Warm weather and long days can mean only one thing; it’s grilling season! It’s time to fire up your grill and take the kitchen outdoors. But just because you’re turning to the BBQ doesn’t mean your meals have to be loaded with fat and calories. Here are some healthy grilling tips to keep in mind this barbecue season.
Skip the sauce
Instead of slathering your meat in sugar-filled sauces, mix up your own marinade. Homemade marinades mean you know exactly what ingredients are going into your food. Mix up some olive oil (extra points for a flavored olive oil like garlic or jalapeño) with some fresh-squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic and your favorite herbs. Add a little salt and pepper and you’re good to go.
Take to the Sea
Grilling isn’t just for beef. Season your favorite seafood and grill it up. Filets of salmon or trout, jumbo shrimp and even shellfish can all be cooked to perfection on your BBQ. Plus, you’ll get to avoid the fishy smell that can sometimes linger after cooking seafood in your kitchen.
Cut the Fat
This one isn’t really a tip so much as a perk of cooking your food on the grill. When you grill your food, particularly meat, the excess fat cooks off and drips off. Meat cooked in a pan reabsorbs the fat by cooking in it.
(Image from realsimplegood.com)
Grill Up Your Fruits and Veggies
The best part about grilling is the easy clean up afterwards. So cook as much of your meal as possible on your BBQ. Fruits and veggies are grill up great and require minimal seasoning to taste oh so delicious! Try grilling up bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini for a healthy side dish. Grill up pineapple, peaches or plums for a grilled fruit salad or for a grilled dessert.
Go Lean Without Losing Flavor
Burgers are a grilling staple, but opting for leaner meats to build your burgers out of could help you lower your caloric intake. Shoot for a lean mix of ground beef or, better yet, mix your ground beef with leaner ground turkey or chicken. Season it right and you’ll still get tons of flavor with less fat.