There is nothing quite like a great BBQ on the 4th of July. It’s the perfect chance to get outside, cook some delicious food, and celebrate our great nation with friends and neighbors. It really is one of the best occasions of the year.
However, the 4th of July also brings with it a lot of unhealthy food options. Nobody wants to stray too far from good eating habits while celebrating. So to stay closer to your regular healthy eating, take a look at these healthy BBQ ideas. These simple and tasty suggestions will help you feel ready when you get back to your friends at the gym after the party is over.
They call it a 4th of July BBQ for a reason. Who doesn’t want to grill and enjoy some great food? So when choosing your menu, think about some healthy options you can throw on the grill. And to balance out the grilling, it’s a good idea to add some cool, refreshing sides too.
The best way to make your grilling healthier is to replace those hot dogs and even red meat with something leaner. Chicken is an obvious choice (insert eye roll here), but BBQ chicken with homemade sauce is heavenly, not to mention a whole lot healthier.
To make your own sauce, start with a can of tomato paste or tomato sauce and add about 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar. Stir in equal amounts of paprika, mustard powder, salt, and pepper along with a little cayenne for a hint of heat. Making your own sauce is healthier because it allows you to control the sugar content. Simply add some honey or real maple syrup to taste, just enough to knock back the acidity of the tomato, and you are in business. Brush plenty of that sauce on your chicken as you grill it slowly, and your guests are in for a treat.
Other lean grilling options include turkey or black bean burgers, shrimp or fish, and kabobs. All types of burgers are delicious and extra refreshing when served protein-style (wrapped in lettuce). Shrimp or fish often just need a splash of olive oil and a drizzle of lemon juice with a little salt and pepper. And who doesn’t love a good kabob with tasty bites of your favorite meat and veggies all grilled together on a skewer or two? Your healthy BBQ entrees options are endless!
Healthy sides are a snap. Some good ideas include corn on the cob, which you can grill right in the husks after you soak them. Baked beans cooked in a pot along with your soon-to-be-famous homemade BBQ sauce are always tasty. Grilled pineapple is a great way to add a refreshing side to the meal. Add a green salad and some cut up veggies, and you have a good spread. If you want to grill some veggies, try something like brussels sprouts or asparagus.
For dessert, put some large red grapes on the grill just long enough to soften them and then spread them on some artisan bread or crackers. Add some soft cheese below the grapes for a real treat. Grilled peaches are a real crowd pleaser too!
Eating healthy throughout the summer can still taste great, and it will help you stay in shape and be ready for the gym each day. The right fuel will have you running, swimming, and boxing as well as ever. Be sure to get to your Legends Boxing gym between barbecues and weekend trips to stay on top of your fitness.