With the many delights of summer comes the chance to enjoy meals in the great outdoors. Picnics, BBQs, and days at the beach are all great ways to enjoy alfresco cuisine, but with this comes the tendency to gorge on high fat, high carb and highly processed foods such as burgers, potato chips and copious amounts of white bread! To make outside-eating as healthy as it is enjoyable, we have come up with some healthy snack alternatives to keep your healthy lifestyle on the right track, whilst ensuring you don’t miss out on all the summer fun!
Popcorn – As a healthy alternative to potato chips, popcorn hits all the right spots. Much lower in saturated fat, calories, and salt, it provides satisfaction when you feel that urge to snack without all the negative consequences. In addition to this, it’s full of essential fiber which aids digestion. Try making your own popcorn at home and adding exciting flavors such as Cajun spice, cracked black pepper, and salt, or simply a sprinkle of salt and sugar.
Dips and sticks – For a great snack that’s full of vitamins, fiber and low in unwanted fats and carbohydrates, a selection of mezze-style dips with vegetable dipping sticks is a perfect choice. Simply make a selection of hummus, tzatziki, baba-ganoush, guacamole, salsa or any other healthy dips you may know of! Next, cut vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, snap peas, celery or radishes into dipping sized sticks and you have yourself an easy, extremely healthy, and tasty dish that’s perfect as a side at a BBQ or as a sociable lunch at the beach.
Burritos – Burritos provide a brilliant alternative to conventional sandwiches. They can be filled with healthy lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and healthy spreads such as salsa and guacamole. Nowadays burrito wraps come in a variety of types, including whole grain, low-salt and organic versions that are widely available. When having a BBQ, try adding your steak, chicken or pork to a burrito wrap rather than a typical white bun for a healthy alternative. Burritos also provide the perfect solution for day trips to the beach. When properly wrapped, they act like little parcels that stop any sand getting into the filling, making them a safe and healthy alternative to typical sandwiches!
Fruit salad – BBQs are (usually) all about the meat, meaning we forget that a wide variety of fruit and vegetables are just as important additions to our diet. The same goes for picnics at the beach, with many people focusing on sandwiches and potato chips rather than the healthy snacks. The wonderful array of fruits that are available over the summer months makes this the perfect time to add a healthy dose of fruit to your BBQ or picnic at the beach. Simply cube some fresh clementine, kiwifruit, strawberries, peach, melon, plums, apple or grapes and mix them with a dash of fresh lemon juice to stop them browning. This goes great with ice cream (if you’re feeling mischievous!), or simply on its own!
Don’t fall into the trap of eating stodgy, processed convenience food at BBQs and picnics this summer. By being a little creative you can make wonderful, tasty food that is convenient and healthy, meaning you can still enjoy the summer fun without worrying about the effect it has on your diet!