It’s June and BBQ season has arrived! Time to enjoy the warm summer weather with some delicious cookouts. Take advantage of seasonal produce and lean proteins to create new, colorful, and healthy meals all on the BBQ. Grilling is a fun and healthy way to prepare food and enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family.
Looking for some ways to lighten up your favorite BBQ dishes, but keep all the flavor? Check out these tasty tips to boost up the nutrition for some of the best BBQ classics.
- Grilled Veggies: marinate vegetables and season with fresh herbs and spices to reduce the added sodium while still keeping all of the flavor. Remember, the more color on your grill the better! Vegetable combination including tomatoes, orange peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, onions, and mushrooms include all colors and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in one dish.
- Potato and Pasta Salads: switch out the mayo in these tasty side salads for mashed avocado or Greek yogurt to reduce the unhealthy saturated fats and increase the healthier unsaturated fats. These salads will still be super creamy and tasty, just with some added heart healthy fats and protein.
- Burgers: blending ground meat with vegetables or beans to create a blended burger is an innovative way to add tons of flavor while decreasing saturated fat and increasing fiber. Blend turkey and cauliflower, beef and mushrooms, or combine beans, veggies, herbs, and sweet potatoes to make your own veggie burger. The options are endless to jam pack your burgers with added nutrition and amazing tastes.
- Sauces and Condiments: did you know you can make your own condiments at home? Homemade ketchup and barbeque sauce can help reduce the added sugar and salt, and you can adjust the flavor to be exactly how you want it. The ingredients for ketchup can be as simple as tomato paste, honey, vinegar, and spices. You can then use this homemade ketchup in your very own BBQ sauce, along with a variety of herbs and spices. Other homemade condiments to add to your cookout spread could include: salsa, guacamole, mustard, sauerkraut, pickles, or pesto.
- Dessert: don’t be afraid to grill your dessert too! Grilling fruit brings out unique sweet and savory flavors. The sugars in the fruit allow the fruit surface to become slightly caramelized. Try grilling pineapple, peaches, watermelon, or plums for an extra boost of vitamin C and a sweet ending to a summer barbeque.
What is your favorite thing to grill during the summer?