8 Ideas to Make Your Summer BBQ Healthier


The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the polish on my toe nails is glistening.  Oh yes, Summer is in the air and it’s time to BBQ.

Here we are only 2 days away from the long weekend.  By now you’re probably itching to ditch work, fire up the grill and call it a party.  It’s tempting, I know.  I almost put off writing this post today to sit out in the back yard and relax in the sun.  But I just couldn’t let you down. So I made the responsible choice…Note to self:  Buy a sun shade for my laptop so that I can blog and enjoy the weather.  Does anyone know where I can buy one?

Yes Memorial Day weekend is here.  Without a doubt there will be BBQ’s with lots of great food and beverages.  You can’t escape it.  So how do you indulge without the guilt?  Well it just so happens that I have 8 ideas that will help make your BBQ healthier.


1.  Serve flavored seltzer water instead of soda

Add Strawberry Ice , courtesy of Joy the Baker, to flavored seltzer water for a refreshing low-calorie drink.  Blueberries, raspberries and grapes would also taste great in ice.  Just saying…

2.  Swap out your sweetener

Use all natural, calorie free  Stevia, in place of sugar.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should.  With all the pleasure and none of the guilt, this just might be the best thing since sliced bread. Use it to sweeten your lemon aide, iced tea or your mojito if you must.

P.S.:  I haven’t used it for baking yet.  Have you?

3.  Make a healthy appetizer

I found this recipe for Quinoa Bites on The Healthy Apple.  Quinoa is an excellent choice.  It’s a super healthy grain full of fiber and protein.  It just so happens that fiber and protein are 2 things we need to stay thin and trim. So there you have it.  No excuses.  Add this one to your list.

Don’t they look delicious?  Can’t wait to try them.

Gluten Free Crispy Quinoa Bites from The Healthy Apple

Photo courtesy of Amie from The Healthy Apple

4.  Use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in potato salad

My favorite is a Whole Foods recipe; the Classic Summertime Potato Salad.  I do a one for one substitution of Greek yogurt for mayo and it’s a hit every time.  Oh and if you decide to make this recipe, try using pickle relish.  It mixes better and is a huge time saver if you’re like and don’t want to chop up the pickles yourself.

5.  Get creative on the grill.

Try grilling your salada great idea (among many) on Snack Girl’s website. Grilled vegetables make a great side for just about anything. It’s simple, it’s quick and you really can’ t mess it up.  Want something a little heartier? Add some chicken (or other white meat) and call it a main dish.

6.  Create your own humus platter.

Get a little fancy and go with a Mediterranean theme.  Everybody does humus and raw veggie platters.  You want your dish to stand out from the rest.  Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts and whole wheat pita chips are my suggestions.

7.  Use lean chicken instead of beef.

This is nothing new right?  You’ve heard it all before.  But I’ll tell you this, boneless chicken breasts make great sandwiches.  Add a healthy marinade or spice rub and you won’t miss the burger one bit.    Make it even healthier by serving it on a 100% whole wheat roll.

8.  Make a fruit salad for desert. 

My favorite combo?  Blackberries, blue berries and strawberries sweetened with (of course) Stevia. Mix everything together in a large bowl and chill it in the fridge for a few hours, or even over night.  Garnish with mint leaves when you’re ready to serve.

For a real treat spoon the fruit over a scoop of vanilla coconut milk frozen desert.  In case you haven’t heard, this frozen desert is just like real ice cream but a lot healthier for you.  I kid you not!  I’m absolutely addicted to So Delicious’ Vanilla Bean.

I wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.  And as you’re enjoying your time off, let’s not forget what this weekend is really all about.  Take a moment to remember the many men and women who served our country to protect us and give us the freedom we cherish.

What tips do you have to make your recipes healthier?


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The Healthy Apple 24-05-2012, 14:34

Thank you so much for including my recipe and picture! Hope you enjoy them. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Kristen Mercier 24-05-2012, 21:58

Thanks Amie. You too. :)

Athena @ Fitness & Feta 24-05-2012, 16:39

This is my blog post tomorrow! haha my 5 healthy tips for surviving grill season is scheduled and set to go :) I love it!

Kristen Mercier 24-05-2012, 21:59

Can’t wait to read it. :)

Be Fit with Kristen - Living a fit and healthy lifestyle. Loving life ~ always. 03-07-2012, 15:44

[...]  If you are interested, I also have some great tips on how to make your BBQ healthier. [...]

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