Marinades and Grills. A Healthy Union for Summer Eating
By Laura Greaney MSN
Summer is in full swing and it has brought the heat. Excessive heat generally causes people to have a lower appetite. Due to the heat and suppressed appetites, meal prepping can seem like an even more tedious task. Though these summer months are a great time to enjoy yourself, that doesn’t mean it’s a time to fall off track. Eating healthy and staying physically active is a year-long commitment and marinades and grills will help you do just that.
Why we recommend marinades and grills this summer
There is a reason why marinades and grills work so well together. It is an easy way to eat your lean proteins and vegetables everyday yet have it taste so different. Just grilling plain chicken or vegetables can get boring real fast. Therefore, use a marinade to help change the taste from something basic to something enjoyable.
Tips for successful summer grilling
- Invest in a grill basket
If you don’t already have a grill basket I’d suggest investing in one. It’s a great way to dump the vegetables on the grill to get that smoky flavor without a messy cleanup.
- Check the ingredients on your store-bought marinade
Some marinades can be higher in sugars so you do want to watch out for that. Try to use marinades only as marinades and not as dipping sauces.
An easy way to marinate your meat before grilling
Marinating meat is easy. Simply open the meat you plan on grilling, put it in a container, pour marinade on top adding in seasoning if you’d like and let it marinate overnight. Not only will your meats be juicer, easier to digest for bariatric patients, but it will also give it a hint of flavor.
Try Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Red Chili wing sauce as a marinade.
You can also marinate your vegetables before grilling
Vegetables are also cheaper and in season this time of year. Simply slice/dice them up and marinate them as well. Try marinating peppers, eggplant, onions and zucchini in Lawry’s Herb and Garlic marinade with lemon pepper seasoning.
And yes, healthy grilled desserts are also on the list!
One thing that is beneficial about the heat is that people tend to bake desserts less, hopefully helping to decrease temptations. However, that doesn’t mean you need to avoid an after-dinner treat. Try these options for your summer desserts:
- If the grill is already on you can grill pineapple or watermelon. If you want to be fancy you can try grilling watermelon and drizzling balsamic vinegar over it with some goat cheese and sliced mint.
- Buy Fla-Vor-Ice light for you and the kids or make your own ice pops using crystal light.
- Seasonal berries with a lite Cool Whip or a 100-calorie vanilla yogurt.
- If you enjoy your dip, try to make a Greek yogurt dip. Buy 16 oz of Plain Greek yogurt and mix it with one packet of onion soup mix to create an onion dip for your vegetables. This is the best time for fresh produce in our area so eat up!
Summer is a fun time to experiment different ways to eat fruits, vegetables and proteins. Trying different marinades, grilling them, and adding different seasonings may be all you need to change up your routine. By adding new flavors to the same old protein, it may help you to find a new-found love for that boring chicken.