Healthy BBQ Swaps
When summer arrives with its long days, blazing sun, picnics, parties and beach bashes, there’s nothing more satisfying than ending your days with some hearty barbeque in the company of family, friends and neighbors. Whether you’re hosting or attending graduation parties, 4th of July blowouts, neighborhood potlucks and picnics, backyard beach-themed get-togethers or other warm-weather gatherings, it’s hard to avoid the convenience, tradition and tempting tastes of a well-grilled meal. But, no matter how much fun you have socializing and snacking, all that barbeque food isn’t always the healthiest option.
If you want to enjoy your summer picnics and parties while also swapping out some favorite barbeque picks for healthier alternatives, these five nutritious barbeque swaps are sure to keep you both slim and satisfied.
Try a Lettuce Bun on Your Burger
Staying a little more health-conscious doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite barbeque burgers, but you can cut back on the extra carbs enveloping that red meat. Instead of squishing your burgers between buttery bites of fluffy burger buns this summer, wrap the patties in lettuce for a fresh, healthy twist. You can still add condiments, tomatoes, cheese and other additions to your burger, but your lettuce wrap will save you calories and give you a little something green — plus, you’ll enjoy the extra crunch!
Substitute Fresh Fruit for Sugary Desserts
After those delicious barbeque entrees and salty snacks, you’re ready to reach for the tempting desserts on the table — but keep your sweet tooth in check. There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence occasionally, but if you’re regularly attending picnics with the same kinds of red meats, snacks and sweets, you probably don’t need another dose of sugar. Instead of chowing down on baked goods, ice cream and other desserts, satisfy your sweet craving with a cup of fresh fruit salad.
Choose Savory Spices Instead of Dips
There’s nothing like delicious dips for your snacks, french fries and grilled vegetables, but those bowls of goodness are full of extra fat. Instead of dipping into more calories, spice up your chips, fries and other snacks with a dose of natural, savory seasonings sprinkled on top when you set them out. They’ll be just as delicious and a lot more nutritious.
Snack on Satisfying Veggies
The tasty crunch of pretzels, chips and other salty snacks are almost irresistible at a summer party, especially when there are several bowls on the table for you to graze on as you socialize. But reaching for those snacks again and again can quickly deliver large doses of sodium, fat and calories without really filling you up. Instead, crunch on fresh, healthy vegetables like carrot sticks, celery, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Not only will they make great munchies, but they’ll satisfy your hunger more quickly and naturally.
Swap Out Lean Meat for Red
Burgers, hot dogs and other barbeque meats can be just as good when they’re not full of fats and unhealthy additives. You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorites — just swap the red meats for leaner alternatives like turkey burgers and chicken sausage. A great way to rethink traditional burger and barbeque dishes is with Premio’s delicious grilling sausage recipes. Not only do we offer the best chicken sausage on the market, but we’ll inspire you with an array of health-conscious sausage recipes to incorporate into your cookouts for a more nutritious summer.
I’m very happy to find these weight watchers recipes. After surviving a heart attack in 2007 I “had to” re-think my food choices. I lost almost thirty lbs in a few months and kept making better choices for most of those years. We moved to TN a year ago and it is very hard to resist some of the food here. My numbers are still very good but I’ve noticed I’m indulging in those foods to often now and have gained a few lbs back this summer. I will get back on track because I have to. Thank you for sharing so many recipes.