Hot Diggity Dog!

Just because we’re in the Year of Eating Healthy doesn’t mean we miss out on the cool stuff—including Hot Dogs! Can a hot dog be healthy? Yes, it can! By Emma Dowling

Basic hot dog sausage and mixed salad

LFW healthy hot dog with mixed salad of cherry tomatoes, mixed leaves, and feta

Hot dogs are traditionally made with Frankfurters which, let’s face it, are pretty ‘blerk’. Quite aside from the fact that they’re made from chicken offcuts (not pork) after all the good stuff has been cut off—they’re also stuffed full of sodium (salt), preservatives, flavouring (to make them taste like pork), and E120 red colouring (carmine/cochineal) before being squeezed into a tube. Add to that they’re ‘bulked out’ with carbohydrate starch (potato, wheat flour, or rusk) and powdered milk. They are, in fact, one of the most processed and least natural foods on the planet, and let’s be honest they taste marginally better than the plastic wrap they come in! And if that doesn’t put you off we don’t know what will!

So in the interest of still enjoying a hot dog, and still eating healthy we came up with a few alternatives using ‘proper’ sausages, gluten-free wholegrain buns, and heaps of yummy extras!

Yummy hot dog sausage with home-made cole slaw

Classic LFW hot dog with home-made cole-slaw

Now we’re not advocating you make your own sausages but we strongly suggest that you start your healthy hot dog with a good quality sausage, and we can’t stress enough that you read the label to find out what’s actually in your humble sausage. Country Pride brand (available from selected supermarkets and gourmet butchers) are a good choice and most are low-fat, low-salt and some are gluten-free. There was a rumour going around at one time that this brand couldn’t really be sausages because the product contained too much meat! Seriously!

Spicy hot dog with Asian pickles and green chilli

Give your hot dog a kick with spicy Asian pickles and green chilli

This article in Choice recommends that you look for a sausage with:

  • less than 5g saturated fat
  • less than 450mg sodium (salt) per 100g
  • as few processed ingredients as possible.

If you’re choosy about your sausages, you can enjoy the occasional hot dog without guilt. Enjoy!

Hot dog with bacon and avocado salad

Super-tasty hot dog with bacon and avocado salad. Yum!

In all our hot dogs we used low-fat GF beef sausages, Pure Bred GF rolls, and heaps of salad.

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