As we head into the tail end of summer, there are a few season-specific events that many of us want to squeeze in while the weather is still warm. Hosting a summer barbeque party is a fun way to end summer with a bang while being surrounded with family, friends, good food, and the great outdoors.
While a summer barbeque party is a great time to kick back and relax, it is no excuse for you to offer dishes that will help you and your guests get an early start on putting on that extra ‘winter layer’. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can upgrade the health quality of your barbeque to keep your health-conscious guests happy and your body looking and feeling great!
Here are some tips for upgrading your next BBQ party:
Don’t go overboard with the meat:
In one sitting, it is not uncommon for us to eat over two to three times the amount of meat that is considered to be one serving! An easy way to measure how much meat a person should eat to equal one serving for them is by comparing it to the size of their palm. Make sure to cut the meat you serve into reasonable serving sizes and have plenty of healthy sides available so that you and your guests can fill up on more than just the meat at your barbeque party.
Serve plenty of veggies as sides:
Skip the mayo-covered potato and pasta-salads and deli coleslaw and stick to serving grilled vegetables and green salads as sides. To grill veggies, coat tougher varieties such as portabella mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant, and summer squash with olive oil and herbs before grilling. Dress salads with a light and tasty vinaigrette instead of a heavier dressing.
Remove the skin:
While grilling chicken with the skin on is a good idea to preserve flavor and keep the meat tender, it is a good idea to remove the crispy skin before chowing down on it yourself. Cutting away the fatty skin will help you shave off a good amount of calories almost effortlessly.
Go easy on the marinade:
Often times, marinades can add a large amount of both calories and sodium. Fortunately, you can avoid these health hazards and still have a flavorful marinade! Lighter citrus marinades or dry-rubs with salt, pepper, and herbs are two great options. If you want to use barbeque sauce, use a light coating while grilling and allow guests to put on more to taste by having bowls of the sauce out on the table for easy access.
Serve up healthy dips with a kick:
Instead of serving creamy dips made with cream cheese or mayo, opt for a spicy salsa or home-made guacamole instead. The spice will help curb hunger, and the fresh vegetable ingredients in both of these dips will have your body thanking you later. Serve these dips alongside veggies or whole-grain chips for a crunchy treat.
Don’t forget the sweet stuff!
Serve up fruit-kabobs for a sweet and colorful treat everyone will love to eat alongside their meal. If you want to serve fruit for dessert, try mixed fruit bowls topped with whipped cream.