Summer Lovin’ with Good Fats

Good fats seem to go hand-and-hand with hearty, winter dishes. Just think of chili finished off with a scoop of guacamole, homemade blueberry muffins topped with buttery spread and wild rice pilaf with nuts.

But good fats are equally as tasty in refreshing summer dishes, too. I often use them in some of my favorite grilled recipes or when I’m looking for a quick bite before heading to the beach. Sources of good fats include plant-based oils as those found in buttery spreads, nuts, seeds, avocado and fish. Read on to learn how to incorporate them into classic summer dishes.

Flavor up your greens. Salad is a no-brainer in the warmer summer months. It’s such a light dish—it won’t weigh you down or leave you feeling bloated or heavy. You can drizzle on a bit of olive oil mixed with vinegar (balsamic or a flavored variety) as a dressing. Add diced avocado to your leafy greens, top it with salmon (fresh or wild) or add a sprinkling of nuts or seeds. Scrumptious and satisfying.

A new twist on “steak.”  Put aside the beef and make room for cauliflower steaks on the grill. Slice a head of cauliflower into one-inch planks, brush with a buttery spread to add a source of good fat. Season with desired spices, such as dill or basil, before placing on the grill.

Spice up your dish. Nothing is better than salmon on the grill in the summer. Heat up your dish by also charring some tomatillos and habanero peppers. Add to a food processor with onion, garlic, lime juice and cilantro and process until smooth. Top your fish. Ole!

Kebabs are a BBQ’s best friend. Instead of sautéing veggies or protein on the stovetop, toss them right on the grill. Simply brush with a little tasty buttery spread like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® and enjoy. I like this recipe for Grilled Cilantro Dijon Shrimp with Buttery Glaze. Kebabs aren’t reserved for entrées only though—try fruit, too. Slide fruit chunks onto a skewer and add some buttery spread. To give this a try, I recommend this Cinnamon-Glazed Fruit Kebabs recipe.

Dress up dinner. Instead of breaded protein dishes, experiment with a “nut crust.” For instance, make a Walnut Crusted Halibut—yum!

Chill out. You don’t typically think of avocado as a dessert dish, but that’s exactly what I used when I created these creamy Avocado Ice Pops, which combine sweet banana with nutritious kale. I promise, even the kids will enjoy this recipe. Or try this cool and refreshing Avocado Milkshake, which contains no added granular sugar and a whole lot of flavor.

For great-tasting recipes using buttery spreads, and more information about using good fats in the kitchen, visit


Disclosure: Compensation for this post was provided by Unilever. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Unilever.