Healthier hot dog toppings for National Hot Dog Day - How do you eat yours?
As kids, we probably all mindlessly chowed down on processed hot dogs at the zoo or on a day out at the beach, without ever really thinking about what we were eating. Now that we're older (and hopefully, wiser), we've realised that most commercially produced hot dogs are filled with the types of ingredients we'd never consider eating in any other form. We won't go into too much detail but let's just say it's usually the 'offcuts' of the animal that make it into your delicious hot dog - make sure you know where your meat comes from!
Today's National Hot Dog Day, but before you head for your nearest street vendor for a questionably healthy hot dog, why not give some of our alternative recipes a try? We think you'll find them healthier and more delicious - let us know how you get on!
Stake out the best sausage
Steer clear of anything in a jar or tin - you just know that's going to be packed not only with low-grade meat but also with preservatives and other additives. We recommend looking for hot dogs with a high meat content and aim for ones with less than 150 calories and under 14g total fat per banger (6g saturated fat) for the healthiest option. High-quality, grass-fed beef hot dogs are great for Paleo diets and low in calories and fat. Avoid cured hot dogs, which have been treated with nitrites and nitrates - these have been linked to cancer. If you're struggling to find high-quality hot dogs, supermarkets such as Lidl, which commonly stock German sausages such as Bratwurst, are a great place to start, or you could even use sausages if you're desperate!
Bun-dle it up
It's not just hot dogs themselves that can be unhealthy, it's all the toppings and even the bun itself! Choose a healthy, whole-wheat hot dog bun, or make your own buns, rather than buying the sugar-laden white buns from your local supermarket. Seeded submarine sandwich rolls are a great option or you could even be untraditional and opt for ciabatta rolls, for a Meditteranean-style dawg.
Top it off
Now, where were we? Ah yes, toppings! A hot dog just isn't a hot dog unless it's piled with tasty toppings, right? The trouble is, all that mature cheddar cheese, sugary ketchup and beef chilli can add fat and calories to what is originally a fairly healthy hotdog. Here are a few tips to help you avoid topping trauma:
- Stick to home-made ketchup if possible or opt for organic, reduced-sugar varieties, readily available in most supermarkets
- Try topping your hotdog with home-made relish and onions rather than using sugar-laden condiments such as ketchup
- Think outside the box - hot dogs don't have to have traditional American toppings
- Reduce the amount of cheese you're adding to your hotdog and steer clear of heavily processed 'American-style' cheese which is packed with sodium and additives
Healthier hot dog recipes
When it comes to healthier toppings, we've scoured the web for the best recipes around - here are a few great idea to get you started this National Hot Dog Day!
An American take on the classic Vietnamese sandwich, this recipe uses lots of veggies and sriracha mayo for a spicy, Asian-style finish to the classic hot dog! We recommend serving in a seeded roll with plenty of salad on the side - delicious! This has to be our favourite healthier hot dog recipe, so let us know what you all think.
Did someone say avocado? Yup, and plenty of it! This tasty recipe tops hot dogs with salsa, beans (packed with fibre), avocado, cheese, lime and coriander. You'll never look at a hot dog in the same way again!
Image credit: Cooklikeachampion.com
What could be tastier, or healthier, than a home-made slaw of onions, carrots, cabbage and mayo, sprinkled with poppyseeds and served over a (high-quality) hot dog in a wholemeal roll? Don't want to use mayo? Greek yoghurt is a great, low-fat alternative. This is a great recipe to get the kids involved in; it's never too early to start teaching them about healthy eating!
Anything with guacamole in the title has us hooked and this recipe is an Expertrain team favourite! Top cooked hot dogs with home-made sweet n' spicy Sriracha guacamole and fresh tomatoes for a dose of healthy fats and antioxidants. Yummy!
Image credit: Damndelicious.net
There's something about the sweet mango salsa and fruity pineapple mustard in this recipe which complements the savoury, smoky flavour of hot dogs perfectly! Plus, it's a great way to add some more fruit to your day!
However you top your hot dogs, get the kids involved if you're making them for dinner tonight - teaching them about choosing and preparing healthy food is a great way to get them into healthy eating from a young age!