Healthy Grilling For Summer
It’s almost Independence Day and that means the grilling season is in full swing. If you are planning to grill this holiday, keep it fun, festive and healthy with these simple tips.
- Choose a lean protein. Try chicken breast or fish, ground turkey burgers or center-cut pork chops, pork tenderloin or flank steak
- Make lean meats more flavorful by marinating before grilling. A homemade marinade is easy to prepare and will have less sodium than most bottled versions. Healthy marinades can include bases such as yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice. Add spices, onions, and garlic to increase flavor.
- Throw some vegetables on the grill. Zucchini, eggplant or yellow squash simply seasoned with salt and pepper are great options.
- Kebabs are a fun way to include vegetables into your grilling meal. Cut pieces of meat and vegetables into chunks, build layers on a skewer and place on the grill.
- Grill fresh fruit, such as pineapple, mango, peach and plum halves, to bring out the natural sweetness for an unexpected side dish or dessert. Put them straight on the grill or wrap them in tin foil pouches.
- For those side dishes that call for mayonnaise, use a light version or substitute with plain yogurt. Look for reduced fat options for other dairy items like sour cream, cream cheese and other cheese products. Use whole-grain macaroni or red potatoes with the skin and stirring in extra chopped fresh vegetables.
- Have lots of water on hand to drink. Think about even using fruit to flavor water to add flavor with no added sugar.
- Sparkling water is a good alternative to soda for those who prefer something carbonated. There are many brands with various flavors to choose from. Buy a selection and make it a game to figure out which one everyone likes the best.
- Don’t leave perishable foods out for more than two hours. If it’s warmer than 90°F outside, food will only be safe outside for one hour. Keep food indoors until ready to serve, or store in a cooler filled with ice.
- Separate raw meat for grilling from produce and prepared foods to prevent cross-contamination.
Don’t be afraid to try something new, you might find a new favorite recipe for all your upcoming parties.