Dump the junk with these barbecue treats that still carry plenty of pop
Those summer barbecue staples — buns, potato chips, alcohol and burgers — don’t have to leave you feeling stuffed and bloated. Here are some ways to add healthful offerings to the table while keeping backyard gatherings festive.
Skinnier, more healthful buns
The slender One Bun Multi Grain Thin Sandwich Buns from Ozery Bakery are a more-nutritious option to regular white hamburger buns, with ingredients such as crushed flax seed, cracked wheat, millet meal and sunflower seeds. Despite their skinnier dimensions, they’re capable of holding a patty with all the trappings.
“We took the whole grain ingredients we love and worked with a flavor profile that is a combination of taste and health,” said Guy Ozery, co-owner of the Toronto-based Ozery Bakery. “And the thin slices make whatever is in between the star.”
Info: $3.99 at Sprouts Farmers Market, Whole Foods Market, ozerybakery.com
Vegan burgers that pack a punch
For the vegan/vegetarian at your backyard shindig: Qrunch Organics makes a quinoa-and-millet burger patty with onion, broccoli, spinach and carrots that is also gluten-free.
Heather Collins, the Denver-based company’s director of marketing and communications, said the burgers are “a blank canvas....add your favorite topping (for) a plant-based product that is easy to make.”
Throw on the grill like anything else, or pop in the oven. The Qrunch burger comes in Original, Spicy Italian, Green Chili and Saucy Buffalo-Style flavors, at 100 to 140 calories per patty.
Info: $4.99 per box of four, at Sprouts Farmers Markets, Whole Foods Market and Gelson’s, qrunchfoods.com
Grain-free crunchy chips
Those avoiding grains and starchy carbs can reach into a bowl of Siete’s tortilla chips, which have the satisfying bite of their corn or potato counterparts; those standard chip ingredients have been replaced with cassava and coconut flour, avocado oil and ground chia seeds.
Veronica Garza, co-founder and president of the Austin, Texas-based company, was moved to create the product after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder and deciding to move away from grains.
“It meets peoples’ expectations of the crunch,” Garza said. Flavors include Sea Salt, Lime and Nacho. 140 calories for a one ounce serving. The company also makes a grain-free tortilla.
Info: $4.99 at Erewhon, Follow Your Heart, Whole Foods Market, sietefoods.com
Zero-calorie mixers from Zevia
Skip the artificial sweeteners and sugars of regular cocktail mixes with the new Zevia Mixers, which like everything else in this alternative soda brand have zero calories and are sweetened only with stevia. In Ginger Beer, Dry Lemon Lime and Tonic Water, the mixers are designed to be combined with gin, whiskey, vodka and rum.
“Half the sugar that people consume comes from beverages,” said Paddy Spence, chief executive of the Los Angeles-based brand. “At summer barbecues, you want to enjoy delicious food without worrying about excess sugar in alcoholic drinks. Mixers are traditionally one of the biggest sources of hidden sugars.”
Info: $4.99 for a six-pack at Sprouts Farmers Market, zevia.com