Summer BBQs. Known for traditional indulgences like starchy potato salads and juicy burgers, attending a few of these can make healthy habits hard to stick to. Along with al fresco, we’re helping you keep things light. Keep nutrition top of mind this summer and #grillalfresco with 5 tips to have a healthier BBQ!
Read on for a chance to win $500 and a new grill. Cast your vote for your favorite summer recipe from al fresco!
1. Go Light On the Snacks
A good dip is the key to my heart at any BBQ. But once I start, there’s a slight possibility I may never be rejoining the party (#addictive). Forego the calorie-laden dips and salty potato chips and instead treat your guests to lighter snacks. Create an inviting spread of fresh cut veggies, colorful fruits and healthy nuts. Veggie and/or fruit dip is also acceptable, but why not try making your own? This way you know exactly what you’re eating and can limit or omit added sugar and salt.
2. Ditch the Hot Dogs
Nothing says “BBQ” like burgers and hot dogs, right? Maybe, but maybe not. Not all cookouts are created equally, and you can make yours healthier by swapping out the burgers and dogs with chicken. We suggest you get creative. al fresco chicken sausages can be eaten more ways than one – whether that’s sliced atop a salad, on a skewer or…wait for it…on a bun! With 70% less fat and 30% less sodium than pork sausage (and coming in at 140 calories a pop), these chicken sausages will add nutrition and variety to your summer BBQ.
Find more recipe inspo here!
Photo Credit: al fresco
3. Bring a Healthy Side Dish
Cookouts are notorious for their yummy but not-so-healthy side dishes. Potato salads, pasta salads…and let’s not forget desserts. Even seemingly healthy sides like broccoli salad can add up when you factor in the mayo and bacon bits! Whether you’re hosting the BBQ or attending as a guest, do the healthy thing and bring a nutritious side dish.
4. Grill Up Fruits & Veggies
Please tell me you’ve tried grilled pineapple –delicious. Or grilled zucchini –genius. Grilling fruits and vegetables takes things to a whole new level. It’s pretty simple: toss with your favorite cooking oil (avocado oil is great for grilling), season with your favorite herbs and spices, toss into a veggie tray (or directly on the grate) and grill away! Grilled vegetables only take a few minutes to cook, so it’s a no-brainer when it comes to adding nutrition to your grilling menu. Try these to start: pineapple, zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes.
Pro Tip: Practice the 75% rule. Make 3/4 of your plate fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes and the remaining 1/4 lean protein.
5. Go Play
Bust out the volleyball. Set up the badminton. A good cookout involves a bit of sport. After all that healthy eating, you’re gonna want to burn that energy (and maybe that cookie you snagged from the dessert table). Having an activity ready will trigger your metabolism and keep you and your guests away from second (or third) helpings.
Cast your vote! We’ve introduced four summer recipes featuring Sweet & Smoky BBQ Chicken Sausage – and we want to know your favorite. You’ll be automatically entered to win $500 and a new grill!