Healthy Summertime Cooking

When the weather begins to warm up and patio furniture is set free from storage for some outdoor reclining, there is only one other piece missing from this puzzle…backyard grilling!  Grilling is a healthy way to prepare foods since they are cooked without adding excessive amounts of unhealthy fats and oils.  An added benefit to cooking outside is that your home will be cooler as a result of not having to use your oven.

A lot of times when people think of backyard BBQs, images of  fireworks on July 4th are conjured up, thus this topic is quite apropos what with today being the 4th and all!  Unfortunately, the traditional foods that are found on the grill are not the healthiest so we need to make sure that we are choosy when it comes to our selections.  Customarily, grills are loaded with hamburgers and hot dogs which can be a nutrition nightmare; when purchasing ground meat for hamburgers, opt for ground turkey breast or 93% lean ground beef to ensure your burgers are not calorie and fat laden.  You are better off to stay away from hot dogs altogether since most  are chock-full of preservatives and fillers; instead choose chicken breast and soak  in a savory, herbed marinade for a zesty entree. 

Don’t forget about those side dishes!  Take advantage of your local seasonal produce…place some veggies in aluminum foil and toss on the grill with fresh herbs, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Dessert can be light in terms of calories, yet abundant in flavor; try mixing a variety of fruits and berries together, (i.e. raspberries, strawberries, peaches, apples, watermelon and honeydew melon), with chopped fresh mint for a refreshing and nutritious final course.  Happy 4th Everyone!!!

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