When you’ve got kids home from school and you’re stuck trying to feed what feels like bottomless pits, you might be tempted with the sugary snacks or even just tossing a bag of chips at the kids. This may seem cheaper and easier, but what if healthy eating was simple and not that expensive? Here are some healthy and inexpensive summer recipes to try out this year!
Oh, psst. I know that healthy means something different for everyone. These recipes are not meant to be any type of medical advice or a part of a diet plan. You’ll have to talk to your doc about those. These recipes are simply meant as a replacement to endless poolside popsicles and daily drive-thru trips that we all know aren’t healthy summer habits. So, take the “healthy” label with a grain of salt – or, you know, something healthier.
Note: Want a convenient way to track your meals this next week? Grab my printable meal plan template! (You can print it as many times as you need!)
When the kids (or you) are craving something summery and sweet, you can’t go wrong with berry parfaits. No matter what your eating habits usually look like, this is one of the best healthy and inexpensive summer recipes you can have in your lineup! Berries are inexpensive, yogurt is inexpensive and you’ll feel like you’re really indulging in something sweet!
- ½ cup of yogurt
- ½ cup of berries
- A sprinkle of granola to top
The great thing about this recipe is that you can switch it up to suit your needs! Can’t do dairy? Switch out the yogurt for a non-dairy version. Want to amp up the protein? Try Greek yogurt! Choose any berry that you love (or that’s on sale this week). Then, grab some affordable granola (Costco granola is a good buy because it seems to last forever) and top it off for a subtle crunch!
Who doesn’t love to barbecue during the summertime? But, if you’re trying to stay on the healthier side, you probably don’t want to be indulging in sauce-slathered chicken and juicy, fatty steaks, plus these meats can really add up on your grocery bill. Instead, go lighter and do your favorite veggies on the grill! While there are many recipes out there for grilled vegetables, you don’t even really need a recipe. Here are some ideas to get you inspired with grilled vegetables:
- Zucchini and squash sliced, tossed in blueberry balsamic vinegar, and put in a grilling basket over direct heat.
- Corn on the cob in the husk. Soak it first so the husks don’t catch on fire. Then, when it’s done, squeeze some lime and toss some chili powder on it. Like elote, but without the guilt!
- Kabobs! Stack your favorite vegetables on top of each other and toss ‘em on the grill. Add a bit of olive oil, salt, or any of your favorite seasonings. A fan favorite combination is tomatoes, green peppers, and onions.
If you were born in the last 50 years, you probably remember cranking out a slushie machine that just never seemed to work right, made a mess with shaved ice, and was way too sweet for you to enjoy. Sound like you? You’re going to love the nostalgia without the hassle of using this AMAZING hack. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup of ice cubes
- 1 powdered water flavoring
- ⅛ cup of water
Add the water and the mixer to a blender (a magic bullet works great for this but, you can also use a smoothie maker or even a food processor) and stir it around so it gets mixed with the water. Then, add your ice cubes and blend for am instant slushie!
We don’t need to debate the healthiness of water drink mixers, but most people would probably agree that they’re better for you than super sugary slushie syrups (and a lot less sticky)! Plus, this recipe clocks in as the cheapest. You can get 8-packs of the flavoring at the dollar store so that comes out to less than a quarter per slushie!
Note: Concerned about artificial dyes? Target and Amazon (among others) both offer powdered drink mixes that have no artificial colors added!
Teriyaki-Style Chicken Breast
I know we’ve already talked about the grill, but why not add just one more idea for this fun summer activity? Teriyaki chicken breast is so simple to make and is one of the best healthy and inexpensive summer recipes! Buy your breasts when they’re on sale and freeze for later to save even more money.
- 3-4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced works best
- 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of honey (brown sugar also works but honey adds a bit more depth)
- 1 cup of pineapple (get these on sale during the summer)
Add all ingredients to a large plastic bag and let it marinate overnight. Fire up the grill and put your chicken on it. You’ll want to cook the pineapple separately or in a grill basket. Alternatively, you can make chicken-pineapple skewers using the same recipe!
I don’t know about you, but I love summer and it is so easy to make healthy and inexpensive summer recipes when all the things you need are available and easy to access. To make any recipe a little healthier consider adding fresh fruits and vegetables, find alternatives to things like sugar and salt, and remember that even the not-so-healthy recipes can be okay in moderation!
Also – grab my printable grocery lists to keep you on track when you hit the supermarket. Find them HERE.