With summer in full swing, the days are getting longer, and my family is taking full advantage of the beautiful weather. Whether that means taking long walks, kayaking on the lake, or just hanging out on the patio, we love spending as much time as possible outdoors.

I hope you and your family are also planning on staying active and playing outdoors whenever you have the chance... it can do wonders for the mind, body, and spirit!

I hope your summer plans include plenty of outdoor eating as well. Grilling is a great way to add a new twist to your favorite healthy meals, and there are so many delicious sides to enjoy.

Not sure what to serve at your next cookout? These recipes will help you keep it healthy without sacrificing any flavor! (And if you have kids, they may even enjoy helping you make the last recipe.)

BLT Sliders
Servings: 8
8 pieces bacon
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 small tomatoes, sliced
8 pieces butter lettuce


Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange bacon pieces on baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked well. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Preheat grill to medium-high. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef with sea salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Form ground beef into 8 patties. Place tomato slices on grill or in grill basket, and cook for 8-10 minutes. While tomatoes are warming up, grill sliders 4-5 minutes per side. In each butter lettuce wrap, add 1 slider, 1 tomato slice, and 1 piece of bacon. Delicious, healthy, AND fun for the entire family!

Sweet Potato Salad
Servings: 4
1 large sweet potato, diced
3-4 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp - 1 Tbsp lemon juice, to taset
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp dried dill
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp black pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1-2 celery stalks, minced

Boil potatoes in a pot of simmering water for about 15 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Add potatoes to the bowl, and mix well. Stir in hard-boiled eggs and celery.

Mint-ea Mojito
Courtesy of The Healing Kitchen

2 peppermint tea bags
3 cups water
1 Tbsp raw honey (or stevia, to taste)
Ice, for serving
4 Tbsp lime juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves

Boil water. Stir together tea bags and boiling water in a sturdy jar or pitcher Add honey or stevia to tea. Place in refrigerator or freezer, with tea bags, until cold.

Transfer to a pitcher, mason jars, or other serving cups. Add fresh lime juice, ice, and mint. Double or triple this recipe for serving at parties!

American Flag Fruit Kabobs
Servings: 10
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup water
6 bananas
1 pint strawberries
1 cup blueberries
Bamboo skewers

Cut bananas into 1-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl. Mix lemon juice and water; pour evenly over bananas to prevent browning. Trim and cut strawberries in half, lengthwise. On your first 5 skewers, rotate adding 1 piece strawberry, 1 piece banana, 1 piece strawberry, and 1 piece banana, followed by 5 blueberries. On the following 5 skewers, rotate adding 1 piece strawberry with 1 piece banana until you have 4 strawberry pieces and 3 banana pieces on each. Line all skewers up on a serving platter to represent the American flag, and serve.

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