6 Alternatives to Your Favorite Summer Dishes

This summer, tables will no doubt be lined with classic dishes such as potato salad, chips and dip, cans of soda and an array of dessert. With events and holiday celebrations, it can be easy to unknowingly overload on calories, but there’s good news. With just a few, minor substitutions, your holiday barbecue can be just as delicious, as it is nutritious.

  1. Drink this, not that. Opt out of empty calorie drinks, such as pop or juice with a bunch of added sugar, with a glass of Infused water, club soda, or unsweetened sun tea. Fill a pitcher of ice water with cucumbers, mint and raspberries or drop a few peach slices into your sun tea. You’ll feel energized and cool in no time.
  2. Say ‘no’ to mayo. Avocado is a great substitute for mayonnaise and packs a variety of health benefits. Include this fruit in the chicken salad with grapes or apples, or in the potato and egg salad with fresh dill or herbs for a crisp, refreshing addition to your barbecue.
  3. Go lean. Switch up your summertime protein with chicken or shrimp kabobs and a colorful array of roasted vegetables for a enjoyable, vitamin-packed option. Even better, swap the beef in your burger out for a salmon filet, tuna steak or portabella mushroom. Stuck on beef? Try flank steak, a leaner cut of meat that’ll satisfy your craving without bogging you down.
  4. Skip sugary sauces. To cut down on calories, skip store-bought sauces that contain a ton of sugar. Try a combination of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, herbs and black pepper for a marinade that’s full of zest. If you’re missing that traditional sweet, tangy flavor, try swapping out lemon for pineapple or orange juice.
  5. Crunch on kale chips. Kale or seaweed chips are great substitutes for potato chips, since they are a much slimmer alternative. They pack fewer calories per serving and are a great nutritional source. Roasted chickpeas can also serve as a crunchy treat with a touch of olive oil and seasoning.
  6. Fulfilling Fruits. Looking for a delicious, healthy dessert? Grilled fruit is a tasty and low calorie option. The heat heightens the flavor of fruits like pineapple, peaches, pears, nectarines and apples. Serve the warm fruit with frozen yogurt for a refreshing, summer sundae.

Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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