By: Amanda Belo
Çookout season is in full swing just in time for National Grilling Month! As one of the summer’s favorite pastimes, it’s hard to say no to a juicy cheeseburger with all the fixin’s and maybe a hot dog…and maybe that chicken leg, too. Not to worry; you can still enjoy that summer cookout without sacrificing taste and flavor! Read more to see our tips just in time for the beginning of National Grilling Month!
- Grill Fruits and Vegetables: Grilling intensifies the flavor and adds tasty, healthier options.
- Grill Lean Meats, Poultry, and Fish: Fat from fattier meats can drip onto grilling flames, which creates smoke that may contain carcinogens. Plus, fish offers fatty acids that are great for your brain and body!
- Go For Quality: Buy meats from animals raised in healthy environments to avoid hormones and antibiotics. Here are some great options:
- Sustainably raised, pasture-raised, grass-fed beef;
- Free-range chicken;
- Wild or organic farm-raised fish
- Get Creative with Kebabs: Add as many healthy veggies or fruits in between meat (or without meat) for a tasty, colorful dish. Research shows that many vitamins and minerals when eaten together provide the maximum boost of nutrition.
- Know Your Portions: Limit meat sizes and cuts, leaving more room for fresh, meatless options. Remember, one serving of protein is about the size of a deck of cards.
- Use Whole Grain Bread: For burgers and hot dogs, use whole-grain or sprouted grain buns for more fiber content. Remember, bread can label itself “whole grain” even if only 51% of the ingredients meet the qualifications so make sure to read the nutrition labels to ensure the healthiest choice!
- Healthy Sides: Make salads from green leafy veggies, or cook kale or spinach with garlic and serve hot. Other ideas for clean-eating sides include asparagus, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and eggplant. You can find healthy swaps for certain ingredients in your favorite dishes as well. Try replacing mayonnaise based dishes with non-fat yogurt.
What are some of your go-to healthy options for summer cookouts? Comment yours below!