Sometimes, there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a sandwich. I won’t lie either—a part of what makes a sandwich so satisfying is, well, the bread. That’s why, before getting into what I sometimes use as a bread substitute, I just want to share that I’m aware that there are some benefits that come from consuming carbs. Carbs give us energy. Carbs can curb our appetite. Carbs even provide us with a boost of serotonin so that we can stay in a good mood. All of these are good things.
Bread tends to have empty calories, contains lectins and phytates (which are toxins that come from grains) and is loaded with high fructose corn syrup (there’s NOTHING good about that!).
Keeping all of this in mind—even if, after reading up on bread, you still want to have a ham on wheat or a turkey on rye sometimes, hopefully you’ll be open to some alternatives to bread. (Hey, everything in moderation…right?)
Gather your ingredients and i’ll tell you what alternative I like to use for bread! Make sure to check out the VIDEO with the full recipe at the end of the article!
Alternatives for bread? How about cucumbers?
It’s the kind of low-calorie vegetable that contains Vitamin C and Vitamin K, along with magnesium, potassium and manganese. Also, cucumbers are made up of mostly water (so they keep you hydrated); are full of antioxidants (to keep your immune system strong) and also contains fiber (so that you stay regular).
Now that you know some of the reasons why I like to substitute bread with cucumbers, you’re probably curious to know how I make it all work for the good of your health and your taste buds. Good question.
How to Turn Cucumbers into “Bread”
First, I take a cucumber and peel it. Next, I use a knife to get all of the seeds out. Then I slice the cucumber down straight down the middle and cut each slice in half. Once I’ve done that, I’m ready to make one of the following awesome sandwiches!
Salmon and Nuts Cucumber Sandwich
Salmon + Cream Cheese + Walnuts
For this particular sandwich, treat the cream cheese like you would mayonnaise. Why do I like cream cheese better than mayo? It’s low in calories and brings out the flavor in just about anything!
Once I put cream cheese on each slice of cucumber, I then add some thinly-sliced salmon (salmon is full of protein, Vitamin B and Omega-3 oils). For the freshest sustainably-sourced wild salmon check out our favorite place, Wild Alaskan Company! We even got 15% off your first purchase just for you! And lastly a few walnuts (they’re rich in antioxidants and promote a healthy gut) and place the other “slice” of cucumber.
Voila! A healthy treat that I made in just a matter of minutes!
Cotto with a Surprise Cucumber Sandwich
Prosciutto Cotto/Italian Ham + Cream Cheese + Bitter Orange Jam
If you’re in the mood for a little cotto or Italian ham, swap out the salmon from the first recipe for it and you’re almost done with this fan favorite. All you need to do is add the “surprise” which is bitter orange jam.
Now, I know it sounds a little crazy to do this but hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! For one thing, bitter jam has a good reputation for helping to treat digestive issues. And, when it’s added to meat? It provides just enough sweetness to give your sandwich a bit of a kick!
Turkey Tomato Cucumber Sandwich
Turkey + Cream Cheese + Tomato
Who doesn’t love sinking their teeth into a turkey sandwich every now and then? What I personally like to add to this one is a few slices of fresh tomato. It’s the kind of fruit (remember we learned that in elementary school?) that isn’t only refreshingly delicious, it’s such a good source of Vitamin C and folate too.
Speaking of tomatoes, here’s something you may not know—tomatoes have coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid in them. Why is that so important? If or someone in your family is a smoker, these are the kinds of acids that literally fight against the carcinogens found in cigarettes. (Pretty cool, right?)
The Italian Cucumber Sandwich
Prosciutto Crudo + Cream Cheese + Arugula
Next up, a twist on an Italian sandwich. If you have a craving for one, personally, I don’t think there’s a better meat to use than prosciutto crudo. It’s so full of flavor that all you need to add to this is a little arugula which contains calcium and folate.
BTW—if you really want to bring out the Italian flavor of this kind of dry-cured ham, sprinkle some fresh pepper, basil and oregano on the cream cheese before adding the meet and leafy greens (trust me, you’ll thank me later!).
Vegetarian Cucumber Sandwich
Cherry Mozzarella + Tomato + Pesto sauce
You know I couldn’t leave my fellow vegetarians out!
Although you could go with any cheese you wish, I prefer cherry mozzarella (if you’re vegan, click here for an vegan mozzarella recipe). Believe it or not, mozzarella is not only super-tasty, it has biotin, niacin and phosphorus in it.
Besides a couple of more slices of tomato, the only other thing you really need is a little pesto sauce. Pesto sauce is the best! It’s full of flavor and contains nutrients like garlic, olive oil and fresh basil leaves.
Welp. There you have it. Five bread-free sandwiches that take only a couple of minutes to make, are super-healthy and are delicious too. Enjoy!
If you are looking for low-carb snacks and don’t know what to eat instead of all the processed food out there, check out one of our latest articles on low-carb snack ideas!