If your idea of a good time is hanging out with friends, family and grilling for all, this is the article for you! Truth be told, summertime BBQ’s aren’t always the healthiest option, but when you tweak what you grill up for your loved ones, it can be heart healthy and tastier than ever! Here are five tips to easily, and affordably make that happen.
Get Picky About Your Protein
To make healthier choices for your grilling afternoons, the key is focusing on the main attraction—which is your meat (or protein) choices. Try to limit your red meat options, which are high in saturated fat, and instead find a couple of amazing marinades to dress your poultry and fish in, instead. Choose boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shrimp, cod, or salmon to grill up instead of pork chops or steak (you can always reserve those fattier cuts of meat for special occasions, such as Father’s Day or the Fourth of July.)
Choose a Healthier Marinade + Pick Sides That Enhance Your Meal
When choosing a marinade, a bit more on the healthy side, skip any bottled or pre-packaged marinades from the store—and focus on creating your own. Not only will this save you a ton of calories, but you’ll be able to control the ingredients that go into it (putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health, metabolism and energy level). Here’s an easy marinade recipe anyone can master the first time around. All you need is four spare hours to let it rest before grilling:
• 4 small chicken breasts
• 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• Lemon slices for garnish, if desired.
Prepare the marinade the morning of, or the night before, your meal or get together. In a large zip-lock bag, pour the marinade and place the chicken so it’s fully submerged in the marinade. This marinade works well on chicken breasts and shrimp, so experiment with both—and serve with grilled zucchini, portabella mushrooms and potatoes for a feast you’ll gobble right up!
burger-2302003_640Go Whole Grain
You never have to feel guilty again about noshing on thick, juicy burgers when you switch out the white, for ‘right’…as in, whole wheat buns! These days, there are so many options for lower carb, nutrient rich bread—just choose one that contains more grains and fiber for healthier grilling.
Grill Your Dessert!
If you’ve never had grilled pears, you don’t know what you’re missing. Skip the berry pie and ice cream, and enjoy grilled fruit instead. To seriously please a crowd, wrap some cut up plums, apricots and pears in foil (along with some crushed up gingerbread cookies), and grill. It’s a delicious, healthier dessert that others will rave over!