Good food is central to health, but cooking healthy food isn’t always easy. When you make dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables, there’s a lot of prep work involved, and you really need to plan your meals.
Although you can’t avoid cutting and chopping veggies, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, using your outdoor grill can help you develop healthy eating habits.
Grilling outside makes cooking easier
Not having enough space in the kitchen to prepare healthy meals is one of the biggest challenges to eating healthy. When it’s difficult to cook good meals, many people choose to get takeout instead. Having an outdoor grill solves this issue because it gives you all the counter space you need.
If you’re used to cooking inside of a small kitchen, you know how frustrating it can be when you don’t have enough counter space to lay out produce, sauces, and other ingredients you’re adding to your meals. Grilling outside can eliminate this issue.
The only thing you need to worry about is filling up your propane tank and keeping your grill in working order. Propane is nice, but pellet grills make it even easier. Pellets are a convenient source of fuel that burn exceptionally well and they’re easy to store.
Since pellets aren’t a compressed, flammable liquid, you can safely store them in the house, worry-free.
Grilling is a flavorful substitute for oils
Sometimes, food only tastes good when you brown it in a pan with oil and make it a little crispier. Some oils are worse than others, but no matter what type of oil you use, it’s still an extremely condensed food source that your body won’t process easily. Oil is fine once in a while, but if it’s habitual, it’s time for a change.
You don’t have to baste anything you grill with oil in order to make it taste good. You can baste your food in butter in moderation, but that’s not even necessary. Grilling creates a uniquely delicious flavor that outdoes anything you can achieve by frying food.
If you’re worried about the potential dangers of grilling, you can marinate your food first to reduce the chemicals that get created from an open flame. There are tons of healthy marinades you can buy or make yourself.
Vegetables are never boring when grilled
Does someone in your family dislike vegetables? Maybe you don’t enjoy certain veggies, like broccoli or bell peppers. Traditional cooking methods, like boiling and baking, are pretty boring. When you toss your veggies on the grill, they’ll taste amazing.
You can grill just about any vegetable on a skewer and make kabobs over an open flame, or just make them on a flat top grill and add them to your dish at the end. The result will be good enough for your whole family to enjoy.
Grilling can encourage eating more foods
Some people have a narrow palate and won’t venture into new territory. If you have picky eaters in your family, grilling can be a great way to introduce new foods to them. Since grilled veggies smell good, you might get your picky eaters to at least take a bite. Vegetarian recipes taste great cooked on the grill.
Cooking outside creates connection
For many people, eating is a social activity and food tastes better when they’re in good company. When you cook outside on a grill, you’re creating space for connection. Whether it’s your family or friends, people will gather outside while you cook and connect a little deeper.
Grilling outside can limit snacking
Snacking is not always bad, but in excess, it can be detrimental to health. If you’re in the habit of always eating fast food or frozen meals, you’re more likely to indulge in snacks before and even after your meals.
Since it takes time to prepare ingredients and cook meals, you’ll have less time to snack. If you do snack, you’re more likely to pick up pieces of the veggies you’re cutting or sneak a bite of that chicken you just roasted before it gets served. There’s also evidence to suggest the flavor of grilled food slows digestion, which makes you feel fuller longer.
Remember grilling basics
Now that you have a handful of reasons to grill your healthy meals outside, don’t forget the basics. Keep raw meat separate from other foods and in the fridge until you’re getting close to cooking. Use a thermometer to make sure your meat reaches the right temperature (ground meat to 160°F, poultry to 165°F, and steaks, roasts, and chops to 145°F).
And last, but not least, let your grill be the excuse you need to try new, healthy foods.