Healthy grilling tips for Memorial Day


Turn those grills on; it’s BBQ season!

As we kickoff the summer season with the long holiday weekend, here are some fun and healthy tips to use when grilling for your family and friends this Memorial Day.

IMG_7514Clean your grill:

For starters, make sure to clean your grill. Cleaning your grill will greatly reduce carcinogen build-up and will help enhance flavors to give you a top-notch turnout—your meal!



IMG_7515Keep an eye on the time:

Second, don’t leave your food on the grill for too long. Shorter grilling times yield healthier meats and veggies because there is a much less chance for a burnt dinner!



IMG_7499Grill up some veggies and fruits:

And finally, for a healthier meal this Memorial Day, experiment with grilling veggies and even fruits. Here are a couple ways you do this, which I’ve found through my mad-scientist-cooking experience!



IMG_7496Grilled sweet potatoes smell (and taste) like pie!

A fun and uber tasty way to enhance the nutritional value of any holiday meal is to add more veggie to your plate. And what better way than adding a dessert-like vegetable such as sweet potatoes?

If you remember during our special health series, we talked about how influential sweet potatoes are on our endocrine system by helping us to regulate our hormones—and not just for women, guys! Men, too, benefit from chowin’ on sweet potatoes, because you have a thyroid, too! And our thyroid is so fragile–it can actually be damaged quite easily by everyday activities.

So here is a recipe I’ve found and love using to cook sweet potatoes: Feel free to modify it and make it your own!

IMG_7485Grilled sweet potatoes:

1-2 large sweet potatoes (mix up the type, if you enjoy a good variety!)

Peel and cut into ¼-inch-slices

Mix in bowl with olive oil

Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper to your liking

Grill on medium heat for 10 minutes and flip, cooking 10 minutes on the opposite side

And voila! Bon appetite!

Some different ways you can grill veggies include using a metal grilling basket, in tinfoil or barbecued bare.

If you are going to grill veggies bare, I suggest rolling them in olive oil or even coconut oil. (Did you know coconut oil has amazing restorative properties for the brain? Check out this story, here!)

 Grilled asparagus:IMG_7493

Here is another simple recipe for grilling an immune-boosting veggie such as asparagus: Even my pal, who turns up her nose at almost every vegetable, ate an entire plate of grilled asparagus! So you may want to give it a try if you have picky eaters in the house!

(Don’t forget the flu-fighting properties of asparagus!)

Grab a fresh bunch of asparagus from your local grocer

Rinse and chop it up to your liking

Toss in a bowl with olive oil

And sprinkle on black pepper to taste

Wrap the asparagus in tinfoil together

Grill on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes; flip occasionally if you wish

Bon appetite!


Grilled portabella mushrooms:

For the Memorial Day, if you are looking for alternatives to grilling up a bunch of burgers, you might try grilling giant portabella mushrooms. You can cook these the same as a hamburger patty, then add your favorite slice of cheese and top it with a tomato, pickles and a crispy grilled bun. Portabella mushrooms even resemble a grilled burger when cooked!

IMG_7505Hot peaches:

And finally, a fun crowd-pleaser might be to grill some fruit, such as juicy peaches, for dessert.





Have a safe and healthy Memorial Day, everyone!


About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at

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