Posted by Sahan Asad on

 A backyard barbecue or poolside cookout is practically a staple for any weekend.

But in all honesty, your friends AND FAMILY may not be up for your new clean eating journey or health kick habits, so it’s your job to prove that green salads and watermelon isn’t the only way to slim down  your Barbecue.

You can give all your favorite barbecue meals a healthy makeover that will leave all your guests in need of a second (and third) plate.

Don’t let this weekend get the best of you, following a few easy tips can allow you to have mouth-watering meals without any excess bacteria.

Don’t underestimate the power of marinade

There are so many of our favorite spices that are packed with antioxidants that can act as a barrier against dangerous grilling byproducts. Anything that can coat your meat or vegetables can prevent burning. Spices such as sage, garlic, thyme make for a great marinade. Combine some fresh herbs, citrus juices, and healthy oils to create your very own homemade marinade.

Turn down the heat

“Well done” may not be your best bet if you’re trying to opt for a healthier choice. The higher the temperature can actually lead to an increase in Heterocyclic amines (HCA’s.) Seeing that HCA’s start forming at temperatures above 325 F, it’s recommended to grill your meats at a temperature below that. It’s also suggested to invest in a thermometer to ensure that your meat is cooked all the way through.

Preheat the right way

It’s important to heat up the grill for 20 to 30 minutes before you start throwing food on in order to kill off the bacteria that was left from your last party. This also goes hand in hand with ensuring that the grill is thoroughly cleaned before and after any grilling sessions. Scrape off all grill grates that can potentially hold harmful residue that will only build up over time.

Pre-cook before grilling

Cut back on the grill-induced chemicals by using another cooking method before throwing your meat on the grill. Cook your proteins briefly in the microwave to reduce the HCA’s levels. This not only reduces the time over the hot grill, but it also gives you the same smoky flavor without excess contamination.

Here are some delicious, healthy recipes you have to try this weekend!

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