9 Foods You Never Thought to Throw on the Grill This Memorial Day

7 minute read

Memorial Day is right around the corner, and this means summer is coming. It’s officially time to fire up your grill. Typically this means we get out the hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks, but why not switch things up this year.

Grilling is a great way to add life to foods you wouldn’t usually think of. Plus, with these new and unexpected grilled treats, you can promote a much healthier summer.

1. Avocados

You can slice avocados, grill them and add to any salad or dish. You can even halve them and grill as is, add a filling of your choice and serve as a delicious and nutritious appetizer or snack. Avocados are great for you because they contain healthy fats, which are great for your heart. They also work to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Avocados are also full of fiber and contain more potassium than bananas.

2. Salad

Lettuce is not typically something we think of for the grill, but whole romaine lettuce is about to be your new best friend. Quickly sear romaine around the edges to lightly char them, and this will add a new look and flavor to any summer salad.

Salad of any kind is a great source of roughage, which helps to promote efficient digestion and regular bowel movements. Lettuce also contains a lot of water, which helps keep you hydrated and keeps you filling full so you don’t snack on unhealthy treats.

3. Fruit

When you’re looking for that light summer treat without overdoing it on the calories, try grilling fruit. Grill caramelized apples and enjoy the intensified sweetness the grill brings. Sliced peaches and watermelon are also the perfect summer dessert after they’ve been grilled for a short while.

Fruits are full of antioxidants and other plant compounds that work to protect your body from oxidative damage and inflammation. Apples are also a great choice for diabetics as they contain natural sugar and a lot of fiber, which helps to regulate blood glucose absorption.

4. Edamame

These pods make ideal snacks, and they’re even better when grilled. Your favorite seasoning, mixed with the smoky flavor from the grill, will give you and your guests the perfect snack or side dish.

As a good source of soy protein, edamame are rich in fiber and antioxidants. These antioxidants combined with the high vitamin K content helps to reduce your risk of heart disease by improving overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

5. Grilled Cheese

Rather than frying this classic sandwich in a pan and feeding your body unhealthy fats and oils, try grilling it instead. It’s called a grilled cheese sandwich for a reason, and it not only tastes better with that smoky flavor, but it saves you from unhealthy and greasy fats.

Frying foods is never a good option because it covers the food in unhealthy fats that can contribute to high cholesterol. When foods are fried, they also tend to have higher calorie content, which can lead to weight gain and obesity if not moderated.

6. Potatoes

Most people opt for potato salad or baked potatoes when it comes to summer parties and barbecues. Potato salad is full of fatty mayonnaise, so baked or grilled potatoes are a healthier choice.

Since Memorial Day is the day for grilling, switch to grilled potatoes for this time. With the smoky flavor and your favorite toppings like olive oil, salt, and maybe some homemade pesto, you have a delicious side for any meal.

Potatoes are a great way to fill up without consuming too many calories. They also contain more potassium than bananas and magnesium, which is necessary for bone and heart health.

7. Cauliflower

Another vegetable people don’t think to grill is cauliflower. Boiling it can be boring, so throw your favorite seasoning on this vegetable and throw it on the grill. You don’t lose any of the nutrients, and you’ll get a brand new flavor you’re guaranteed to love.

Cauliflower is a good source of antioxidants to fight against free radical damage. It’s also full of fiber for healthy digestion and low in calories, making it great for weight loss. Because it’s filling, it’s a great substitute for starchier or higher-carbohydrate grains and legumes.

8. Mushrooms

Throw a few mushrooms on a skewer after soaking in your favorite marinade or topped with your favorite seasoning. Unless you have larger mushroom varieties, be sure to use the skewer so they don’t fall through the grill.

Mushrooms are packed with nutrition and are low in calories. For those following vegetarian or vegan diets, mushrooms are packed full of protein, which makes them a good substitute for meats. They’re also high in selenium, which is necessary for heart and brain health and potassium, which is required for regulating blood pressure.

| Related: The Many Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms |

9. Desserts

Make yourself a healthier dessert by adding sliced pound cake to the grill. Top with a little yogurt and fresh fruit for a delicious and lower calorie treat. Just be careful and watch the cake closely as they can burn quickly. You only want them lightly toasted to get that unique flavor.

Berries make the best topping because they are packed full of antioxidants. They fight inflammation, oxidative stress, and can help protect against heart disease and certain cancers. Using organic yogurt is better than frosting or butter because you get less fat, less sugar, and a bellyful of probiotics.

The Bottom Line

The summer always seems to bring out the best in us when it comes to health goals. We want to look our best during those summer months, but all those barbecues can mean too many unhealthy meals.

There’s no need to sacrifice health for good taste because there are some healthy foods that would live to meet your grill. Have the best of both worlds with these healthy treats. Nutrition and that smoky flavor you love all in one.

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