PacSci Perspectives

A Heart Healthy Summer Cookout

by | Jul 5, 2016

Summer is in full swing and the season will include a lot of food. This year, treat your friends and family to a fun and healthy meal. These flavorful mini-burgers are perfect for a potluck or dinner with kids.

The Beef
According to Mayo Clinic, grass-fed beef has less fat overall, a greater proportion of healthy fats and more vitamins than its corn-fed alternatives, making it a heart-healthy choice. Researchers also think grass-fed cows do less harm to our planet (see research at OPB.fm).

The Bread
These toasted whole-wheat buns have fewer calories than their store-bought counterparts, and their small size allows for easy portion control, even at a backyard barbecue.

The Produce
This meal does not skimp on plants. Carrots are chock-full of beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A), and cucumbers contain Vitamin K and are also super hydrating on a hot day. Blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits in the world and have plenty of fiber (check out the other benefits on WebMD.com). Add some whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself a dessert.

MINI BURGERS (makes 12–16 servings)

Patties (inspired by this blog):

1 lb organic grass-fed beef
1 egg white
1 carrot, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon grated garlic

Optional:
½ onion, chopped fine
½ cup white mushrooms, chopped fine

Mix beef and egg white together in a large bowl. Add salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add carrots and other vegetables. Mix well. Form mixture into small balls and flatten into rounds. You can use the lid of a small mason jar or a cookie cutter to get the right size. Grill (or bake at 375 degrees) for 15 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Buns

1 loaf of whole wheat bread, sliced and toasted
Lettuce
Tomato, sliced
3–4 cucumbers
Optional: ketchup and mustard

Dessert

1 pint of fresh blueberries
Optional: whip cream

From each slice of whole-wheat bread, cut a circle roughly the same size as your mini-burger patties. Place a cooked patty on one circle and top with lettuce, tomato, and another circle of bread. Serve with slices of cucumber, ketchup, and mustard. And for dessert, add a side of fresh blueberries.

Visit Wellbody Academy to learn more about how our food choices affect our overall heath and how advertising influences our food choices.

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