Summer is in full swing. What better time to take advantage of the season than firing up the grill for a summer cookout while taking advantage of the season’s freshest ingredients.
To ensure your summer BBQ is flavorful and healthy, follow these simple tips:
- Experiment with Marinades: You can add a lot of flavor without adding too many calories, salt, sugar and fat. In fact, spicing up your meat not only helps with flavor but can also make it healthier. Spices and herbs high in antioxidants and ingredients with Vitamin C help get rid of harmful HCAs (heterocyclic amines) formed when meat fat drips on a hot grill. So be sure to add lemon juice , orange juice or pineapple juice to your marinade, as well as great plant seasonings such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, garlic or onion. Toss out used marinade. Never add it to a cooked food.
- Trim Fat: Before firing up your grill, take the time to remove excess fat from m Buying lean beef or pork or lamb cuts will also help eliminate some of the saturated fats consumed. Lean cuts include flank steak, pork or beef tenderloin, skirt steak, fat- trimmed leg of lamb, or lean ground beef.
- Go for Seafood: The grill is not just for meat. It’s a delicious and healthy way to cook seafood, too. Opt for lighter marinades that won’t overpower the taste of your seafood. Firm fish, such as tuna, salmon or snapper prove to be much better options for grilling as opposed to delicate, flaky fish like cod and tilapia. Firmer fish do much better with the high heat of the grill and smoky flavor. For shellfish, like shrimp or scallops, choose jumbo varieties and consider using a basket or skewers, which handle better on the grill.
- Add vegetables: Add vegetables to the grill every chance you can. They are delicious and you won’t have to worry about overcooking. Add a little olive or canola oil to your veggies or marinade them. Make kabobs, using half meat and half vegetables . Grill extra veggies on the grill, in foil, or in a grilling basket to enjoy tomorrow as a side, snack or add to a salad or sandwich. Grill ears of corn in their husk (after soaking in water to prevent burning). Get creative. Grill romaine lettuce leaves, whole onions, pineapple or peach slices – all rich in flavor.
For some creative ideas, check out the recipes below for some of my favorite summer grilling recipes:
- Rosemary-Lime Wild Salmon Kababs, courtesy of Whole Foods
- Grilled T-Bone Steaks with BBQ Rub, courtesy of beefnutrition.org
- Shrimp, Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad, courtesy of Whole Foods
- Italian Marinated Steak with Grilled Ratatouille, courtesy of beefnutrition.org
- Beef Kabobs with Parmesan Orzo, courtesy of beefnutrition.org
This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.