BCBSM dietitian offers up healthy grilling ideas for the summer - FOX 32 News Chicago

BCBSM dietitian offers up healthy grilling ideas for the summer

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(WJBK) -

BCBSM Registered Dietitian Grace Derocha wants you to grill healthy this summer.

Check out her tips below:

Healthy Meat Options

  • Choose these options when shopping for a cut of meat:
  • Lean/extra lean ground turkey
  • 80/20 ground sirloin beef (96/4 is the leanest)
  • Turkey sausages/dogs
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Salmon, Cod, Mahi-Mahi
  • Steaks come in lean and extra lean
  • Eye of round roast or steak
  • Sirloin tip side steak
  • Top round roast and steak
  • Bottom round roast and steak
  • Top sirloin steak

Grilled meat tastes great simply seasoned with a little salt and pepper. To add extra flavor, try a rub or a homemade marinade, which typically has fewer calories than sauces or condiments. Make your own rubs with a variety of seasonings, spices, and dried herbs. Use sugar sparingly in rubs because it burns easily when it comes in contact with high temperatures.

When making your own marinade, experiment with flavorful ingredients such as lemon juice, orange juice, citrus zest, and balsamic vinegar. The marinade helps reduce the number of carcinogens on the meat when grilling. Also grilling at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or less will reduce carcinogens.

Grill Those Veggies

Vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our bodies need. New guidelines recommend that half a dinner plate be filled with fruits and vegetables, it is vital to incorporate as many veggies as possible. Here are some great guidelines for grilling dad's favorite veggies:

  • Cut veggies equal in size so they cook evenly (although most veggies can be cooked whole)
  • Using cooking spray before putting veggies on the grill will help avoid sticking.
  • Herbs burn, so wait to toss veggies with them until the end - and using salt (sparingly) and pepper before putting them on the grill will bring out their natural flavors.
  • If you are making kabobs, choose veggies that have the same cooking time (potatoes and onions will not cook at the same time, leaving one burnt and one uncooked). Make sure to soak wooden skewers in water before making them to avoid cross contamination between meats and vegetables and fruit.
  • Cook fruit and veggies together for natural sweetness and carmelization from the fruit.
  • If the weather is bad, get out the cast iron pan to use on the stove - it provides similar flavor to the grill

The flavor of fruits and vegetables are naturally intensified when grilled. Because a lot of the moisture evaporates from fruits and vegetables as they grill, the flavor becomes more concentrated and the sugars become more condensed, increasing their sweetness and flavor. Cut into pieces or grilled whole, fruits and vegetables are simple and satisfying addition to your grilling repertoire.

Grill Your Dessert
Grilled fruit is a healthy and refreshing dessert alternative for summer barbeques. Grilling fruit causes its natural sugar to caramelize, intensifying the flavor. Use cut peaches, apples, or banana halves or whole fruit, such as strawberries, and use a cooking spray to avoid sticking. Top grilled fruit with a dollop of frozen yogurt or Greek-style yogurt, and you'll have yourself a sweet ending to a great grilled meal.

Let me know if you would be interested in featuring Grace for a Father's Day grilling segment.

Online: www.ahealthiermichigan.org

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