Who doesn't love a BLT? The classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich never goes out of style and is a perennial favorite with bacon lovers. Well now's your chance to give your BLT sandwich a healthy makeover!
So, you love bacon, but you are also trying to watch your fat intake and lose weight. How can you make over your bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich?
Cut your normal portion of bacon that you would typically eat in half. Bacon is loaded with flavor. You honestly don't need much at all to get a big burst of bacon to dance on your taste buds. So instead of taking a huge bacon portion that leaves you sluggish and over-satiated, have a smaller amount of bacon and savor it slowly.
Avoid white bread; choose whole grain instead.
Everyone pictures the classic BLT on white. But it can be just as delicious eaten on whole grain bread which is much better for your digestion. Whole grain bread contains complex carbs thanks to the fiber. This means it won't send your blood sugar soaring the way that white bread does. Whole grain bread also contains vitamin B6, Magnesium, and other nutrients lost in the milling process.
Eat less bread.
There are many ways you can accomplish this. You can decide to have an open-faced sandwich on one slice of bread instead of two.
Or you can do two slices but make them thinner. There are many brands of healthy whole grain bread that are also sliced thin. This way, you're eating less carbs but still able to enjoy a sandwich that you hold in your two hands and bite into.
Go for spring greens or another type of dark green lettuce instead of the usual iceberg lettuce that you see on a BLT. Iceberg lettuce is fresh and crisp but is also devoid of nutrition. If you love the crunch of iceberg, then you can still have some on your BLT as it is more or less like crunching on water. But it's also a smart idea to add some fiber-rich, vitamin-packed green lettuce to your bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. You can put the two distinct types of lettuce together for a good balance and flavor.
Go for quality tomatoes.
Hot house tomatoes are rushed through ripening using artificial means. This is why they look pinker or orange instead of the deep red color of homegrown tomatoes and seem flavorless. The lack of flavor also points to a lack of good nutrition from your tomatoes!
The best tomatoes have great flavor and color and are high in vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients. If you can get farm fresh or garden-grown local tomatoes that have ripened on the vine, you can ensure that your BLT sandwich will contain the most nutritionally superior tomatoes possible!
Avocado and bacon make great companions. Plus, if you're eating less bacon than you normally would because you're trying to cut back on saturated fat, you should really add in a healthy fat. Avocado is ideal for this purpose. In fact, speaking of fat, mayo is a common addition to a BLT. You can cut or entirely eliminate the mayonnaise if you really want to enjoy that savory sandwich without a lot of guilt.
Want your BLT to have health-giving superpowers? Pile on some sprouts. Fresh sprouts are packed with nutrition. Take your sandwich to the next level of healthy. Add fresh sprouts to your BLT sandwich for more crunch, flavor, and some vitamins to boot.
For the final healthy addition, mix up a quick homemade vinaigrette with red wine vinegar olive oil, a little bit of salt and a shake or two of dried thyme. Top your sandwich with a few shakes of that and you have the ultimate healthy BLT!
And if you up for a real health challenge, try this vegetarian chickpea, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Let me know what you think!
Chickpea, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches
- 1 cup 165g chickpeas, drained
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. sriracha sauce
- ½ small red onion diced
- salt & pepper
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 lettuce leaves
- 1 to tomato sliced
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a fork, leaving some of the chickpeas a little chunkier for added texture. Add the tahini, mustard, sriracha, maple syrup, onion and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Toast the bread and spread the chickpea mixture onto two slices. Top the chickpea mixture with lettuce and sliced tomato. Now cover with the second slice of toasted bread and serve immediately.