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Healthy Burgers & Outdoor Barbecues Make a Great Combo for Summer Fun

Updated on April 29, 2017

50s barbecue

Simple Changes Can Transform Burgers from So-Good to So-Good-For-You!

It's easy to make delicious and healthy burgers for your family by making some small changes in how you build your burger.

In my opinion, the smell of a juicy burger on the grill in summertime is one of the best smells in the world!

Although this summer staple is so popular in so many ways - from fast food to sit down restaurants to backyard barbecues - it does not have a reputation for being one of the healthiest meals around.

With a little imagination, however, and by making a few simple changes as I will outline below, you can still enjoy a delicious burger even when you're trying to live a healthier lifestyle and watch your waistline.

Oh, and leave the guilt on the side, lol!

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Keep your barbecue healthy, your family means a lot to you!

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Tip # 1 - Reduce the Calories in the Bun

Throw the buns on the grill to burn off simple sugars.

This simple step will result in you being able to enjoy the bread you crave without suffering the blood sugar spikes that drain energy and inhibit the liver's ability to burn fat for food.

In addition, if you toast the bun, you can then do my awesome trick! Take a spoon and gently scoop out the inside fluff (that's what I call it, lol) of the bun.

This will reduce the calories in the bun and also allow you to add healthier options on top of your burger like tomatoes, lettuce, onion and fill up on veggies instead of bread.


Scoop Out the Inside of the Bun!

You can scoop out the inside of rolls and buns easily if they are toasted.  I like to do this with bagels, too!
You can scoop out the inside of rolls and buns easily if they are toasted. I like to do this with bagels, too! | Source

How to make a healthy burger, fries and shake!

Tip # 2 - Reduce the Size of Your Burger

I love this option for reducing calories.

Sometimes all we really want is the flavor and not the calories. Cutting your burger size in half will still give you the flavor you crave, without adding to your waistline.

My husband and I get our burgers premade at the meat counter in our favorite grocery store, unfortunately they pre-make our favorite burgers in 1/2 pound portions which are very filling.

The solution to this has been instead of buying them in that portion, we have started requesting them to make up some 1/4 burgers with the same meat instead. Win, win!

If you are a guest at a barbecue, you can discreetly scoop out your bun, and also if your burger is too thick, slice it down the middle to make two patties and just put one on your bun.


Now.... THAT's what I call a barbecue!

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Tip # 3 -Top Your Burger With a Spinach Leaf or Two

Using spinach instead of lettuce maximizes nutrients. Spinach is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

It contains 20 vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and an abundance of antioxidants that strengthen bones, safeguard heart health, and improve brain function.

And, if you're someone who doesn't "like" vegetables, it's a great way to add a healthy option to your meals - I promise - you will hardly even taste it if you do it up right by adding other better tasting toppings to it, lol!

Tip # 4 - Switch Your Condiments to Healthier Options

Just by replacing mayonnaise with low-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt, you will save 210 calories and 24 grams of fat.

You can add some flavor and a little kick to yogurt by blending in a small amount of phytonutrient-rich Dijon mustard or perhaps a dash of hot pepper sauce.

The capsaicin in the hot pepper sauce is proven to boost metabolism and satisfy your appetite.

No one wants to eat a plain burger, and sometimes the cheese, ketchup and mayo can be very tempting for sure! However, they are usually sodium packed and full of sugar as well.

If you're a guest at a barbecue, perhaps you could look around for healthier toppings, guacamole, avocado, peppers, onions, mushrooms, or perhaps a light salad dressing.

The trick is in not sacrificing flavor but finding better options for giving your burger that extra pizzazz without adding to your calorie count for the day.


Add some prunes or raisins to the patty for amazing flavor and extra nutrients

"Raisins in meatballs, are you kidding me???"

That's what I said when my sister made these as part of a huge family dinner, I thought it sounded just awful. But to my surprise, it was DELICIOUS!  The raisins add a sweetness to the flavor that is just out of this world.  You must try it to understand.

In addition, mixing ground meat with prunes or raisins cuts the fat content by almost half and with the added fiber will satisfy your hunger..

Hey, try it, you might like it!!! :)

Tip #5 - Mix Together Ground Chicken with Avocados for a Fantastic Tasting Healthy Burger Choice

My family absolutely LOVES these burgers.  When I make a batch, I always make extra but even with that, can't seem to keep any around for longer than a day!
My family absolutely LOVES these burgers. When I make a batch, I always make extra but even with that, can't seem to keep any around for longer than a day! | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 avocado, large, ripe
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or poblano), optional
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (or almond meal)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients.
  2. Shape into 1/4 lb. or 1/2 lb. patties.
  3. Grill or bake inside or out!. (Cook until inside temperature of meat measures 160 degrees).

Each 1/2 lb. Burger Chicken Avocado Burger (pictured above)

Nutrition Facts
Calories 262
Calories from Fat0
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

They even had outdoor kitchens in the 50's!

They even had outdoor kitchens in the 50's!
They even had outdoor kitchens in the 50's!

Black Bean Burger - The Pioneer Woman

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