Summertime is all about being outside…at least in the Midwest! We cherish our Summer months and we head out to the patio whenever possible. The issue with our frequency of grilling out with family and friends is that these settings almost always come with potato chips, dips, sugary snacks or cocktails, and beers. Today, I’d like to give you an alternative for these Summertime classics.
The Potato Chip & Dip Dilema
Potato chips can, and should, be avoided when you want to live a healthy lifestyle. The switch is easy, for any starchy chip…turn to a vegetable instead. A common mistake is that when snacking on vegetables, many go overboard with its counterpart….the dip. Instead of the cheese, sour cream, or dill dips that contain unhealthy fats, hummus is the answer. To be honest, it’s smart to skip the snacks all together and wait for your main dish! If you’re going to have it anyways, there’s no need to over indulge while you’re hanging out on the patio.
If you’re going to eat something sugary, make it fruit whenever possible. Alternatively, here are some delicious recipes for your sweet tooth.
Triple Berry Yogurt Bark
Adapted from: The $5 Dinner Mom
Yield – 8 snack servings
Preparation Time – 15 minutes
Cooking Time – 2 hours in the freezer to freeze
- 32 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 pint blueberries
- about 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- Parchment paper
- Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt and honey.
- Pour and spread the yogurt mixture into the base of the lined baking dish.
- Sprinkle the different berries and gently press into the yogurt.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours or until completely frozen.
- Use a knife to make the first “break” and then you can break with your hands. Break into serving size pieces and serve cold.
Banana and Peanut Butter Bites
Use browning bananas before they go to waste! Make little peanut butter and banana bites and put them in the freezer for 2 hours. Sweet, salty, cheap and easy to do!
If it’s a cocktail kind of night, you’ve got to eliminate the sugars. Stick to sugar free options, avoid mixers other than club soda or flavored sparkling waters with zero calories. Here are some options:
- Cucumber Fizz Cocktail: Replace the high carb tonic water in this drink with either a sugar-free tonic water that uses artificial sweetener for a no-carb version. For a lower-carb version, use an agave-based tonic water like Q-tonic that has 5.5 grams of carbs per 4 ounces compared to the 16.5 grams of carbs per 4 ounces in regular tonic.
Healthy Green Tea Martini: Green tea’s benefits are endless. In a mixed drink, it’s a light way to bring some antioxidants into your party. Directions: Combine equal parts green tea (brewed and chilled) with vodka or gin in a martini shaker. Add in juice from a whole lime and 1 tbsp. of agave nectar. Stir ingredients until blended. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.
There are endless healthy bites you can find and use as alternatives to the fatty and sugary snacks that are usually at patio parties! Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun. Being healthy means you need to think ahead, plan accordingly, and practice self control. Enjoy the weather!