1. Lots of Low-Carb Summer Vegetables
In the spring and summer, it's the opposite: green leaves and shoots are designed to grow quickly, with not a lot of food stored in them. Leafy greens and asparagus are among the first to come forth. The fruits of the plants (think eggplant and peppers) have a bit more carbohydrate, but still much less than winter vegetables. So the summer is a bonanza of colorful, nutritious, and low-carb vegetables for us to enjoy. For more information, see this list of vegetables ordered from the lowest to the highest amount of usable carbohydrate, with links to more information about the individual vegetables, including low-carb recipes:
2. Low-Carb Summer Fruits
- Raspberries and Blackberries - 3.5 grams
- Strawberries - 5 grams
- Watermelon - 5.5 grams
- Peaches - 6.5 grams
- Apricots - 7.5 grams
- Plums - 8 grams
- Cherries - about one gram per cherry (they add up fast)
3. Get Out the Grill!
I like to grill up a bunch of vegetables at once (use a special grill grate or vegetable basket so they don't fall through) and then use them in salads or as snacks. With vegetables, smear them with olive oil first - the salt and spices will season them better, and they won't stick to the grill.
Grilled Meat and Fish Ideas
4. Summer Side Dishes
- Cauliflower "Potato" Salad - I have found that people really appreciate it when I bring this to a summer potluck or BBQ, as a refreshing change from the heavier potato salad.
- Sugar-Free Cole Slaw - You wouldn't believe how much sugar is in most cole slaw. Of course, you can just leave out the sugar, but most people will not identify the result as "cole slaw" -- it's more like a cabbage salad.
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon - a classic, minus most of the sugar
- BBQ Beans - Made with my Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce and black soy beans.
- Four-Bean Salad
5. Salads Galore!
- Thai-Style Chicken Salad - a favorite
- Taco Salad
- Chopped Salad - great flavor combo
- Strawberry Chicken Salad - just a few ingredients
6. More Cold Meal and Snack Ideas
- Wrap chicken, tuna, egg, or salmon salad in lettuce leaves or low-carb tortillas, adding slivered raw vegetables if desired
- Wrap cold cuts around spinach dip, cole slaw, or raw vegetables
- Hard-boiled eggs or Deviled Eggs
- Cottage Cheese or Yogurt with berries, melon, or peaches, and some nuts or seeds
- Protein Shakes such as this Berry Protein Shake
- Have an antipasto or cheese plate with cold meats, cheeses, marinated vegetables, olives, etc.
- Make up a cold blender soup such as this Cucumber Melon Soup.