Memorial Day is right around the corner, and we all know what that means: a long weekend, extra sunshine, firing up the grill, and for those of us with gut issues, a painful Monday night. Here comes your knight in shining armor – gut-healthy memorial day recipes disguised as unhealthy ones! Let’s jump in.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, making it a fun but nutritious option! Sweet potatoes include:
- Vitamin A: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining healthy vision, supporting the immune system, and promoting skin health.
- Vitamin C: Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, supports collagen production, and aids in iron absorption.
- Fiber: Sweet potatoes contain dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
- Antioxidants: Sweet potatoes contain various antioxidants that help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
By using olive oil and an air fryer instead of deep-frying in gut-inflaming oils, you can enjoy the health benefits of sweet potatoes without making your stomach unhappy. Plus – no one will know!
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the air fryer to 425°F (220°C) and line it with parchment paper.
- Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt, or buy them pre-peeled.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into thin fries or wedges, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
- In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato fries, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Toss until the fries are evenly coated.
- Arrange the seasoned sweet potato fries in a single layer in the air fryer.
- Air fry for about 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the fries are crispy and golden brown.
- Remove from the air fryer, add some extra salt, and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Boom, you’ve got healthy sweet potato fries!
Chips and Guacamole
Who doesn’t love chips and guac? Carrots and guac are no fun. That’s why we made a healthy chips and guac variation for you. This healthy variation offers plenty of health benefits:
- Avocado: Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps promote feelings of fullness. Avocados are a good source of vitamins C, E, and K, as well as B vitamins and folate.
- Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants, including lycopene, which has been associated with reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K.
- Onion and Garlic: Both onions and garlic contain sulfur compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. They also add flavor to the guacamole without the need for added sugar or processed ingredients. If you have trouble digesting them, try cutting the portion below in half or taking an enzyme.
- Lime: Lime juice adds tanginess and brightness to the guacamole. Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C and provide a refreshing citrus flavor.
- Corn Tortillas: Opting for baked corn tortilla chips instead of fried chips reduces unhealthy fats. Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free and provide a good source of complex carbohydrates.
For the Guacamole:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Baked Tortilla Chips:
- 6 corn tortillas – try to pick an organic additive-free brand
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, scoop out the flesh of the avocados and mash them with a fork until desired consistency is reached.
- Add the diced tomato, red onion, lime juice, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro to the bowl with the mashed avocados. Mix well to combine.
- Season the guacamole with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the lime juice and seasonings according to your preference.
- For the baked tortilla chips, cut each corn tortilla into wedges or desired chip size.
- Place the tortilla wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over the tortilla wedges, making sure to coat both sides. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake the tortilla chips for about 10-12 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Remove the baked tortilla chips from the oven and let them cool slightly.
- Serve the healthy tortilla chips alongside the guacamole.
A fruit salad is always a crowd-pleaser on a hot summer day. Check this one out!
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup pineapple, cubed
- 1 cup grapes, halved
- Juice of 1 lime
- Fresh mint leaves
- In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and grapes.
- Squeeze the juice of one lime over the fruit salad and gently toss to coat the fruits with the lime juice.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the refreshing fruit salad chilled.
This Memorial Day fruit salad provides several nutritional benefits:
- Digestion: mint is great for digestion and has been shown to alleviate IBS symptoms.
- Fiber: All the fruits in this salad are rich in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes feelings of fullness.
- Vitamins and Minerals: The combination of watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and grapes offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Watermelon and pineapple are high in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and acts as an antioxidant. Strawberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C and manganese. Grapes provide resveratrol, a beneficial compound linked to heart health.
- Antioxidants: The various fruits in this salad contain antioxidants that help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
- Low in Added Sugar: This fruit salad is naturally sweetened by the fruits themselves, with no added sugar necessary. It’s a healthier alternative to many other dessert options.
Tag us in photos of your gut-friendly memorial day snacks on Instagram at @igynutrition! Happy (almost) Memorial Day!