By Vanessa Evans a Recent ASU Nutrition Student
It’s that time of year again. It’s warm and sunny, but not too hot. It’s perfect weather for grabbing your family and friends and grilling out by the pool or the lake. While hotdogs and hamburgers will always be staples, try one of these ideas for something a little different and maybe even a little healthier.
Try grilling some shrimp, salmon burgers, or salmon (or other fish) fillets. Fish cooks pretty quickly and is easy to season or marinade ahead of time and it is a healthy alternative to when your hotdog and “hamburgered” out. Another great option is chicken. Whether you grill your wings, breasts, and thighs, or venture into a chicken burger, chicken is a tasty low-fat alternative to the traditional options. Season with jerk seasoning or a barbeque sauce and you’re in business. Finally, there are numerous lean cuts of beef one of the few meat proteins that can provide healthy protein, iron, and zinc along with several essential minerals in just three ounces.
This is where I want to encourage you to get creative! There are so many options here! Try this recipe for a healthier version of deviled eggs featuring the ever-popular avocado (https://www.chefdehome.com/recipes/747/healthy-deviled-eggs-with-avocado). Or try using shaved brussels sprouts in your coleslaw in addition to your cabbage, or try grilling up vegetable skewers. Or you could even try this recipe for summer salad of corn, tomato, and avocado (https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe/tomato-corn-and-avocado-salad-with-spicy-vinaigrette/). Your possibilities here are endless! You don’t have to just grab 3 bags of chips and premade potato salad. You can do this!
You can really have fun with this category too. Try grilling some fruits. Have you ever tried grilled peaches with cinnamon sugar or ice cream? It is to “die”for. I promise. Grilled watermelon is another amazing option, as well as pineapple and pears. Snow cones are another great option here. Try this recipe for Mango Strawberry snow cones featuring fresh fruit (https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/mango-strawberry-snow-cones-recipe-1942260).
I know it’s hard to make alcohol healthier, but I do have some ideas for you. My favorite tip is mixing vodka and flavored seltzer water like LaCroix, but for those of you who love a good cocktail, I have some ideas for you. Sangria is always a crowd pleaser but is infamous for having so much sugar in it! Try this white wine recipe which features seltzer water, fresh fruit and homemade lavender simple syrup, which allows you to sweeten it just to your liking (https://www.howsweeteats.com/2018/05/lavender-white-wine-sangria/). Or try a wine spritzer, which is just your favorite white or rose wine cut with seltzer. Not a wine fan? That’s ok! Try this easy recipe for a mint julep that uses maple syrup as its sweetener (https://cookieandkate.com/maple-mint-julep-recipe). Looking for something non-alcoholic? Try this recipe for a strawberry-basil cooler (http://makingthymeforhealth.com/strawberry-basil-lime-coolers/).
Looking for more articles to help boost your healthy living? Check out our Fill Your Plate Blog. Looking for some recipes that the whole family will enjoy? Check out the recipe section on our website.
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