Healthy Summer Grilling Ideas

Summer is almost here: time to grill! The best part is that grilling can be one of the healthiest ways to cook! Here we have some good grilling ideas:

Grill Vegetables and fruits!
Swap the traditional store-bought barbecue fare like baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad and potato salad – which can have a lot of saturated fat, sodium and added sugars – for vegetables and fruits.  Grilling vegetables and fruits are a great idea, whether you’re grilling meat or fish to go with them. We all need to eat more vegetables and fruit. Here are some fruits and vegetables that are great to grill:
Bell peppers
You’ve got to love the idea of infusing flavor into meats, fruits, and vegetables by soaking them in a tasty marinade. Some favorite marinade ingredients include wines, vinegars, lemon or lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices. Example soak Asparagus with small amount olive oil, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasonings for at least 10 minutes and then throw them on the grill for 3-5 minutes. You will love it!  Kebabs that alternate small pieces of meat or fish or scallops or shrimp with pieces of onion, red bell peppers, zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes or other produce are a great way to increase vegetable and fruit intake.

When you’re grilling meat, limit the amount of fat that drips on the coals by starting with lean cuts trimmed of visible fat and skin. If you put a very lean cut of beef or pork, or skinless chicken, or 93% fat free hamburger onto the grill, you’re off to a healthy start. The good fats in fish like salmon and trout have health benefits. And when you grill with skill, your family won’t even miss the red meat, which usually has more saturated fat.
Wrap marinated fish fillets in foil, construct colorful chicken kebabs, or make more savory turkey burgers by mixing chopped red bell pepper, onions into the patties.  You can season them with oregano, organic garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Make a simple rub of your favorite spice (such as allspice, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, paprika or rosemary) and black pepper. Safety tip: never reuse marinade or rub after raw meat has touched it.

Be careful of the portion size!
A healthy portion of any type of meat is about 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards, and no more than 6 ounces. If that sounds small, just remember all the delicious grilled veggies and side dishes that will be keeping it company on your plate!

Grill fruits for dessert, salads, or fresh salsas
The natural sugars caramelize in the high heat, giving them extra sweetness and flavor. Try sliced apple, pears, pineapple, halved bananas, figs, nectarines, peaches, or plums.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries! These tiny, tasty, and colorful fruits can be grilled in a metal pan, or even better, sealed in an aluminum packet so they steam up nicely. So delectable in salads, in fresh salsas or as a dessert.

Flip It — Flip It Good
Flipping food frequently may help prevent the formation of HCAs, according to recent research using hamburger patties. To turn meat without piercing it (which releases juices that drip onto the coals), use tongs or spatulas instead of a fork.