Summer BBQ’s usually mean tables stacked full of grilled meats, sugar-infused sauces and mayonnaise based sides. Enjoying a “healthier” summer BBQ doesn’t mean you need to leave the traditional fare off the menu. There are a few simple things you can do to make your next BBQ healthier without sacrificing tradition.
- Cut down on the sodium by replacing various bottled seasonings with fresh herbs (cilantro, garlic, basil, etc). When you use fresh herbs you’ll learn that salt isn’t necessary.
- Use lean cut of red meat vs highly marbled red meat (ask the butcher to help you pick out leaner cuts)
- Limit extreme use of high sugar sauces, such as commercial bbq sauces, etc… Replace these with citrus marinades made from fresh squeezed lemons, limes, oranges, vinegars and grape seed oil. Check out last month’s BBQ dry rub recipe.
- When it comes to side dishes, use grilled vegetables, grain salads (such as quinoa and faro) and bean salads with vinaigrettes. If you plan to use a mayonnaise based side, use a light mayonnaise or explore options to swap mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.
- Watch your portion sizes on proteins. Examples include prepping 5 oz burgers instead of 8 oz and cutting 12 oz steaks in half. And, when you’re grazing the food table, reduce the serving size you put on your plate. You’ll be less inclined to overeat.