Three Smart Tips for Healthy Grilling

From the team of Registered Dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada

Summer is here and BBQ season is in full swing. It’s finally time to make the most of summer. The sun is shining, everyone is out on a terrace enjoying a meal among friends, the smell of grilled meat is wafting from nearby BBQs and the evenings seem to go on forever. Cooking on the grill is a summer tradition with a wide range of possibilities, so here are a few tips to add something new to your grilling repertoire. Deliciousness guaranteed!

  1. Skewer bar
    Simple and fun, skewers make a great choice for enjoying a delicious meal among friends. What’s more, they are perfect for vegetables, which, even if they are often overlooked, definitely have their place on the BBQ. You can make all-veggie skewers to go with those loaded with meat, fish, or even tofu. Simply lay out a selection of veggies and let your kids or guests assemble their own. Opt, for instance, for bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and red onions. It’s a great way to up your veggie intake, while still firing up the grill. While you’re at it, why not add some grilling cheese cubes between your veggies? Its taste and tender texture are sure to liven up the flavour of your favourite vegetables—plus your skewers will pack more protein.If you are feeling more daring, try grilling fruits that you can toss in with some veggies to make a side salad with a twist. For instance, grilled peach quarters pair perfectly with arugula. Top it off with grilled Halloumi cheese and you’re good to go! Things heating up outside? Try grilled watermelon cubes on a skewer, sprinkled with Feta cheese and fresh mint. Now that’s a refreshing side.


  1. Ready, set, marinate
    There are several essential elements that go into a successful marinade. For example, the acidity of lemon juice or vinegar or certain enzymes found in foods such as pineapple, mango and ginger help tenderize meat and make it yummier. It also seems that yogurt marinades can penetrate deeper into meat. And, in addition to being an excellent vehicle for flavour, yogurt increases the protein and calcium content of your recipes.Here are some inspiring ideas for your next marinade using plain yogurt:
  • Greek style: oregano + garlic + lemon
  • Indian style: garam masala + turmeric + ginger + garlic
  • Herb style: lemon juice + garlic + your favourite herbs (chives, rosemary, thyme, etc.)


  1. Desserts on the grill
    End your meal on a high note with a dessert featuring grilled fruit. Some fruits were made for grilling. What’s more, grilling lends them a scrumptious caramelized taste. Be warned, though—your fruit dessert might disappear quicker than you think!Strawberries, pears, peaches, pineapples, mangoes and bananas are some of the best fruits for grilling. Simply coat the fruits with a marinade made of maple syrup or honey and cinnamon, then slide them on skewers or cook them directly on the previously oiled grill.These grilled fruits are absolutely decadent when topped with frozen yogurt or your favourite yogurt. Your guests are sure to be impressed.Rather have dessert ready before your guests arrive? Make frozen yogurt bark! Refreshing and crunchy, it’s the perfect way to end an evening under the stars.

So, simply awaken the grill master within and get creative with these handy tips. Ready, set, BBQ!


CarolineThree Smart Tips for Healthy Grilling

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