02 Jun 8 Summer Grilling Staples
When we think of summer, the words sunshine, grill and party come to mind; yet, often that socializing comes along with extra calories from double decker cheeseburgers, salty meats, ice cream cones, beer…and more beer.
Don’t worry—it’s not necessary to put away the grill and ice box. By monitoring portions and choosing healthy staples, it’s easy to make grilling both clean and delicious.
Juicy and low in calories, this sweet treat is quite the thirst quencher and tastes great with grill marks stretched across. It’s also rich in lycopene, which contains anti-cancer properties and promotes anti-aging. Grab some skewers and alternate with watermelon, tomato, cucumber and feta squares. And yes, grill ‘em all!
As for health sips, blending watermelon for a few seconds will make a fabulous purée to be added to either champagne or white wine for a low-sugar, light sangria!
Let’s get real—we can’t forgo the beloved burger; however, we can expand our repertoire. Veggie, bean, bison, turkey and salmon burgers are just as satisfying as good ol’ fashioned beef. Stick to patties around 4-6 oz and load up on grilled veggies, like peppers, onions, lettuce, eggplant, zucchini and more! Whole Foods offers terrific fish and veggie patties. Also, opt for grass fed, as it’s more nutritious, lower in fat and free of toxins.
Pineapple is an excellent palate cleanser for after a meal and it’s key enzyme, bromelain, aids in digestion. Toss it with a few other ingredients for a fresh fruit salad.
As for sips, a touch of pineapple juice blends well with a splash of coconut water and a shot of rum for a fruity drink that will replenish electrolyte stores that are lost in the heat.
Going meatless is easy when it comes to cauliflower steak. It offers that “meaty” feel and is packed with vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber that will keep you full longer. Grilling chopped mango, pepper and onion on top makes a great salsa to jazz it up.
With a scoop of low-fat ice cream or Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey, it satisfies the sweet tooth without expanding the waistline. Plus, the potassium content of bananas keeps you hydrated, energized and ready to power through a workout to complement the festivities!
As for sips, blend light rum, half a small banana, lime juice, stevia and triple sec for a refreshing, low calorie cocktail.
Swap guacamole for grilled avocado halves. Squeeze lemon, sprinkle Parmesan on top and spread evenly on a piece of grilled whole grain toast.
Salads can get boring, but not with a grill! Spice up romaine and kale with a touch of heat and then pile on grilled tomatoes, carrots and any other veggies you like! Remember the pineapple? You can grill grapes, peaches or strawberries instead with few cheese cubes and almond to really get crazy.
Digging into a whole pie can lead to overeating, as it’s hard to measure out the proper portion size. Cut small individual pie slices beforehand and stick ‘em on the grill, or just bake individual mini pies to begin with. Heating up the fruity center will make that ooz-ey, oh-so-seductive sensation that more magical. And that extra bit of crisp on the crust doesn’t hurt!
Tips on making healthy pies? Click here.
What are your favorite things to grill outside? Share below!
Isadora Baum is an ambitious and passionate Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who guides people on their journeys towards achieving personal goals and feeling their absolute best selves. She understands the need to live for oneself, and she helps build the confidence and resources required to find concrete happiness.