29 Apr Let’s Taco Bout Margaritas
Cinco de Mayo is coming up this weekend, giving us all a reason to wear ridiculous sombreros, consume endless chips and salsa, and (possibly most importantly) margaritas! It’s all (tequila-fueled) fun and games, until the sugar-crash hits and you’re left with a headache and regret. The scary truth is that those ready-made margarita mixes pour in the added sugar and artificial flavors. A 4oz serving of powdered margarita mix can pack a punch of around 26 (TWENTY-SIX) grams of sugar (a full-size Snickers bar has 27g of sugar) I am not here to stop your fun and tell you to avoid margaritas all weekend. The good news is that with a little extra effort, there are options for a healthier margarita! Using whole fruits instead of powdered mixes can be just as sweet without the added sugars. BONUS: fruits like blackberries, pineapple, watermelon, and limes can make a deliciously unique drink full of nutrients for an added nutrition boost.
Stay with me here as I bring in just a little science to help break down the nutrition benefits. Pineapple, blackberries, limes, and watermelon are all powerhouses of vitamin C. Our bodies cannot produce Vitamin C, so we get it by consuming food and beverages containing fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is critical for immune system support and tissue repair in our bodies. The potassium in pineapples and coconuts help regulate minerals and balance fluids in our bodies, while also helping our muscle contractions. Watermelons get their bright pink color from a carotenoid called lycopene. Carotenoids are a group of antioxidants that help prevent infection and disease by protecting our body’s healthy cells from damage by free-radicals. Check out the links in this post and try one of these fruit-filled margarita recipes this weekend!
Now, I am by no means telling you that putting a piece fruit in your margarita is a free pass to calling your drink “healthy.” It is perfectly fine to cut loose and “treat yo self” occasionally, especially on a holiday, but remember that moderation is key and drinking responsibly is SUPER important. Keep track of your drinks and know your limits. If you know you are going to be drinking for an extended period of time, make sure you are alternating alcoholic beverages with water. PRO TIP: Set alarms on your phone or smart watch for every hour to remind yourself to order (and finish) a water. I guarantee you will thank yourself the next morning!
Let’s all raise a salt-rimmed glass and say cheers to a day dedicated to tacos and tequila! Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Written By: Katrina Fotovich, Instructor and Foods and Nutrition Graduate