Summer barbecues are my favorite. The sun, and the smell of charcoal, evoke so many memories of the best time of year. It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without a barbecue.
Grilling meats and veggies is often one of the healthiest ways to cook food. But where I’m from, in Wisconsin, some barbecues can get a little out of control with fatty, creamy side dishes, excessive butter, and other not-so-good stuff. A day of food and fun doesn’t have to leave you feeling heavy. Try some of these ideas to make your barbecue a little lighter.
Store-bought barbecue sauce can be full of sugar- sometimes three teaspoons in a two-tablespoon serving. Ketchup has a similar ratio. Season meats and veggies with herbs and spices for extra flavor without the excess sugar. Try a dry barbecue rub instead of a barbecue sauce. Top burgers with avocado and fresh tomatoes. Choose whole-grain mustard.
- Corn on the cob
It’s not a barbecue without sweet corn. Instead of butter, try coating grilled corn on the cob with a light brushing of olive oil and sea salt. The healthy omega-3s in olive oil are great for brain function and healthy skin.
Grill shrimp and chicken on skewers with veggies like bell peppers, tomato, red onion, and zucchini. This is a great substitute for traditional burgers and hot dogs.
Chop your favorite veggies and wrap in foil with olive oil, black pepper and sea salt before putting on the grill. I like asparagus, zucchini, red onion, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Grilling brings out the rich flavor of fresh veggies, and the olive oil helps the body to absorb key nutrients.
Nothing beats grilled, slices peaches and pineapple. Drizzle peaches with raw, local honey for a decadent dessert. Skewer raw strawberries, bananas, and blueberries for a healthy red-white-and-blue snack.
For some, it’s not a barbecue without beer, but to keep you hydrated, try some of these refreshing nonalcoholic thirst-quenchers.
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