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Your McMurray Nutrition

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5 Healthy Grilling Ideas


Most commercial marinades and BBQ sauces are loaded with sugar and unhealthy fillers. Save some money and do your body a favor by making your own sauces and marinades. The three components of a marinade are oil, acid and aromatics (herbs and spices). When cooking and grilling at high heat it is important to always choose an oil that won't oxidize or go rancid. Your healthiest choices are olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. For an acid, choose vinegar, fruit juice (citrus is best), beer or wine. Aromatics are going to determine the flavour profile of the marinade so choose combinations that work well together. An example of this would be a Greek spice blend using basil, oregano, garlic, sea salt and pepper or an Asian theme using soy sauce, garlic, ginger and green onions. The general rule for an oil/acid marinade is three parts oil to one part acid. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to creating flavour combinations so don't be afraid to experiment!

Whether you serve them as the main dish or as a side, grilled vegetables are a delicious and healthy addition to your diet. Toss bite-sized pieces of fibre and antioxidant-packed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and red onions into a marinade and put them on skewers to make shish kabobs. Try layering grilled slices of skin-hydrating eggplant, cholesterol-lowering zucchini and immune-boosting portabella mushrooms with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.

Choose lean cuts of meat and marinade them before grilling. This will provide you with a tender piece of meat while cutting back the saturated fats found in fattier marbled cuts. Chicken and turkey are a healthy low-fat alternative to red meat. Try substituting the traditional ground beef for ground poultry the next time you make burgers. Mix things up by adding low sodium taco seasoning to your patties and topping them with heart-healthy guacamole.

According to studies, one serving of seafood a week can reduce your risk of a heart attack by half. Try grilling an omega -3 rich salmon or halibut fillet to reduce inflammation and increase brain function. Shrimp and prawns help prevent stroke and are an excellent source of B12. Oysters are a great source of zinc. Grill them on the half shell and add lemon juice and hot sauce.

You may not think of fruit when you fire up the BBQ, but you should! Not only is fruit an amazing source of fibre and antioxidants, it also gets an amazing caramelized glaze when grilled. Try adding bite sized chunks of pineapple to your veggie shish kabobs or for a sweet treat grill pineapple rings on their own. For a twist on an ice cream sundae, slice bananas lengthwise while they are still in the peel and grill fruit side down. Top with ice cream and age-defying dark chocolate syrup.


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