Summer is in full swing, which means it's the perfect time to head outside for some al fresco dining. But firing up the grill doesn't have to equal high-calorie heavy eating. You most likely aren't entered into the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, so you shouldn't eat like you are! These healthy twists on your old-fashioned cookout favorites will have everyone smiling and not complaining about "weird substitutions."
1. Ozery Bakery ONEBUN
Hamburgers are a staple of any cookout, but instead of those boring and bland traditional white buns, why not try some of Ozery Bakery's ONEBUNs to hold your patty. Traditional white buns are basically salty carbs. They don't even have any dietary fiber! Ozery's offerings are made with organic whole wheat, giving you 12% of your daily recommendation of diety fiber. But more importantly, they taste better. We like to pile our burgers to the moon with toppings, and we found that the flatter shape also helped keep everything together for a one-handed grip, no matter how many juicy tomato slices we added.
2. Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread
If your friends are anything like ours, they're all trying out Paleo and Whole30 diets this summer. Dairy is a tricky area for both of those meal plans, which may mean problems for traditional dips that are served before the main course at backyard parties. Have no fear; Kite Hill is here! Their dairy-free cream cheese style spreads are just as good as any dairy-laden option. Made with almond milk and with a spreadable texture, you add some to your favorite mix to make a dairy-free artichoke or ranch dip for chips or (for an even healthier option) veggie slices. We are partial to the jalapeño flavor for an extra added kick!
3. LIVE Probiotic Sodas
A cold soda on a summer day is just how it's meant to be. But the more we research sugar, the more we realize how you can have too much of a good thing. LIVE Soda, on the other hand, has a line of probiotic sodas that comes in flavors ranging from cola and root beer to lemon-lime and ginger. They'll allow you to get your fizzy fix with 0 grams of sugar plus the added benefits of probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system and gut microbiome. We also found them to be good mixers for some sweet summer punches that are low-cal and low-sugar.
4. GoodPop All-Natural Frozen Pops
Adults and kids alike can't stay away from a cold tasty treat on a warm summer day. But when it comes to popsicles, often all you're getting is high fructose corn syrup and dyes. The good people at Goodpop have answered our call for tasty and healthy summer desserts! The majority of their offerings are non-dairy (including cookies n' cream and orange n' cream), and they use organic ingredients when possible. That means that their strawberry flavor is made from—get this—real strawberries! Go figure. Needless to say, the brand-new boxes we opened up at our backyard cookout only lasted minutes.