Cooking Healthy in an Outdoor Kitchen –

Cooking Healthy Meals in Your Outdoor Kitchen

Eating healthier by choosing whole fruits and vegetables over processed foods is a great way to get back to basics. Home cooked meals are another important step on the road to overall health. Your outdoor kitchen is the perfect place to create mouth-watering meals that are packed with nutrition. Grilling can be one of the healthiest ways to prepare meals for your family.

When meat is grilled, the excess fat drips off and burns away. Less fat on the meat means a healthier portion for your waistline. However, many people worry about carcinogens. When a piece of meat or fish is grilled to char, the charring does contain carcinogens. Limit the amount of charring on grilled meats and if a portion becomes exceedingly charred, remove that small portion. Marinating meats may help prevent carcinogens from forming as well.

Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet benefits your overall health and may reduce the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. Cooking in the outdoor kitchen is a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into meals.

Grilled vegetables are easy, nutritious and flavorful. Begin with basic kabobs of skewered onions, green peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes—then get adventurous. If you like green peppers, try red or orange peppers. Red peppers are packed with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and lycopene. Try grilling eggplant, asparagus, zucchini and green beans for flavor-packed meals.

You don’t have to do anything fancy with these nutrient dense foods, simply skewer, place in a grill basket or directly on the grill and cook until desired tenderness. However, vegetables can be coated with a light marinade or sprinkled with fresh herbs and spices. Eat the grilled veggies on their own or served over a bed of rice or plate of pasta. Grilled vegetables can give a whole new delicious taste to Meatless Mondays.

Fruit can be grilled as well in the outdoor kitchen. Kids and adults alike may enjoy grilled pineapple slices, peaches and even grilled bananas. Grilled peaches and bananas pair well with vanilla ice cream for a savory-sweet summer dessert. Grilled peaches also go well with marinated pork tenderloin or atop an arugula salad.

Take advantage of the outdoor kitchen to establish healthier eating habits, adding more fruits and vegetables into your meals. The food will taste great and you’ll feel better eating it.