If you’re trying to lose weight, manage blood sugar, or simply clean up your diet, bread can be a pain point and a trigger food. Many varieties are highly processed and made with unrecognizable ingredients, not to mention added sugars and empty calories. If bread is tripping up your healthy eating plan, here’s an easy way to cut back without taking sandwiches, burgers, and wraps off the menu. How? Swap in vegetables! The low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods make surprisingly great bread substitutes. Give it a try with one of these 8 vegetable “buns”.
If you’re a fan of breakfast sandwiches, keep this simple swap in your recipe box. Simply coat sweet potato rounds in olive oil, cinnamon, and salt and bake for 25 minutes before adding the toppings of your choice. The sweet flavor pairs well with turkey bacon, eggs, greens, and cheese, like in this recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.
A long-time favorite of gluten-free eaters, lettuce leaves have negligible calories and a hearty texture that makes them perfect for loading up with sandwich toppings and burgers. Set out a platter of romaine lettuce at your next barbeque so guests can wrap up burgers with all of their favoite toppings like in this recipe from Food I Make My Soldier.
Slices of grilled eggplant make another sturdy, flavorful bread substitute. Use them to give grilled cheese a health twist by spreading on goat cheese and topping with roasted red peppers and smoked salmon. The mini sandwiches make a creative appetizer perfect for backyard parties.
You may think of tomatoes as a supporting character when building a sandwich, but the juicy ingredient can also play a starring role as the bun itself! This recipe from The Iron You is sure to impress guests at your next summer barbeque. Simply scoop out the seeds and lightly grill tomato halves before loading them up with a flavorful avocado sauce, sprouts, and a lean burger patty.
Colorful bell peppers add a sweet crunch to your favorite sandwich — not to mention a huge boost of vitamin-C — for just 24 calories per pepper. Serve up a platter of sandwiches using an assortment of red, yellow, and orange peppers for a fun twist on the usual picnic fare.
Chicken and tuna salad lovers, rejoice! Hydrating cucumbers provide a great way to enjoy your favorite sandwich spread while keeping calories in check. The long veggie also makes a great hero substitute for subs like in this super-simple recipe from Make the Best of Everything.
Sturdy apple slices stand-in for bread in this 3-ingredient recipe from Garnish with Lemon. Simply spread apple rounds with nut butter, sprinkle on granola, and top with another apple round for mini sandwiches that make a filling breakfast or brown-bag lunch.
Another trick for all the summer barbecues on the calendar: Ditch caloric burger buns for nutritious Portobello mushroom caps instead! The meaty veggie is the perfect vessel for a big, juicy burger and has just 18 calories per cap, plus some filling fiber and protein.
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