Lighten up summer picnics, barbecues with Apple Slaw

It seems like every season has a social downfall when it comes to healthy living. Although we often aspire to be on a healthy track at various points throughout the year, it’s easy to hit potholes.

For example, we spend summers vacationing and socializing with friends at barbecues and picnics, food-oriented activities. Our traditions have evolved to include foods that aren’t so nutrition friendly. You know the culprits — soda, potato chips, high-fat meats, ice cream, dips and mayo-based salads. Although these foods are fine in moderation, summertime is full of opportunities to indulge. And if we indulge every time an opportunity presents itself, well, you know how it goes.

Socializing is a good thing, but we need to include healthier options in our gatherings to avoid setbacks. All foods can be lightened up, and we can adapt to slightly different flavors and tastes.

For example, let’s take a look at coleslaw. It’s a mayo-laden side dish that can be loaded with calories. Just 2 tablespoons of Sysco’s Creamy Coleslaw has 160 calories and 15 grams of fat. It’s cabbage and carrots for heaven’s sake, which means the majority — about 80 percent — of calories come from fat.

(Daily Record/Sunday News -- Kate Penn)

One 1/2 cup serving of Apple Slaw has 41 calories, 1 gram fat, 8 grams carbohydrates and 2 grams protein. (Daily Record/Sunday News — Kate Penn)

It doesn’t need to be that fatty to taste good. By playing with flavor, we can twist tradition to benefit our health without displeasing our taste buds. For your next gathering, try to lighten up some of those seasonal favorites. To get started, check out this recipe for Apple Slaw.

Apple Slaw
Serves 6

1 large red apple, julienne
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Stevia

1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Serve.

Nutrition information (1/2 cup serving): 41 calories, 1 gram fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein

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