A BLT is a sandwich staple, (one of the most popular in the world in fact), but it might not be the first option that springs to mind when you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Store-bought BLT’s are often laden with hidden calories thanks to their over-zealous application of mayo, butter and is it just me or do pre-packed sandwiches leave everyone else feeling bloated and disappointed? When it comes to sandwiches, homemade is the way forward for a better tasting, more wholesome option. Here are a few ways to boost your BLT – and your health!
- First up, bread. Choose wisely here, a sugar-packed processed white bread can leave you feeling stuffed and sluggish – less than ideal if you need to power through work after your BLT break. Bread is often completely vilified, and whilst it might not be the most nutritionally packed choice, it isn’t the devil! The key is choosing the right kind of bread. Opt for wholemeal or seeded varieties. Seeded bread might be higher in calories but so long as you’re not eating excessive amounts don’t let that put you off. The nuts and seeds take time for your body to digest, keeping your blood sugar stable and you fuller for longer.
- Cut the fat – If you’re a meat eater, swap streaky bacon for leaner back bacon, or use turkey rashers instead. If like me you’re vegetarian, there are some great meat-free alternatives to bacon that crisp up well and add flavour to your BLT.
- Spice up your mayo! I pretty much always add something to mayo whenever I eat it and my favourite mayo on a BLT has chipotle hot sauce stirred in with some cajun spices. I personally hate light mayo – give me a little less of the real stuff any day, but if you don’t mind it that’s another swap that will lighten up your lunch.
- Load up on tomatoes – Perfectly ripe vine tomatoes are the centrepiece of a good BLT, and whether you prefer beef varieties or small cherry tomatoes, they are packed with lycopene which can boost your skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun, potassium and vitamins A, C and E. I season mine with cracked black pepper and a little rock salt for the perfect sandwich.
- Go green! I love to switch lettuce for baby leaf spinach. Spinach is great for flushing out toxins, aiding digestion and preventing bone and cardiovascular problems. It can even help with a glowing complexion so choose your greens wisely. With 30% of spinach being protein, it’s a great addition to any BLT.
Now all that’s left to do is toast your bread, spread on some spicy mayo and layer your healthy fillings until you think you might struggle to hold the sandwich!
What is your favourite filling? Do you like BLT’s? Leave your suggestions for healthy swaps in the comments below!
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