Summer is quickly rolling its way around again, and for most of us, that means long nights with a few bottles of wine and backyard barbecue parties with friends. Unfortunately, that also means lots of unhealthy snacks full of fats and sugar that you could probably do without.
Lifting the Lockdown Load
If you, like thousands of others, have put on the “lockdown load” as it’s so charmingly been nicknamed, it’s time to ditch the unhealthy foods and make some better choices.
That can be tough to do, especially for those of us who really, really love food. With that in mind, here are four healthier alternatives to some of your favorite summer treats, and the bonus is they’re all either easy to find or easy to make!
A Healthier Nutella Alternative
Fire pits are not fire pits unless you’ve wrapped a banana in tin foil, stuffed it full of Nutella and marshmallows, and warmed it in the embers until it’s gone all nice and mushy.
It’s almost a campfire law!
However, this isn’t as healthy as it sounds. Although bananas are relatively healthy, Nutella certainly isn’t. It’s full of sugar, palm oil, and fats, not to mention the nuts for that one neighborhood kid who is allergic to them.
This is an easy swap to do, though, as you can discard Nutella for a healthier nut-free alternative to keep everyone happy and safe. More on Nutella nut allergy-friendly alternatives can be learned here.
Better For You French Fries
Let’s face it; fries are great.
Whether it’s McDonald’s or Five Guys, your local steak house, or deep-fried fries from home, there’s just something about these skinny bits of deep-fried potato that make us want to come back for more.
You guessed it, though, they’re not healthy.
You can make french fries healthier by oven baking them, or air frying them, instead of deep-frying them. To improve the recipe even more, swap out the potato (which, as a vegetable, is pretty useless) and oven bake some sweet potato strips, eggplant strips, or other dense or root vegetable options.
Yogurt Ice Lollies
You’ve probably seen this swap before, and there’s a good reason for that: It works! Simply swap out your regular sugary watery ice pops that live in your freezer for frozen yogurt.
Zucchini Pizza Alternative
Pizza. It’s one of the greatest food inventions known to man!
Flatbread (or deep crust) topped with a tomato base, plenty of cheese, oozing sauces, toppings galore, and more cheese. Maybe even some oil for good measure.
All of that is delicious of course, but that bread and the cheesy oozy toppings won’t be doing your waistline any good if you’re eating it on a regular basis.
This is where the humble zucchini comes in! Swap out the pepperoni, or sausage, for zucchini and experiment with smashed tomato bases rather than a pre-bought sauce.
If you really want to liven it up, you could try vegan cheese, which is lower in calories and better for you (although we can’t guarantee it tastes as good as a stringy mozzarella, though).