Enjoy backyard barbecues as healthy as they are tasty with these healthy grilling tips and recipe ideas.
Backyard barbecues may make you think of juicy hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, steaks and ribs. But there's no reason that turning on your grill means you have to prepare high-calorie, high-fat foods. In fact, it’s easy to eat healthy when grilling, especially if you follow some of the healthy grilling tips listed below.
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The beauty of grilling is that it doesn’t require a lot of fat or sauces to make food taste great. The process of grilling itself imparts flavor and seals in moisture so healthy foods can take center stage. That’s why grilling is a preferred cooking method for people interested in eating healthier, as well as for those trying to lose weight.
7 Healthy Grilling Tips
Need some inspiration to make your next BBQ healthier? Here are 7 grilling tips and recipe ideas that are sure to please:
Craving a burger? Choose low-fat beef, turkey or veggie burgers instead of hamburgers with a high fat content. To add flavor, experiment with seasonings and top with grilled onions, mushrooms or tomatoes. Gotta have cheese? Add a small amount inside the burger instead of smothering cheese on top. You’ll still enjoy that cheesy taste without so much fat.
Healthy grilling recipe: Check out this delicious and healthy turkey burger recipe!
Get creative with white meat. Skinless chicken breasts and pork tenderloin are a lean and tasty alternative to red meat. Grill until cooked through and lightly brush with your sauce of choice at the end. Chicken and pork can also be cubed and skewered with veggies like peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, zucchini or eggplant for an eye-catching and tasty grilled treat.
Healthy grilling recipe: This Grilled Chicken with Swiss Chard is a light and summery chicken recipe that’s low in carbs and high in protein.
Can’t imagine a BBQ without sausage? Choose turkey or chicken sausage and you’ll still get to savor the flavor without the fat. From fiery hot to mildly sweet, you’ll find a taste to suit your palate. Or make your own sausage with a combination of lean meats and interesting spices. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the flavors you can enjoy.
Healthy grilling recipe: These bite-sized Sausage and Pepper Sliders are crowd-pleasing appetizers or finger foods—or include them on a summer buffet.
Go under the sea! Fish like salmon, tuna and swordfish are great grilling options. They hold up well under the heat of the grill and come out moist and delicious (as long as you don’t overcook them!). Shrimp is another healthy grilling favorite. Dust shrimp with dry spices, then skewer and grill for just a few minutes for a delicious appetizer or main course.
Healthy grilling recipe: Skewer tuna or salmon with summer veggies in this colorful swordfish kebab recipe.
Bump up the flavor! Marinades add flavor and tenderize leaner cuts of meat without adding many calories or fat. Experiment with mustard, vinegar, fresh herbs, garlic, dried spices, fruit juices, teriyaki or soy sauce in addition to a bit of heart-healthy olive oil to change the flavor palette of almost anything you grill.
Healthy grilling recipe: Filled with loads of flavor that comes from the marinade, Grilled Tandoori Chicken are a great addition to any backyard barbecue.
Don’t forget the veggies! Vegetables such as corn, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, peppers and onions are grill favorites. Coat with a little olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper before tossing on the grill rack. Or skewer veggies between cubes of your favorite protein for an attractive and fun meal.
Healthy grilling recipe: This low-calorie grilled veggie recipe is the perfect side dish at any outdoor barbecue.
Grill up some sweetness! There’s nothing like ending your BBQ with a sweet treat or adding grilled fruit to a main dish or salad. Pineapple rings, peach halves or watermelon wedges add a fresh, juicy twist to grill favorites. The natural sugar in the fruit caramelizes when heated so you’ll enjoy loads of sweetness without added sugar.
Healthy grilling recipe: Grilled peaches take center stage in this summery Grilled Peach Salad.
Enjoy outdoor barbecues with family and friends all summer long while treating your body right with these healthy grilling tips and recipes along with a bit of your own creativity. Time to fire up the grill!