(Family Features) Summer grilling season is here. Nearly half of all homeowners grill one to two times per week in the summer months, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association. While it is tempting to cook hot dogs, burgers and steaks, it is possible to enjoy flavorful dishes that offer healthful benefits.
To ensure grilling season is as easy as it is healthy and delicious, Registered Dietitian David Grotto provides a few insights to keep in mind this summer:
Pre-season this season. Pre-season your grill with corn oil. By pre-seasoning the grill before its first use, cooking will be easier, clean-up will be a breeze and rusting can be avoided.
Be kind to your heart. Corn oil is a great source of heart-healthy plant sterols, which may help block cholesterol absorption in the body. In fact, corn oil has four times as many cholesterol-blocking sterols as olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil. Use Mazola Corn Oil to coat foods, like veggies and lean meats for grilling. Added bonus: Corn oil stands up against high-temperature cooking better than olive oil.
For a fun, delicious and uniquely healthy take on fish or lean meats, crush a combination of peanuts and pistachios into fine pieces in a food processor. Stir in just enough corn oil into the nut mixture to coat the pieces, and spread the mixture over a lean protein of your choice. Then, grill away. The pistachios also offer plant sterols, so you get a twofer.
Spice up something sweet. Give sweet foods, like fruit, a kick by pairing them with a marinade or seasoning. Lycopene, an antioxidant found in watermelon, better absorbs in the body with the assistance of an oil-based marinade.
To amp up your grilling recipes, try this mouth-watering Spicy Grilled Watermelon recipe. Find even more recipes at www.mazola.com.