2 September 10 Labor Day: The Last Hurrah
Labor Day is a transitional holiday. It marks the end of summer and is usually celebrated with three-day weekends, last-minute vacations and a fair share of family barbeques. After Labor Day comes another semester of school, a string of holidays and cooler autumn weather, so what better holiday is there than Labor Day to prepare yourself for all the healthy festive dining to come and to bring a renewed focus on seasonal eating?
When the grill cover comes off one last time, don't be tempted to throw everything you've got left in the freezer on it. Traditionally, grilled meats are ones with higher fat content (think burgers, bratwursts and BBQ chicken with its skin still on), and processed meats like hot dogs can contain nitrosamines, which in some studies have been linked to cancer. Even the act of charring foods can form "heterocyclic amines," which may increase the risk of cancer.
However, grilling foods can also be a great way to cook them without needing extra calorie-laden sauces or high-fat oils. Fish and many vegetables are well-suited for a hot grill. You can even prepare healthier french fries by tossing hand-cut raw potato slices in a lightly-oiled cake pan, sprinkling them with your favorite seasoning and roasting them over a low heat until tender.
After the grill has been put away until next Memorial Day, we are greeted by several delicious seasonal vegetables and fruits. Autumn has a lot to offer the healthy-minded, and in a recent poll by Self magazine, 38 percent of respondents named autumn their favorite eating season. So what are the top "superfoods" for fall? Topping the list are Bartlett pears, beets, butternut squash, cranberry beans, apples, kale and Brussels sprouts. These foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Whatever your plans are for this Labor Day weekend have fun, be safe, eat healthy and share with us your end-of-summer adventures!
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