Summer is well upon us now! The temps have gotten warmer, school is out, schedules are relaxed, and many of us are taking full advantage of our grills when it comes time to fixing our favorite summertime meals.
Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook during the summer months (really, I love it year ’round!), but like with any other way to cook, I want to find ways to make it as healthy as possible. Here are a few of the tips we follow when grilling to get the most out of our meal…..
1. We always marinate our meats. Marinating any meat we grill adds great flavor, but it also helps to reduce carcinogens that cause cancer. While there have been a number of studies that have proven this to be true, there isn’t a clear answer as to why. It could be the marinade creates a protective barrier between the proteins in the meat and the heat of the grill. Or, the antioxidants in the marinade combat the carcinogens directly. Whatever the reason, I love to use a variety of marinades when grilling meat, so I’m thrilled it also provides a health related benefit, too!
2. We always clean our grill before and after cooking. We (okay, my husband… he does all the grilling at our house! 🙂 ) uses a scrub brush to clean the grill grates. This minimizes the buildup of carcinogens left. And…. it makes the food taste that much better!
3. We always trim the fat on the meats we grill. The more fat on the meat, the more flames and smoke AND the more harmful compounds. The flames and smoke contain all those carcinogens and we know the fat isn’t something that we need too much of in our diets.
4. We like a little char on our meats, but stay away from burnt meat. There’s always going to be a little char when we grill and it adds some great flavor to the food. However, if the meat is burnt there’s going to be more of those carcinogens in the meat.
5. We like to mix it up a bit and try new foods on the grill. I love to grill vegetables — corn, potatoes, squash, and zucchini are a few of our favorites. I’ve been hearing a lot about grilling fruit and would love to try that this summer.
Grilling is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors in the summertime. Finding ways to make it healthy makes it just that much better!
What are some of your favorite foods to grill in the summertime?