Healthy Alternatives for Good-for-You Summer Meals
Posted byChristine Yu
It’s a struggle to eat healthy all day, every day. But eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t have food that you crave. Instead, find healthy alternatives and make smart swaps.
Incorporating good-for-you ingredients doesn’t have to be complicated or boring, though. If you do it right, you’ll end up with a satisfying meal full of flavor. Thanks to the super ripe, farm-fresh produce hitting the stores and farmers’ markets, summer is a great time to fill up on fruits and veggies.
Here are some simple summer recipe swaps to try.
Grab your spiralizer and switch your beloved fettuccine for zucchini noodles. This low-calorie, low-carb alternative is a fun way to mix up your go-to dinner. Plus, you’ll cut down on cooking time. Instead of waiting for the water to boil, just sauté your zoodles for a few minutes. You can also use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute. Bake in the oven and use a fork to separate the strands.
Grilling This Summer?
There are a number of healthy alternatives to a regular beef burger. Grill a veggie, black bean or portobello mushroom burger instead.
If you plan on baking this summer, here’s a healthy substitute no one will notice. Instead of using the full amount of butter or oil called for in the recipe, swap half for applesauce. So if a recipe calls for one cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce. This works especially well in quick bread and muffin recipes.
Sandwich or Wrap Fan?
One way to lighten your go-to lunch is to swap your regular sandwich bread or wrap for lettuce or collard greens. It adds an extra crunch, not to mention a dose of fiber. You can use lettuce in place of tortillas or taco shells, too!
You know it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during the dog days of summer. Skip the soda and make your own bubbly beverage. Add fresh fruit and/or herbs to water or seltzer for a refreshing drink. Think beyond just lemon and lime. Experiment with fruit like strawberries, oranges and mangoes as well as herbs like basil and mint.
Bypass the packaged flavor yogurt and make your own. The pre-flavored containers are often packed with added sugar. Instead, take plain Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. Easy peasy!
Summer isn’t summer without a picnic in the park. Rather than bringing your tried-and-true potato salad, opt for Food & Wine’s fresh watermelon salad instead. Not only is it refreshing, but it’s a great way to stay cool and hydrated when it’s hot out.
You can still eat healthy without sacrificing flavor. Plus, it’s a chance to flex your culinary muscles and have fun in the kitchen!
- Posted by Christine Yu
- On August 4, 2017