12 Healthy Barbecue Tips and Tricks
12 Healthy Barbecue Tips and Tricks
Add Lots of Veggies to Your Meal
Many barbecues are heavy on the meat, carbs and sweets and light on veg. Focus on filling at least half your plate with fresh or grilled vegetables. A fresh salad is always a great choice, but you can also opt for fresh veggies and dips, healthful French fries, mixed bean salads, spiralized veggie noodles, salsa, or guacamole (you can even make guac on the grill!).
Create Your Own Burgers
Sure, there are loads of burgers at the grocery store but when you make them from scratch there’s no preservatives, binders, fillers, factory-farmed animal products or byproducts – just whole ingredients (and no freezer burn either!). Whether you love making veggie or meat burgers, there are plenty of options to choose from in this post of 20 Best Burger Recipes.
Choose the Best Quality Protein You Can Find and Afford
Photo: Christiann Koepke from Unsplash
Whether we’re choosing to grill burgers, chicken, or fish at your healthy barbecue, we opt for meat that is organic and grass-fed, and fish that is sustainable (if you’re confused by meat labels, this is a great guide to what all the terms mean). If you’re grilling tofu or tempeh skewers, we recommend non-GMO soy – and be careful about the veggie burgers you buy. You want to ensure you’re purchasing a veggie burger that is made up of actual vegetables, not highly processed powders that are far removed from its original form.
Use a Heat Stable Cooking Oil
Explore Alternative Bun Options
Make Your Own Condiments
Try Fun Mocktails!
Add a Fermented Food To Your Plate
Fermented foods are a rich source of probiotics that help to support our immunity and foster good digestion. We love a good homemade pickle (learn how to make them here), a side of sauerkraut, or kimchi is also an option if you enjoy spicy foods.
Serve A Healthy Dessert
There are tons of options for sweet treats that will satisfy any sweet tooth at your healthy barbecue and provide plenty of nutrition. Fresh fruit is always a fantastic choice (watermelon is ultra yummy in the summertime) or you can use your barbecue to grill fruits like peaches, pineapple, bananas, or nectarines. Otherwise, you can choose from one of these delectable desserts:
- 20 Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes
- 27 Best Dairy-Free Cheesecake Recipes
- 20 Best Dairy-Free Chocolate Recipes
- 20 Best Healthy Popsicle Recipes
- 20 Best Amazingly Healthy Desserts
If you’re out in the heat during your healthy barbecue, ensure you stay hydrated with plenty of beverages and foods rich in electrolytes (that aren’t sports drinks) that will help you beat the heat.
Practice Safe Sun Protection
Photo: Bianca Mentil from Pixabay
Consider Making Your Healthy Barbecue a Potluck
Whether you’re having a single guest or 5 guests, consider asking them to bring a dish. While you’ll have less control over the dishes other people bring, there is something to be said about the health benefits of lowered stress that making an entire meal may cause, as well as the health benefits of enjoying a meal with loved ones. Learn more about the keys to a good potluck dish here.
With these healthy barbecue tips and tricks, you and your family can enjoy a fantastic meal, great company and feel good in your body at the end of the day.
Header Image: iStock/Olga Peshkova
More Wisdom from our Experts
Summer is the perfect time to indulge in sweet, frozen treats, but for those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy (and many of us…Read More
We’re told that we need to wear sunscreen as the primary way to protect ourselves from skin damage, but many sunscreens contain chemicals that are…Read More
Summertime is one of our favourite seasons: the gloriously vibrant summer produce, the lingering hours of sunlight, the relaxed vacation vibes from everyone around us, traveling…Read More
Healthy living is something that seems simple at first: eat your veggies, skip the drive-thru, get some rest – but gradually gets more complicated the…Read More
Temperatures are heating up and the days are getting longer. Hours spent at the beach or backyard barbeques all point to summer, but for me,…Read More
When the weather warms up, or if you live in a hot climate, it’s important to ensure you stay well hydrated. There are many bright-coloured…Read More
2 responses to “12 Healthy Barbecue Tips and Tricks”
This blog makes me hungry; What is your number one tip for grilling? Thank you
Hi Carole! We don’t consider ourselves grilling experts, but we definitely recommend being mindful of the oils you use to cook grilled foods (as noted above) and loading up your grill with veggies.
When animal products are cooked at high temperatures, particularly red meat, they form compounds including heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that may increase cancer risk. Here are some suggestions to reduce the health impacts of grilling meats – including marinades, cooking times, type of protein and more – that you may find helpful: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/well/eat/10-ways-to-lower-the-cancer-risk-of-grilling.html