Summer means sizzling weather, refreshing pools, and the delectable, smoky smell of your favorite foods grilling on the bar-be-que. Getting into swimsuit shape doesn’t mean missing out on the classics. Transforming those summertime favorites into treats that go easy on your heart, your figure, and your taste buds is easy with a few simple substitutions.
Drizzle the Oil
At 30 milligrams of cholesterol per serving, beware of butter! But skipping this heart-unhealthy condiment doesn’t mean skimping on taste. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over corn on the cob and top it off with coarse sea salt for a healthful, gourmet treat.
Jazz up pasta salad or mac and cheese for a protein-packed punch! Trade in the mayo, ranch, or gooey yellow packet for Greek yogurt, which is low on fat and loaded with protein, calcium, and probiotics. Add some salt, lemon juice, and fresh herbs for a tasty summer side. Too sour? Add a little healthy honey or apple juice concentrate.
Skinny Your Grill
Replace your beef burgers with skinless, boneless chicken breasts to save on saturated fat without sacrificing taste. Marinated breasts ahead of time, then pop them in a bun for a quick, classy burger substitute. Major plus: they’re available frozen in super-cheap bulk packages at most supermarkets.
A Hotter Dog
We live in a vegetarian heyday, when plenty of meat-free wieners easily out-compete their traditional counterparts in nutrition and taste — especially with all the fixins’. Throw a few of these puppies on the barbie, and you won’t miss the pork.
Replace your plain white buns with deliciously nutty and filling whole wheat versions for all your burger and hot dog needs. They’re just as delightfully tender and they’ve kept all their original nutrients and fiber.
Skip the sugar-loaded lemonade and artificially sweetened powders! Blend 2 cups of fresh strawberries into a quart of pineapple juice, add 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water and viola! You’ve got a good-for-you lemonade smoothy to satisfy kids and grown-ups alike.
While you’re at it, add fresh or frozen fruit to your favorite gelatin desert to power-up this low-fat sweet treat with vitamins and fiber.
Skip the Lard
Baked beans don’t have to mean artery-clogging bacon. Blend a jar of salsa with plain, fat-free cooked beans for instant Tex-Mex flair. Toss in an avocado, and you’ve added creamy delight with essential, good-for-you fatty acids. Serve with baked tortilla chips for a healthy alternative to chips-and-dip.
Ah, hummus, beloved of all nations! Who doesn’t love this lemony, low-fat chick pea spread? Serve with low-fat crackers, pita bread triangles, and fresh veggie sticks for a protein-powered, fat-busting appetizer.
Don’t Forget the Sauce
Soak a dried adobo chili in a little hot water, blend it with a can of chopped tomatoes, a little salt, honey to taste and viola! Fat-free bar-be-que sauce! Because what’s a grill without it?