BBQ Lovers: Healthy 4th of July Recipes

Healthcare professionals across the country are gearing up for a wonderful 4th of July! These folks who are working their travel nursing jobs will be watching fireworks crackle in skies above all 50 U.S. States. Since attending a backyard BBQ is one of the most popular ways to celebrate Independence Day, it can't hurt to have a few recipes on tap, as healthy as they are patriotic.

But before getting into the red, white and blue, here are a few healthy grilling tips to keep foods free and clear of unhealthy charring. Research shows grilling meats at high temperatures can cause HCA carcinogens to form. Consuming too much pan seared meat at longer cooking times, especially when it's on the barbecue, increases the likelihood of certain cancers.

The good news is there are things you can do in your food preparation to significantly lower your risk. Here are ways that travel nurses can host a healthier BBQ over the weekend:

  • Spice it up: Certain spices are packed with antioxidants and help eliminate HCAs when you grill. Brush your meats with olive oil infused with thyme, sage and garlic.
  • Turn it down: Start cooking early; this allows for more time and lets you cook the meat below **325°F, the temperature at which HCAs begin to form.
  • Add a little red wine: A **Portuguese study showed that marinating beef in red wine up to 6 hours before grilling it decreased the amount of carcinogens by 40% compared to beef that was not marinated. Another study found that spicy marinades can decrease HCA formation, so take that as a cue to be liberal with red pepper.
  • Consider microwaving for 2 minutes: Before you fire up the grill, heat the meat in the microwave for up to 2 minutes on medium. Studies show this can decrease HCAs by as much as **90%.

Happy 4th RNs – Now Bring on the Patriotic Recipes!

American Traveler loves to share seasonal and healthy recipes with our nurses and therapists. That's why we have a chicken slider recipe that's all bottles and rockets, thanks to a highly flavorful and all-natural BBQ sauce you can whip up in minutes—not to mention an alternative to mayonnaise that'll brighten up all your summer picnics. That is to say, these 4th of July BBQ Chicken Sliders could not come more highly recommended.

These little burgers are great for portion control and look extra pretty when served with a Red, White & Blue Fruit cup—no recipe required there. All you have to do is find a white bowl and fill it with strawberries, blueberries and sliced bananas…which taste just dynamite together! Have a safe and happy 4th, everyone!

**Statistics provided in healthy grilling tips were taken from an article in Health.com.

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