Make your BBQ healthy

The weather is warm and friends and family are ready to fire up the grill. The big meal: fatty meat, mayo-laden potato salad, no real veggies in sight, and lots of ice cream and heavy desserts. If you’ve ever felt regret after eating a big BBQ meal it’s time to make your next one better. We have some easy tips to help your next grilling event a healthy hit.

Switch up your sauce. Take a look at the label on your favorite BBQ sauce. Many of them are loaded with preservatives and artificial flavors. You can look for a sauce with simple ingredients or make your own.

Real BBQ sauce:

  • 15 ounces can tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Store unused portion in refrigerator for up to four days.

Buy your meat lean. The meat you choose to grill should be free of extra fat, such as skinless chicken breast or lean pork. Lean meat should be used when grilling especially because the fat of the meat reacts to the smoke of the flames and creates undesirable chemicals. Don’t forget to use a grilling thermometer to check temperatures so the meat is safely cooked.

Slim down your sides. Potato salad is a classic, but it is heavy on the mayo. Try a lighted up version by using homemade ranch , chopped chives and a slice of diced turkey bacon. Peel, cut and boil four large russet potatoes and mix ingredients together in a large bowl.

For another healthy side dish add vegetables and seasoning in a foil packet, cook for about 10 minutes and check for doneness. This works great with Brussels sprouts, green beans or squash.

Keep dessert real. Artificially colored popsicles and treats often only give empty calories. Try grilling pineapple, peaches or mango on skewers for a natural and delicious treat serve with vanilla Greek yogurt.

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