When it comes to grilling, most of us think of it as a means of cooking a variety (and usually large quantity!) of meats. For me, grilling is a simply my favorite way to take advantage of fresh, seasonal garden foods and turn out some impressive, delicious and healthy food!
To keep it healthy, I have my own “grilling rules” I follow and use to help others also have healthy grilling success!
My tips for great summer grilling:
Use fresh, local produce. July is prime peach season, and fruits are a food group that should not get overlooked when it comes to grilling. I use peaches most frequently, but don’t hesitate to put pineapple, strawberries, and even melons on the grill too for both savory side dishes and of course some superb summer desserts. Fresh herbs such as basil and mint pair perfectly with grilled fruits.
Use avocado oil. Everything I put on the grill gets a light rub or brushing of avocado oil. Adding an oil rub prevents foods from sticking and brings out great flavor. Avocado oil is not only a “heart-healthy” oil, it’s mild in flavor and has a high smoke point, which is best for higher temperature cooking like grilling.
Grill over low flame for fish, chicken and all fruits and vegetables. These are the foods I grill most frequently, and I never use a high flame. For the best tasting and healthiest results, don’t char your food.
Cook your entire meal on the grill. Well, except for the green salad, which is standard with my dinners. In general, I do put “everything” on the grill – a protein (salmon, grilled pork roast, chicken breasts or chicken sausages, steak, etc.) and potatoes, corn, asparagus, peppers, onions, radicchio, beets, fruits… the meal possibilities are endless!
Sit and relax and let the grill do the work. This is the best part of grilling! – Prepare the foods and truly just relax (and enjoy a few rounds of badminton or a drink) while they cook. I tend to grill extra amounts, such as with veggies and chicken, so I can toss them on a sandwich or salad for the lunch the next day.