Healthful BBQ ideas

What happened to our spring weather? If you are still coping with cold and snow, you will probably be anxious to enjoy the warmer temperatures once they finally arrive. Get ready to uncover the grill and prepare some nutritious feasts outdoors. Remember to substitute Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil in all of your favorite BBQ recipes, because it retains its nutrients even in high-heat cooking and is less likely to break down into toxic components.

Be sure to start with a clean grill, lightly oil the grates with Carotino before cooking to avoid sticking, and always remove food before it chars. Other healthful tips for outdoor grilling include:

• Choose lean meats to reduce potentially harmful fat drippings and smoke. Flaming fat can lead to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. To also avoid hormones and antibiotics, you may want to select grass-fed beef or free-range chicken. Partially cooking your proteins in the kitchen can also help to decrease the formation of potentially harmful compounds when you finish cooking the food on the grill.

• Marinate your meats before tossing them on the grill. Researchers believe that marinating meats before grilling may reduce the development of potentially cancer-causing chemicals called HCAs (heterocyclic amines) by as much as 88-99 percent. Experiment with different flavor combinations, using Carotino to help the spices and herbs adhere to the surface of the meats. Be cautious if you choose to use a store-bought marinade as some may contain undesirable amounts of sugar and salt.

• Grill your vegetables. Grilling is a terrific way to maximize the flavors of the season, and add healthful fiber and antioxidants to your meal. Because they have little fat or protein, grilling your vegetables is unlikely to alter their composition. Use medium heat, and be sure to baste them or toss them first with some Carotino, garlic and other favorite seasonings to help them develop delicious caramelization.

o Corn on the cob: Cook about 12 minutes on the grill, turning frequently.

o Sweet potato: Place 1/4” slices on the grill for about 8-10 minutes, turning once.

o Zucchini: Cut lengthwise into thin slices. Grill about one minute per side.

o Eggplant: Cut into 1/4” slices, sprinkle both sides with salt, and let stand for about 30 minutes. Rinse and baste. Grill for about one minute on each side.

o Green beans, snap peas, mushrooms, asparagus and other smaller vegetables: Boil them for 3-5 minutes until slightly tender. Then toss with your Carotino marinade and place in a wire grilling basket. Grill about 7 minutes on each side.

• Grilled fruit makes a sweet dessert. Always start with fresh, but not overripe, fruit. Grilled plums, peaches, apricots, pears, apples and pineapple are true crowd-pleasers. Cut the fruit lengthwise to expose as much surface as possible. Remove the pits or cores, and brush lightly with Carotino. Grill with the cut side down for 5-10 minutes.

Get creative! By the time summer gets here, you will have developed a large repertoire of healthful and nutritious grilled dishes that will enable you to spend more time outdoors enjoying the longer days and warmer temperatures.