Is there anything better than going to a cookout and experiencing wonderful food that is filling and tasty? It is one of the greatest parts of summer!
Since Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, many people look forward to cookouts or picnics over this long holiday. I am one of those people! Nurturing the sweet life can include cooking out and grilling too! Nurturing the sweet life doesn’t include pork hot dogs on white bread but it can include cooking out and grilling food other healthy foods.
Many years ago when I was in naturopathic medical school, one of my best friend’s family decided we would have a healthy Thanksgiving. Everyone prepared dishes that were healthy like smoking the salmon and turkey, roasting vegetables, wild rice, corn salad etc. It was a tremendous hit! From there we decided to do healthy grilling and cookouts in the years going forward. It was such a blessing to have a family that enjoyed good food make a conscious decision to create health awesome family gathering during holidays and cookouts.
I am challenging you to do the same this summer. Here is another example of how families creating a healthy cookout that everyone enjoyed.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about cooking and grilling to make sure you have a happy and healthy summer food season.
Don’t let things with mayo sit out at summer temperatures all day
When I was growing up I use to love potlucks and picnics because I got to try so many new types of foods. It was a common occurrence to see potato salad and pasta salad with tons of mayo as one of the options.
Now that I am older I still like potlucks but now I look forward to showcasing grain salads or other foods that won’t spoil in hot weather. I have a few salads that people love and request that are healthy and room temperature appropriate. This summer consider recipes bring meal and dishes that can sit for a few hours on the table and healthy as well.
Fruit water is cool and refreshing
It is important for us to drink water or eat foods that our bodies can convert to water every day. When the weather is extremely hot our bodies lose water faster than it normally does. Many people complain that water doesn’t taste good so that is why they don’t want to drink it. Flavoring your water can help you stay hydrated. One of the best ways to flavor your water is to add herbs or fruit, or both. Here are some ideas about how to do this.
Don’t char your meats
As a child, I LOVED to eat char burnt hot dogs, hamburgers, and ribs. The more burnt the meat was the better. There are still people in my family that can’t wait to eat burnt meat. While I hate to ruin anyone’s food experience I feel obligated to mention research shows that the burning of the foods creates cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic Amines (HCA). HCA are created from cooking meats at extremely high temperatures. (When I think about all of the stories of my childhood I’m amazed that I made it to adulthood.)
When you are cooking meats on the grill a better choice would be to smoke meats at a lower temperature for longer cooking times. You can still get wonderful flavors for your meats without the HCAs!
Also, consider grilling vegetables there is no research suggesting HCAs are formed on vegetables. You can even grill fruit as a yummy dessert!
For me, summer is one of my favorite seasons for having fun! It seems that many people engage in fun activities that include eating during the summer. To help you nurture your one sweet life I am sharing a few of my favorite blog posts with summer grilling and cooking out recipes. Since you know I love to Eat More plants many of the recipes are plant-based and fabulous! Even meat eaters will enjoy these along with any meats you are used to preparing so add them to your usual dishes.
- This has recipes that include vegan, vegetarian, poultry, meat, and fish salads. There are simply delicious recipes for every taste bud.
- Everyone loves barbecue so consider some of these wonderful recipes to spice up your veggies and make them bbq favorites for your family.
- This is a great way to make complete meals with plant-based foods on the grill.
Find ways to enjoy the summer with healthy foods!
To Your One Sweet Life,