Monday, January 22, 2018

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Healthier Summer Grilling

Written by  Jennifer Hellier and Tricia Foley, MS, RD


Our New Kitchen, New Nutrition, New You series focuses on helping you get healthier in the kitchen — one ingredient at a time. In each edition of OurHealth, we suggest small changes in your food preparation and grocery shopping habits that can make a big, positive impact on your overall nutrition and health. Our goal is to present you with ideas you can use and build upon and will help you create a healthier kitchen — and life — by year’s end.

In this edition’s segment of our New Kitchen, New Nutrition, New You series, we have a few tasty, alternate recipes for you to try with your favorite grilling foods.

Making BBQ Better (and Healthier)

There is not much in the world better than sitting outside on a golden, summer evening with friends, a cold beverage and a plate piled high with steak hot off the grill, barbecue baked beans and fresh coleslaw. The bold essence of a steak contrasts the cool, sweet crunch of coleslaw, and baked beans top it all off with salty-sweet savory flavor.

This combination is a summertime masterpiece and you are the artist. But as every great artist knows, even a masterpiece has room for improvement. Give these recipes a try! You will be amazed how swapping out a few ingredients will make your grilled foods healthier and just as scrumptious!

The Meat Makes the Man

In our recipe for steak on the grill, we substitute a skirt steak for a flank steak. These two cuts of meat can be used interchangeably in many recipes. The difference between them lies in where these steaks come from. The skirt steak comes from the muscle that makes up a cow’s diaphragm while the flank steak comes from the lower abdominal muscles of the cow. Both are similarly textured— tough with lots of fibers running through them. While the skirt steak has a more intense, beefy flavor, the flank steak is the leaner of the two cuts of meat. Any meals made with flank steak tend to be lower in fat content.

The Importance of Being “Herbiest”

Using herbs and seasonings in your cooking, as opposed to store-bought sauces, can really spice up your kitchen. Switching ingredients in recipes like the ones we’ve provided is a great way to cut back on the sodium and sugar content in your meals.

Sweeter Than Sugar (And Better for You)

Many people are familiar with using honey in place of sugar in hot tea, but honey can be used as an alternative sweetener in lots of other recipes, as well. Honey has a lower GI (glycemic index) value, meaning it doesn’t raise blood sugar as quickly as regular sugar.

The Meaning of “With the Mother”

Apple cider vinegar with the mother is said to have more health benefits than it does without. “Mother” is what gives organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar its cloudy appearance. Mother is made up of enzymes, protein strands, and good bacteria.

Please visit the OurHealth Southwest Virginia RECIPES section of our website for a few tasty, alternate recipes to try with your favorite grilling foods!