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