Chow down: #9Fitness has the skinny on 9 healthy summer barbecue options that satisfy

The days are longer and warmer. Friends and neighbors are emerging from their homes and couches after the long, harsh winter. The grills--oh, the grills!--are rolled out on the back patio and cleaned up, ready to entertain the neighborhood during frequent summer barbecues.

So where does that “bikini-friendly” diet plan fit into your summer barbecue dreams? Hand-in-hand, if you think before you toss your favorite foods on the grill. Make some healthy options this summer, and your bikini bod won’t suffer at all!

9 of our favorites

1. California Turkey Burgers . Yum! For those of us who are cutting back on the red meat and including more lean meats into the diet, this is a fantastic alternative to the traditional burger. Tip: Trim the carbs by using only half the bun, wrapping your burger large leaves of lettuce or a whole wheat tortilla, or forsaking the bun entirely.

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter . Add more sizzle to your summer plate with this flavorful side dish. Then again, throw a lime on anything in the summer months and I’ll be hooked.

3. Tangy Barbecue Sandwich A filling and flavor-packed take on a traditional pork sandwich, because it’s made with pulled turkey breast!

4. Spicy-Sweet Slaw . I refuse to call it a barbecue until someone puts a large bowl of coleslaw on the table. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the best side dish if you’re trying to eat right all summer. There is hope, though, and it’s found in the form of this low-cal coleslaw recipe.

5. Barbecue Chicken . Just because you opted for chicken instead of a burger or steak doesn’t mean you made the ultimate healthy choice. The seasonings and sauces can definitely set you back. So make sure your chicken is delicious and nutritious by trying out this easy BBQ chicken idea.

6. Barbecue Fries . Crispy fries, like coleslaw, are a summer staple. So opt for this healthy option and feel great about indulging in one of your favorite summer treats!

7. Broccoli, Cherry Tomato and Pasta Salad . Don’t forget the sides (of course, an integral part of any barbecue!). Whip up this healthy pasta salad and keep your party guests happy!

8. Edamame “guacamole” with Pita Chips . Stop! Put away the frozen mozzarella sticks or the corn chips you were just about to set on the patio table. We’ve got a much more beach body-friendly option, in the form of edamame “guacamole” with a tangy pita chip. Enjoy.

9. Grilled Balsamic Peaches with Frozen Yogurt . As kids, we loved grabbing a frozen candy bar or an ice cream treat in between bouts of running through the sprinkler or playing in the neighborhood. Now, daily ice cream treats are a little more detrimental to our figures, right? End the barbecue (and treat yourself!) with this healthy and delicious dessert option that leaves you feeling satisfied, not guilty.

#9Fitness, I want to hear from YOU - what's your favorite (healthy) summer recipe? Share it with me on Twitter, @jennyfromthebak , and be sure to include the hashtag #9Fitness.

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