Everyone’s favorite summer cooking method gets a healthy upgrade with my top tips for being a healthy grill master!
Memorial Day is right around the corner and for me, Memorial Day Weekend always marks the unofficial start of summer. It’s a great time to spend time with friends and family, enjoy some nice weather, and do some grilling, of course.
Grilling is one of my FAVORITE ways to cook food and summer is primetime to do ALL THE GRILLING. Most people don’t think beyond burgers, hotdogs, and chicken when it comes to firing up the grill, but there is so much potential for cooking other delicious foods on your grill. And a ton of different preparations as well!
Today I am sharing my top 5 tips for healthy, delicious grilled foods all summer long!
Use herbs, spices, or marinades for flavor
You know how I feel about cooking with herbs and spices!Marinating or rubbing spices on your meats or proteins can add amazing flavor without having to use a ton of salt or sauces/condiments. Marinades especially help keep meat moist while being grilled. All you need is about ½ cup of marinade or 1 tablespoon of spice rub for each pound of food you’re grilling.
Include lots of veggies
Who says grills are just for meat?! Grilled vegetables are delicious and a great way to add color, fiber, and nutrients to a meat heavy meal. Veggie are great grilled alone or in kebab form with some protein. Grilling them brings out their delicious flavor and the trick to getting them to cook quickly and evenly is to cut them in to smaller pieces. It’s also good lightly spray or brush them with a healthy oil to prevent sticking. A grill basket is great option for veggies as well! Some favorite veggie to grill include: asparagus, peppers, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, red onion, sweet potatoes potatoes, and zucchini.
Choose leaner cuts of meat
Seafood, skinless chicken breast and lean ground poultry are all healthier choices. The “good” fats in fish like salmon and trout have health benefits and make those great options as well! And when you follow my tips and grill with tons of flavor, your BBQ guests won’t miss the red meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.
Use a meat thermometer
The faster your food is cooked the less likely they are to develop dangerous levels of carcinogens that grills can expose food to. Thus, diligently keep track of the temperature of your meats so that you don't cook meat past its goal temperature. Here are the standard goal temps for different meats: 165 degrees F for poultry; 160 degrees F for ground red meats or mixtures and fresh pork; or 145 degrees F for red meat steaks or chops.
Grill fruit for dessert!
Keep the grill warm so you can prepare dessert too! The high heat of a grill makes the natural sugars in fruit caramelize, giving them extra sweetness and flavor. For a healthy sweet ending to your meal, try grilling sliced apple, pear or pineapple or halved bananas, nectarines, peaches or plums.
What are your favorite things to grill? Tell me in the comments!