to avoid any of its varieties during swimsuit season. In fact, you can make a more nutritional version of it if you take the time to find better basic ingredients. Start with summer peaches, and instead of covering them up with sugar, consider a preparation like my grilled peach with homemade coconut ice cream. Then, when it’s time to choose a pie crust, avoid mixing it together with fattening shortening and try a vegan butter instead.
Finding a way to enjoy all of your favorite summer tastes is totally possible if you work to change around some of your recipes with smart swaps. So jump in and get it, sunshine!