With summer comes the fun American tradition of the backyard grill and barbecue, especially with July 4th around the corner.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional beef burger or steak when balanced with alkalizing side dishes. But since you may have so many opportunities to grill, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can grill delicious alkalizing foods?
So to help you stay nutritionally balanced but still get in on the fun and companionship of cookouts this summer, I’m thrilled to share with you three delicious pH-balanced grilling recipes for that cookout favorite, the burger.
And just think – you might normally pass up dessert because of the acidifying cookout fare; but this way, you can indulge in some sweets after your meal without going overboard on the acidifying foods!
Meat Is Not “Bad”
It’s easy to think that acidifying foods, especially meats, are bad for your bones and should be avoided. But eating meats in moderation does not harm your bones. Meat is acidifying, but a lot of acidifying foods have important nutrients; they just need to make up a smaller proportion of your diet.
When I talk about healthy meats, however, I do not mean processed meats like hotdogs and lunch meat. Examples of healthy meats include lean cuts of grass-fed beef or free-range poultry.
Still, balance is key. Eating meat – even healthy meat – three meals a day would be considered excessive and imbalanced, which can harm your bones. And it’s not hard to fall into this habit. The Standard American Diet (SAD) typically includes meats at every meal, such as bacon or sausage for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch, and chicken for dinner.
So let’s take a look at some delightfully tasty grilling recipes to help you stay balanced this summer while still enjoying delicious burgers with that distinctive grilled flavor.
1. Eggplant Crunch
With few ingredients, these simple eggplant crunches are one of my absolute favorites. They can be a bit time-consuming, but they are well worth it.
Servings: approximately 18 (depending on the size of the eggplants)
- 2 eggplants, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 cups sesame seeds, raw or toasted
- 2 eggs (use more if necessary)
- Enough oil to lightly drizzle 2 baking sheets and the tops of the slices (some bone-healthy oil choices include olive and coconut)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Begin this dish in the oven, and then finish it on the grill.
- Preheat oven to 475o F. Lightly drizzle one or two rimmed baking sheets with oil.
- Place the flour in a shallow dish. Place the sesame seeds in a separate shallow dish.
- In a deep bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and pepper until combined.
- To coat each slice of eggplant, gently press into the flour and coat both sides. Use a fork to dip the slice into the egg (shake off any excess egg). Then dip the slice into the sesame seeds.
- Place the fully-coated slice on the prepared baking sheet(s). Drizzle the slices lightly with some oil.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden on both sides. You can then refrigerate them to reheat on the grill later, or take them directly out from oven to grill.
- Grill slices on a well-oiled grate for a few minutes on each side. Serve on buns or plain.
2. Sweet Bean Burgers
Not only are these meatless burgers delicious; they can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated up to 3 days before grilling.
Servings: 8-10 burgers
- 2 cups cooked lima beans, well drained (if you use canned, choose BPA-free and low sodium)
- 1 ½ cups mashed sweet potato, cooked
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1 tsp ginger, ground
- 1 tsp sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup rolled oats or gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- Place the onion, garlic, basil, and beans into a blender or food processor, and blend until beans are broken.
- Add the mashed sweet potatoes and spices, and blend until mixed.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs or oats and flour, and mix on medium speed for approximately two minutes. Refrigerate mix for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350o F. Remove bowl from refrigerator, form the mixture into patties, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, turning the burgers at around 15 minutes.
- You can take the burgers directly outside to the grill, or refrigerate and re-heat on the grill. Burgers will be firmer if you refrigerate them first.
3. Superfoods Burger
This alkalizing burger is chock-full of vegetables and bone-building nutrients.
Servings: 6 burgers
- 1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water (distilled)
- 1 cup tomatoes, cubed
- 2 leaves kale, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped small
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Place the quinoa, water, tomato, kale, and parsley in a medium pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 350oF. When ready, remove pot with the quinoa from heat, stir in the rest of the ingredients, and add salt and pepper. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once the mixture is cool, shape into patties and place on on a lightly oiled baking pan.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the burgers halfway through.
- Take burgers directly out to the grill and grill them for a few minutes on each side. Or you can refrigerate them first like the Sweet Bean Burgers.
Now It’s Time For Dessert!
Once you’ve enjoyed your bone-healthy dishes fresh from the grill, you can indulge in a moderate portion of dessert if you’re so inclined. In fact, the Save Our Bones cookbook, Bone Appétit, includes an entire section on desserts. After all, eating your way to bone health should include delicious treats!
Desserts do not have to be sugar-intensive. Many of the desserts in Bone Appétit, such as Heavenly Chocolate Cake and Spiced Apple Cake, are sweetened with stevia and don’t contain added sugar at all. Others use natural sweeteners, such as Gingerbread Cake, which contains a little molasses and maple syrup. Sunshine Citrus Cake is sweetened with honey and orange juice.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
Of course, Bone Appétit has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, too, and it includes a 30 Day Meal Planner to make things simple.
I hope you enjoy your summertime cookouts! If you have any bone-healthy grilling recipes you’d like to share with the community, feel free to post them below.
Till next time,