Food & Nutrition Science

8 Healthy Food Alternatives for Summer Recipe Favorites

It’s officially summer, which means barbecue season is in full-swing. If you or your clients are looking for new ways to enjoy your favorite, summer-inspired dishes without the bulk, we have you covered with some of our favorite alternatives that you can enjoy all summer long.

Healthy food alternatives for your favorite summer staples


If you love corn dogs or hot dogs, try kebobs

If you think of corn and hot dogs when you think of summer, you’re not alone. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—yes that’s a thing—on Independance Day alone, “Americans will enjoy approximately 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times.” But that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy choice. Instead, try skewing chicken, beef, pork or even your favorite vegetables to imitate this summer staple. Looking for some inspiration? Here’s a recipe we love from Food & Wine: baja-style rosemary chicken skewers.


If you love margaritas, try a fresh juice cocktail

We all love to indulge in a cocktail, especially on an occasion like the 4th of July. This, of course, is a sporadic treat—and we encourage you and your clients to adopt the same mentality to stay healthy and fit all year long. But when it’s time to indulge, we can’t get enough of fresh juice cocktails. While fresh juice is one of our favorite ways to start our day, it’s also one of the best ways to celebrate happy hour. Here’s a few recipes we can’t get enough of from the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess. Just remember, everything in moderation.


If you love corn tacos, try soft spicy tacos

Taco Tuesday, anyone? If you crave south of the border flavors—without all of the calories, fat and the guilt—then you have to try these spicy chicken tacos from Eating Well magazine. Not a meat lover? Give these thai tacos with ginger slaw and peanut sauce a whirl from one of our favorite bloggers, Minimalist Baker.


If you love lemonade, try green lemonade

Lemonade is a summer staple, but it’s often packed with sugar. “For a refreshing drink with a little bit more going on, I throw some greens into my lemonade and switch out sugar for low-glycemic agave nectar,” writes the staff at Elle magazine. Try the green lemonade recipe featured in Elle, or mix it up and add a few more vegetables for a smoothie that you can enjoy all summer long.

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If you love ice cream, try a vegan chocolate shake

Push-pops, ice cream cones and sundaes—another summer staple the majority of Americans just can’t get enough of. But if your clients are looking to drop a few pounds and squeeze into their bathing suit, ice cream might not be their best option. For a sweet, yet healthy-alternative you and your clients are sure to love, opt for this vegan chocolate shake from Elle magazine instead.


If you love potato salad, try a healthier version of one

Potato salads are often one of the main events at a barbecue, aside from cheeseburgers and hot dogs, of course. Just like hot dogs, they are typically packed with the fat and preservatives our bodies need to steer clear of. Instead of reaching for the mayonnaise next time you whip up a potato salad, try greek yogurt instead. Like this healthy red potato and dill salad from Julie, the blogger behind Table for Two.


If you love cheeseburgers, try a sweet potato burger

Just saying the word cheeseburger is enough to make your mouth-water. Unless you’re purchasing your meat from a fresh, local farm, beef can contain additives and even ammonia. Not to mention the fat and calories associated with beef. Beyond the ingredients lurking in your cheeseburger, sometimes you need to fulfill your cravings. Next time, try whipping up this sweet potato black bean burger from Minimalist Baker. It’s delicious and healthy, too.


If you love s’mores, try Nutella and fruit s’mores

If you’re anything like us, then you think of s’mores every time you sit by a fire—especially in the summertime. While Nutella isn’t exactly the healthiest of options, trading a Hershey’s bar for a small portion of the hazelnut treat and topping it with raspberries or strawberries certainly puts a healthy spin on this campfire favorite.

Want to learn more on the importance of eating clean? Download our e-book: “The Ultimate Guide to Eating Clean!”

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