Organizing a BBQ is a relatively simple process. Which is almost the whole point. But if you have people who don’t eat meat coming to your event, you’re going to need some variety. Not all vegetarians and vegans enjoy eating meat-free alternatives that mimic real meat.
And, even if you will be eating meat, it’s a good idea to add in some vegetables as well. It’s better for your health and diet. And it also adds in some different textures and flavors. Some of the best vegetables for grilling are:
- Bell peppers
These are all vegetables that can be sliced up and placed on the grill. They will soften and take on a smokey flavor. They can be added to burgers and hot dogs. (Grilled onions are especially good on hot dogs.) These vegetables can also be eaten by themselves. Or placed on skewers for kebabs.
Are grilled vegetables healthy?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for a way to add in some healthier options to your regular summer BBQs, grilling vegetables is an excellent idea. Meat and bread are fine in small quantities. But they shouldn’t be eaten too often. Nor should they be the main focus of any meal.
Vegetables are super important for a healthy and well-balanced diet. This is especially true of leafy greens. So make sure to add in some lettuce to your burgers as well.
Grilling is a great way to cook vegetables. As it doesn’t require any butter or oil. So it is a very healthy way to cook any food. But vegetables are especially healthy.
Do vegetables lose nutrients when grilled?
Grilling vegetables is a great way to retain their nutrients. This is because the vegetables are cooked quickly. Steaming or boiling vegetables can cause them to lose their nutrients in the water. This isn’t the case when grilling.
There is no way to cook vegetables and retain 100% of their nutrients. So you can eat some raw peppers, celery, and cucumber if you want some super healthy alternatives. But grilling is one of the best ways to keep the nutrients of vegetables. As are other types of dry cooking.
How can I make vegetables more exciting?
Seasoning and marinating vegetables is a great way to add flavor and make vegetables more exciting. Some vegetables are delicious when eaten raw or with a dip. This includes celery, bell peppers, and red onion.
But not everyone enjoys raw vegetables. Especially when they’re also eating burgers and hot dogs. One of the best ways to grill vegetables is on a kebab. This allows you to eat a variety of vegetables. And placing them on a skewer means you can eat other vegetables that would otherwise be difficult to grill due to their shape. This includes mushrooms and tomatoes.
Chop the vegetables up into small pieces. Squares and cubes are best. Marinate them in a sauce of your choice. Place them on the skewer. (You can also add on some chicken best or meat-free alternatives too). Then place them straight on the grill.
Are grilled vegetables carcinogenic?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) labels meat as a Group 1 carcinogen. So it’s best to eat it in small amounts. Or avoid it entirely. But what about grilled vegetables?
If you are also cooking meat on the grill, then it is possible for some fat to transfer or drip onto vegetables. So there is a chance that there will be cross contamination. But this can be easily avoided by having one side of the grill dedicated to meat. And one side dedicated to vegetables.
This will also be the preference for any vegetarians and vegans at the BBQ. As few would appreciate their meat-free alternatives being cooked on the same spot as meat.
Vegetables are not themselves carcinogenic. And they should make up the majority of your diet. If you’re not meat-free and just concerned about carcinogens, don’t worry about grilled vegetables. Meat is considered carcinogenic due to its contents. Rather than the way it has been cooked. Meat creates carcinogens when burned. Whereas vegetables do not.
Which is better, charcoal or gas grill?
For the environment, a gas grill is a more eco-friendly option. This is because charcoal gives off twice as much carbon dioxide as gas. That said, gas is still not the best for the environment.
However, both are better for the environment than coal. Coal is a fossil fuel. And, while it might be a traditional way of grilling food, coal is very bad for the environment.
In terms of personal health, gas is also the better option. This is because grilling on a gas grill doesn’t produce as many carcinogens as charcoal. However, studies are not yet 100% certain about this.
But, overall, it seems that gas grills just about have the edge.
Can you grill vegan burgers?
Having vegetables at a BBQ is a very good idea. It adds in some variety. As well as some healthier alternatives. But, if you are looking for meat-free alternatives, then you need variety there as well. Few vegans and vegetarians will be thrilled to show up to a BBQ and see only vegetables available. (Especially if lots of meat-eaters choose to eat the only meat-free option as a side.)
So having meat-free burgers and hot dogs will definitely be appreciated. Depending on the meat-free burgers you choose, they can be a little softer. They can also fall apart a little more. So you might need to be a little more careful with them.
But, generally speaking, you definitely can grill vegan burgers. There are very few foods that cannot be grilled. The main reason why a food cannot be grilled is that their shape will cause them to fall through the gaps. But this is where kebabs come in.
BBQs can (and should) have a lot of variety. This will make your cookouts a lot more interesting and fun. There is nothing wrong with eating burgers and hot dogs. But variety is definitely the spice of life.
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