For most of us, the taste of summer means fatty meats on the grill, scoops of sugary treats and endless chalices of icy cocktails. While cutting those out entirely may seem close to impossible, it’s fair to say that we could all use a few calorie-shaving shortcuts. A sprinkling of some fresh, healthy alternatives will not only diversify your spread, but will keep you feeling great!
Skip the soda and try fruit-infused sparkling water instead!
Need a refresher on soft drinks? THEY AREN’T GOOD FOR YOU.
Among the laundry list of reasons you should leave these things on the shelves, soft drinks are LOADED with unnecessary sugars, caffeine and high fructose corn syrup. They’re bad for your teeth, lack any of the nutrients you require and do you no favours in the bathing suit department!
For those of us who crave the fizz, we’ve figured out a hack! You can create the same effect by freezing small berries in water overnight and popping them into your favourite carbonated water. This will give you the same bubbly feeling without the sugary side effects, and will (naturally) sweeten your drink as your cubes melt!
Bonus! Not just for looks or flavour, adding fruit to your water will upgrade your water from ordinary to nutrient-rich with vitamins B and C!
Leave the pre-packaged stuff on the shelf and give this quick maple BBQ sauce a try!
We know summer menus can be overwhelming. Lengthy prep times can leave things like sauces and marinades on the bottom of your list of priorities, but don’t let your guard down just yet! Did you know that the majority of pre-packaged sauces are chock full of salts, refined sugars, fatty oils, artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives? Skip the junk with this super easy, super simple barbecue sauce recipe!
- ¾ cup of your choice of maple syrup
- ½ cup of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- ¾ cup of your choice of ketchup
- ½ cup of cold water
- ½ teaspoon of onion salt
- ¼ teaspoon of celery seed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by mixing your tomato paste, brown sugar and white vinegar. Once they’ve come together smoothly, pop the mixture into a bowl with the remaining ingredients, give it a mix and voila! Maple BBQ sauce for all of your marinating/basting/finger-licking needs!
Replace the extra sugary, mega creamy stuff with this banana “ice cream”!
Ice cream is one of our favourites but when you aren’t up for the extra calories, you need something equally satisfying without the guilt. Try the banana alternative on for size! The recipe is super easy and your sweet tooth will be none the wiser.
You’ll need 2 ripe, sliced and frozen bananas and a food processor and the rest is up to you! Just add the bananas to the processor for 3-5 minutes, scraping occasionally to ensure it is smooth. Scoop into a bowl and add as many nuts, dried fruit, honey or nut butter you’d like! We know. You’re welcome.
Bonus! The summer heat can get you sweating out important electrolytes such as potassium, which helps keep your blood pressure in check, and maintain healthy muscle function. Not only does this recipe give you guilt-free goodness that will help keep you cool during the summer, but it will help replenish your potassium stores.
Not quite sure what to pair with your steak? These English peas make for great company!
Sides can be tricky and with so many cheese-filled, bacon-trimmed, deep-fried options, getting in some green can be a challenge. If you’re interested in something a little different, try this minty green pea medley!
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of shelled green peas
- 6 cups of trimmed arugula
- ¼ cup of chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground peppercorns
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese
Just boil and drain the peas, combine all other ingredients and sprinkle with cheese and there you have it – a simply fresh option for your delicious barbecue spread.
Bonus! Peas might be small, but they sure are mighty. They are packed full of antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, and anti-inflammatory properties. And, like most green vegetables, their highest nutrient content is vitamin K, an important factor for maintaining bone health.