Monday, July 18, 2011

[Healthy] Summer Grilling

It's summer time and to me the summer months mean cooking and grilling out with friends and family. It’s a great way to cook a meal that is ideal for your waist line yet draws the attention of the crowd; after all, who doesn’t love a steak on the Barbie?

Nonetheless, lately grilling has taken the ’heat’ in the research field; with new research trending regarding carcinogens it’s tough to figure out if this cooking method is really still “good for you.”

Now, let’s not jump to conclusion and hang our spatulas forever. Try following some of my simple tips that may help minimize your risk while still enjoying your barbecue.

1. Marinating Meat. According to Cooking Light and Kansas State University researchers, marinating steaks in oil, vinegar, herbs and spices reduced carcinogens in marinated steaks from 57 to 88 percent.

2. Keep it Clean. Using a wire brush to clean or scrape the grill plates before and after use will keep from build up producing.

3. Charred. Forget the flare, we don’t need to see any tricks…just good old fashioned grilling. Reducing flames that create smoke will help reduce carcinogens as the smoke may contain much of these carcinogens. Leaner meat means less smoke. Get the black [char] marks on the meat? Scrape them off!

4. Cook to Temp. Cooking your meats to proper temperature will help reduce bacteria.

5. Reduce Time. Reduce the size of your grilling meat to reduce the amount of exposure on the grill. Smaller the better…this holds true for your waistline too.

6. Grill the Good Stuff. Go beyond meat and try grilling fresh fruits (pineapple, peaches) and vegetables. Haven't tried it before? Try the recipe below...I promise you'll write home about it ;)

Grilled Peaches with Honey and YogurtPhoto credit & Recipe adapted from:
- 4 medium ripe peaches, cut in half, pit removed
-1/2 cup honey flavored fat free Greek yogurt
- 4 Tbsp honey
- cinnamon to taste
1. Place peaches cut side down on the grill. Grill on low until soft or about, 2-4 minutes on each side.
2. Combine yogurt and cinnamon. Pour 1 tbsp yogurt over each peach half. Drizzle honey over peach and yogurt. Enjoy
131 calories, 0.1 gm fat, 31.7 gm carbohydrates, 3.4 gm protein, and 2.2 gm fiber