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Healthy BBQ Ideas To Help You Kick Summer Off The Right Way

Meredith Miller | Published: June 20, 2018

Chicken vegetable bbq skewers

Nothing screams that summer has officially arrived like the smell of a barbeque or cookout. Once that grill or smoker is fired up, heavenly smells start to fill up your neighborhood and it is time to start planning family get-togethers and weekend gatherings with friends. A fun-filled summer full of great food at barbeques is a great way to spend hot summer days; however, your bathroom scale may not like it on weigh-in days. If you want to enjoy your summer and eat some tasty barbeque food without gaining weight, then by doing some planning and trying out some healthy bbq recipes you will be able to indulge without driving those numbers upward.

1. Healthy Barbeque Sauce

Yes, your store-bought barbeque sauce may taste great, but did you know that it’s also full of sugar? You can easily make healthy bbq sauce at home that will taste just as delicious as your favorite store brand. The base ingredient for a healthy bbq sauce includes a ketchup that does not contain sweeteners, additives, or preservatives. Other base ingredients in a healthy bbq sauce normally include salt, pepper, garlic, honey, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and onion. Start with your sweetener free ketchup and play around with the other ingredients until you create a healthy bbq sauce that suits your taste.

2. Use the Healthiest, Leanest Meat Choice Possible

Hosting a cookout that includes healthy bbq foods means starting out with choices and healthy bbq recipes that are healthy before you add on the sauce or flavoring. This means that you need to stay away from hot dogs and ground beef. A healthy bbq idea would be to serve lean meats such as lean ground turkey or skinless, boneless chicken breast.

Other healthy bbq ideas when it comes to lean meat choices include shrimp and scallops. A great healthy bbq idea is to skip bbq sauce altogether and to instead use healthier seasoning options such as pesto, fresh herbs, or roasted pepper sauces for flavorings.

3. Forgo Meat For Veggie Dishes

Many healthy bbq recipes are meatless recipes. Cooking on the grill with only veggies make for healthy bbq meal options. One choice for a veggie that provides a filling meal is if your grill Portobello mushrooms stuffed with herbs that are cut fresh from your garden. Another great bbq idea is to smoke bell peppers and before cooking them you can also stuff them with rice or quinoa, pine nuts, and cheese. Veggie kabobs is another healthy bbq option that is quick to put together and a tasty alternative to meat slathered in health bbq sauce.

4. Choose Healthy BBQ Sides

Traditional sides at cookouts almost always include chips, pasta salad, potato salad, and coleslaw and are not healthy bbq sides; however, the traditional sides are not necessarily healthy bbq sides. Healthy bbq sides do not have to be tasteless as you have many different options on how to make healthier bbq idea versions of the traditional sides that may actually be tastier. Consider whipping up these healthy bbq sides for your next family cookout.

Broiled Zucchini

This is a simple side dish to make. Simply slice your zucchini into thin slices and place it on a cookie sheet under your broiler until it is cooked. Take it off of the cookie sheet and toss it into a bowl with some golden breadcrumbs that have been seasoned to your liking and add just a few crumbles of bacon.

Tangy Coleslaw

Yes, coleslaw without may noise can still be tasty and is a great healthy bbq idea. For this dish, take and thinly slice your green or red cabbage and grate a few carrots into the cabbage. With these base ingredients, you can toss in golden raisins, olive oil, mustard, vinegar, salt, parsley, pepper, cilantro, and roasted almonds to your liking. You will be amazed at just how tasty this healthy version of coleslaw is.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Yogurt Dressing

For this healthy bbq side dish, you first slice sweet potatoes into large wedges. Season the wedges with smoked paprika and honey. You can then place the sweet potatoes directly onto your warmed grill to roast them until they are tender. This is a quick and simple healthy bbq idea.

5. Keep the Drinks Light

Serving soda and other high-calorie drinks at your summer get-togethers is probably one of the most, unhealthy bbq drink options that you can provide. Instead of sugary laden drinks, provide water that has been infused with fresh fruits like lemon, orange, and grapefruit and with fresh herbs such as mint. You can easily serve this up in a few pitchers and it overall is not only one of the healthy bbq recipes that is an easy one to do, but it is also cheaper than buying tons of canned drinks.

6. Keep the Desserts Light

A healthy bbq has to be finished off with a light, healthy bbq dessert. Fresh fruits in the summer such as peaches and pineapple make for healthy bbq fare. Simply grill the fresh fruit and serve it with a bit of honey and Greek yogurt on the side. This is a health bbq idea that is simple and absolutely mouth-watering.

It does not have to be hard to create healthy bbq food. Sit back and take a look at your traditional bbq recipes and think about ways that you can turn them into healthy bbq recipes. You can still eat lots of delicious, bbq favorites while still saving your figure.