Whenever someone mentions healthy grilling recipes there’s always one snarky health nut around to remark that <em>not grilling</em> is the only healthy recipe you need – but that’s just plain wrong and we’re here to set the record straight.
It’s not the <a title="Grills" href="http://www.atgstores.com/outdoor-cooking_860.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">grill’s</a> fault that it has a reputation for producing (deliciously) unhealthy treats like hot dogs, burgers and sausages. It’s the griller who chooses to cook (amazingly flavorful) fatty foods, but there are alternatives to these (mouthwatering) sinful nibbles.
<strong>1. Grilled Veggies</strong>
There are bushels and bushels of veggies that taste positively awesome when cooked on the grill. Yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, <a title="Artisanal Grilling " href="http://ourblog.atgstores.com/atgs-lazy-chef-artisanal-grilling/" target="_blank">artichokes</a>, corn, mushrooms, broccoli and peppers of all kinds … the list goes on and on!
All you need to do is dust each piece with a little olive oil and seasoning and you’re all set. You can put 'em on a stick for shish kabob goodness, wrap 'em in foil for a little steaming action or even smoke 'em. Just don’t wander away from the grill and you’ll be fine.
<em>Tip:</em> Experiment with different kinds of infused olive oils to further enhance the flavor of veggies.
<strong>2. Grilled Fruit</strong>
The list of grill-friendly fruits may not be quite so long, but it all depends on what you like. Grilled pineapple is by far and away the most popular grilled fruit, but people have also been known to grill peaches, apricots, bananas, plantains, strawberries and mango.
For super-healthy grilled fruit, just grill it straight up over medium heat. If you don’t mind cheating a little, pretty much any fruit will taste more amazing if you drizzle it with melted butter and sprinkle sugar on it.
<em>Tip: </em>To give your fruits an even more delicious (and more decadent) sear you can flavor it with a drizzle of liqueur like triple sec.
<strong>3. Grilled Lean Meats</strong>
Yes, some meats are healthy! And, they can be made even healthier by grilling instead of, say, frying it in butter. The trick, though, is picking the right cut of meat and laying off sauces that contain corn syrup (like many store-bought marinades and BBQ sauces).
<a title="How to Grill the Perfect Chicken Breast" href="http://ourblog.atgstores.com/how-to-grill-the-perfect-chicken-breast/" target="_blank">Chicken breasts</a>, fish, shellfish and lean cuts of beef are all healthy choices – in the right proportions. Meats to avoid when going the healthy route include sausages, hot dogs, most pork and fatty ground burger.
To prepare, use olive oil to season your grill so your meats won’t stick instead of drizzling the cuts with butter, then dust them with a little salt, pepper or other herbs. A squeeze of lemon can also go a long way with chicken, shellfish and fish.
Tip: Avoid charring your meats. <a title="National Cancer Institute" href="http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cooked-meats" target="_blank">Studies by the National Cancer Institute</a> have shown that charred meats can increase the risk of cancer in animals, although it hasn’t been proven in humans. Nonetheless, it’s an easy risk to avoid and a more flavorful way to grill, so all’s well that ends less than well-done.
We hope these healthy grilling tips give you some ideas about how you can shape up your grill skills this summer.