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Getting ready to reintroduce your grill to your family’s dinnertime? Go green this summer by following these tips for healthy grilling:

  • Use gas, propane or electric grills, which burn cleaner and more efficiently than charcoal or wood. That means better air quality, both in your backyard and in the surrounding community. But if you do opt to barbecue with old-fashioned solid fuel, use all natural, sustainably produced charcoal or wood briquettes.
  • Consider using less meat, which is the biggest way to diminish the environmental impact of your grill. Bulk up your offerings with vegetables or fish, like salmon.
  • When prepping your grill, avoid chemical sprays and instead rub the rack with half of an onion after it’s heated up and then brush on olive oil so food won’t stick. When cleaning your grill afterward, use organic grill cleaner that’s chemical-free.
  • Buy local and seasonal produce from farmers’ markets and roadside stands, like sweet corn, berries, avocados and watermelons. Invite your kids to pick out their favorite colorful choices.
  • Eat on reusable dishes and use washable napkins to avoid creating product waste. After your barbecue, recycle the items that can be recycled and compost leftovers.
  • Encourage your kids to make eco-friendly table decorations with small paper cups, black dirt and individual annual flowers, along with markers, glue and assorted small items from around the house to decorate the flowerpots.

Try these great “green” grilling recipes that are easy to prep and cook:

  • Serve a grilled and raw veggie platter with several dips. Try some new vegetables you might not have thought about grilling, such as carrots, endive spears, cherry tomatoes, broccoli spear slices and summer squash slices. Toss the vegetables with a marinade of olive oil, citrus juice, garlic and herbs for at least an hour before grilling. (Or use bottled Italian salad dressing if you’re in a hurry.)
  • Grilled fruit kabobs make a great dessert for adults and kids. Cut peaches, plums and pineapple into one-inch chunks, adding seedless grapes and halved apricots. Thread fruit on a short wooden skewer and brush with lime juice (lime juice keeps peaches from turning brown). Grill over a low fire until grill marks are barely visible. Remove from the grill and brush with a glaze made from equal parts honey and lime juice.
  • Try this Colorful Corn Salad, which you can make with organic and locally grown produce. It’s summery, parve and travels well for Saturday lunch!