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Health Minute; Healthy Summer Cookout

By: Spencer
Spencer's picture

WGTS – Healthy Summer Cookout


When the sun is out it’s time for a cookout! Switch up your backyard barbecue favorites with some healthier alternatives. Nick registered dietician with CoreLife Adventist HealthCare, shares some ideas to make your summer cookout healthy.


What are some ways we can make our cookout healthier? It can be hard to make healthy food choices at a cookout because traditional foods, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and chips can weigh heavily on your heart. Trying a variety of healthy substitutions can create a new family favorite.


● Proteins – Choose lean cuts of beef, poultry or fish. Make ground turkey or chicken burgers. Turkey burgers can be as lean as 99 % fat-free!

● Veggies – Baste and roast vegetables such as red peppers, corn, eggplant, summer squash, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms or onions with olive oil and season with herbs. You can even make a kabab out of it

. ● Try mayo-less salads – Instead of potato salad, try an avocado salad. Avocados contain heart-healthy fats and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Cube avocados and toss with vinaigrette, fresh herbs, capers, sliced green onions and roasted pine nuts.


What about desserts? Try some of these tasty and nutritious dessert alternatives.

● Cook fruit kabobs by slicing pineapples or peach halves and place on low heat on the grill until the fruit is hot and slightly golden.

● Marinate strawberries in balsamic vinegar for 30 minutes, toss in fresh mint and serve for a refreshing savory dessert.

● Grill watermelon for 30 seconds on each side to bring out unique flavors.


What are some other quick tips we can try?

● Substitute soda with sparkling water with a dash of 100 percent fruit juice.

● Replace fried chips with veggie chips like thinly sliced Jicama, carrot coins, zucchini and cucumber. Serve with hummus.

● Choose whole wheat pasta or buns instead of enriched.

● Try frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.