It is summertime and people often like to barbecue their favorite meats out on the grill for their family and friends. However, there are some people who think barbecuing is unhealthy because it involves eating a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs which are unhealthy for you. The truth is that there is a whole other side to barbecuing which most people do not even consider. This is a side where you implement techniques to make the barbecued food healthier and even more enjoyable. Below are 10 tips on how to achieve this.
1) White Meat
Red meat is often a tradition with barbecuing but it doesn’t have to be your tradition. Ditch the hot dogs, steaks, and hamburgers the next time you have a barbecue. Instead, replace these meats with chicken breasts, turkey breasts, trout, and/or salmon. The great thing about these meats is they have little to no saturated fat. If you eat the fish, you’ll be getting healthy fats such as omega-3s. All you need to do is add a little spice to the meat and it will taste just as satisfying as any red meat.
2) Use Skinless Meats
Even though meats like chicken and turkey are healthy, the skin which covers the meat is still bad for you. This skin has saturated fat and you should always avoid eating it for that reason. Also, if you find any fat on the meat, cut that off and get rid of that too. If you have any animals, feed the fat and skin to them so they can enjoy it.
3) Add Lots of Vegetables
Did you know vegetables are great for grilling? That is why you often see grilled peppers and onions on a kebab skewer. They actually taste great after they’ve been barbecued with rubbing spices just like the meats. Some vegetables that go great with a barbecue include onions, mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, eggplant, and corn. Even if you don’t want to have a kebab, these vegetables make great side dishes or toppings for the meat.
4) Smaller Portions
Each guest at your barbecue doesn’t need to be served a buffet. One healthy sized portion of meat should come out to about three or four ounces. Serve the meat in between two buns along with a side dish and it will certainly be a satisfying meal for them. At the same time, they won’t feel too full and develop cramps afterward. They will just feel full enough to have their hunger satisfied.
5) Marinate Meats
Do not flavor your meats with lots of salt and pepper like most people do. Buy some marinade and just place about ½ cup of it on the white meat that you’re grilling. You could also buy some rubbing spice and put about 1 tablespoon on the meat instead. Some examples of rubbing spices include cinnamon, garlic powder, rosemary, paprika, and chili powder. These spices have hardly any salt and they are much healthier than processed spices.
6) Homemade Side Dishes
The traditional side dishes at a barbecue are macaroni salad, cole slaw, and potato salad. Whether you make these yourself or not, they typically have lots of sugars and saturated fats in them. That is why you should think of making your own leafy green salad or fruit salad instead. These side dishes will have 100% natural ingredients with no unhealthy ingredients at all.
7) Go Vegetarian
If you’re the type of person that must have burgers at their barbecue, at least consider using veggie burgers instead of beef burgers. Veggie burgers contain a variety of ground up vegetables such as corn, beans, potatoes, and mushrooms. There will also be some nuts, flax, and grains in the mix too. This will allow you to get your protein fix without having to consume meat.
Just like vegetables, you can grill fruits too. They might not go great with a kebab, but they’ll still make wonderful side dishes. Try grilling plums, peaches, figs, pineapple, apples, or bananas. Some people used grilled fruits as their dessert after they’ve eaten the main course.
9) Fruit Condiments
It is normal for condiments like ketchup and mustard to be at a barbecue. But these condiments are loaded with sugars and salts that you shouldn’t have inside of you. Why not try some healthier alternative condiments? Try squeezing a slice of lime or a slice of lemon over your meat and let the juices drip onto it. This will add extra flavor without hurting your health.
10) Whole Grain Buns
You will never find a barbecue without buns for the meat. Even for white meats like chicken breast, it is common for people to put the breast meat in between two buns and eat it as a chicken sandwich. The problem is that most barbecues use white bread for the buns. But if you search hard at the supermarket, you will find whole grain buns available. These are a much healthier alternative to the white buns.