If you made a resolution this year to cook healthy, then the grill should be your new best friend.
All the temptations to add fat to your food can be left at the kitchen door because grilling is an inherently healthy way to prepare food. And most people prefer the tastes that only a grill can produce. The Consumer Reports National Research Center says 86 percent of Americans prefer grilled food.
The health benefits of grilling:
- Vegetables retain more minerals and vitamins because the high heat of the grill means it only takes a few minutes to cook them to perfection.
- Any excess fat on the meat drips away as you grill it, leaving less fat in the food.
- Grilling seals in moisture in meats and adds a great smoky flavor, making it less likely to use fat-laden sauces or condiments.
- It’s an easy way to enjoy a low calorie diet.
- Grilling gets you outdoors. It’s not running a marathon, but it is a chance to enjoy the fresh air and your natural surroundings.
A few tips and tricks will help make your grilling experience healthy and enjoyable.
- Choose lean proteins such as chicken, pork tenderloin or fish.
- Trim any excess fat from your meats before you grill them.
- Exchange the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken and add a panade (a paste of milk and bread) to the meat for extra juiciness.
- Use healthy marinades with olive or nut oils and a variety of vinegars to add a flavor punch.
- Go beyond the usual suspects when it comes to vegetables. Lightly grilled romaine lettuce makes a satisfying salad with a light vinaigrette.
- Don’t forget the potatoes. Grilled par-boiled potato wedges brushed with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper make a great alternative to traditional French fries.
But the health benefits to grilling aren’t just measured in fat grams or calories. Grilling is fun and playing with your food on the fire is a great way to relieve stress and just relax.