No matter the season, grilling is a fun and flavorful way to cook. Who doesn’t love cooking with friends outdoors in summer or tailgating during fall and winter?
Not only is grilling delicious, but it’s also one of the healthiest methods of cooking! If you’re looking to stay healthy this summer, just follow our top ten tips for healthy grilling and barbecuing.
1. Pick the perfect protein
Fish, skinless chicken breast and lean ground poultry are the healthier choices in regards to protein. The good fats found in fish like salmon and trout have been shown to actually provide health benefits.
And when you’re a grill master, your guests won’t even miss the red meat that usually has higher levels of saturated fat.
Get creative with your cooking by wrapping marinated fish fillets in foil, construct colorful chicken kebabs, or make more savory turkey burgers by mixing minced portabella mushrooms and onions into the patties.
2. Rightsized your portions
A 3-ounce serving of meat is approximately the size of a deck of cards, and no more than 6 ounces. If that sounds small to you, keep in mind all the other delicious items that will be served alongside it!
3. Give it a soak or rub
By marinating your poultry, fish, and meat with spices, you can add rich flavor while using less salt. For each pound of food, use 1/2 cup of marinade or 1 tablespoon of spice rub.
Check our recipe center for more Ideas! You can also create a simple rub with your favorite spices like allspice, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin garlic powder paprika or rosemary) and black pepper. Keep in mind: it’s not safe to reuse a marinade or rub after raw meat has come into contact with it.
4. Add color
Carnivores will be pleasantly surprised by the fantastic flavors that come from grilling your fruits and veggies.
If you want to get them interested, make sure to cut the pieces evenly so they cook quickly and give them a healthy oil brush-off or use a grill basket.
Some of our personal favorites include asparagus, avocado, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, potatoes squash and zucchini!
5. Say bye to the bad fat
The best way to make sure your food is healthy is to cook it in a skinless poultry or remove the skin before cooking. Make sure that you trim away any visible fat on meat as well.
It’s also important to brush or marinate foods with a healthy cooking oil so that fat drips away from the food while it cooks.
6. Let the simple grilled goodness shine through
Give your hard work the attention it deserves by using little to no sauce, sugar, or dressing. Try making your own healthier condiments, it’s not as complicated as you might think! You might be surprised how flavorful something can be with only a citrusy twist.
7. Choose healthier sides
Change up your barbecue this year by ditching the unhealthy, store-bought sides like baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad and potato salad.
You could go for healthier homemade versions of these dishes or switch it up entirely with a bean salad, fruit Salad or leafy green salad.
8. Make your buns whole grain
For a healthier meal, include whole-grain buns and breads. If you’re calorie or carb conscious, try an open-faced burger or lettuce wrap instead.
9. Grill fruits for dessert
The natural sugars caramelize in the high heat, giving them extra sweetness and flavor. Try slicing up apples, pears or pineapples; or using halved bananas, figs, nectarines, peaches or plums. you need BBQ essentials to make everything prefect.
10. Keep it clean
The fun part is cooking on the grill, not cleaning it afterwards. But it’s important to remove any bits of food stuck to the grill after each use, this will stop burning and smoking, as well as bitter flavors next time you barbecue.
Make sure to also regularly clean your utensils and surfaces, washing them with hot soapy water before and after each use. These simple habits will not only keep you and your food safe, but make for a happier grilling experience overall. Happy grilling!