It’s the time of year when we take grilling to the great outdoors in the form of backyard cookouts and poolside parties. This translates to fun times with family and friends, however, it can be bad news for sticking to your health goals. Traditionally cookout foods are high in fat and calories while sadly lacking in vegetables. The good news is that adding healthy options does not have to spoil your fun.
Unwise: 80/20 Burger
Served with baked beans, potato chips and topped off with a dessert. This is the standard line up for summer cookouts, and these foods are unnecessarily high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium. Add ketchup, mayo, mustard and processed cheese and the sodium increases even more. This meal may also leave you reaching for your heartburn pills. We can add healthy options to your typical summertime cookout that will make you forget about all of these.
Better: 93/7 Burger
Create your classic burger with a leaner ground beef. Keep this burger moist by incorporated chopped mushrooms, peppers and onions into the burger before grilling. Serve with fresh corn on the cob, salad and a cold slice of watermelon.
Best: Grilled Turkey Burger
Made the H3 way, this recipe is fresh and satisfying, but not too heavy. Optional, serve on a whole wheat bun and top with sautéed mushrooms or fresh tomatoes and lettuce. Add healthy sides such as a basil cucumber tomato salad (a welcomed cold option on a hot day); skewered grilled vegetables composed of zucchini, peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes; and fresh boiled corn on the cob. Go light on the condiments. Finally, don’t forget a treat such as mixed melon and berries that presents beautifully in a carved-out watermelon. These healthier options are great for every cookout and summertime get together!
These are just a few tips to help you upgrade the standard food fare associated with summertime grilling. Planning ahead and choosing leaner protein options plus a variety of whole fresh fruits and vegetable can be a refreshing and healthy change from the usual heavy foods.