With the start of football season, tailgating parties are in full swing. Keep your tailgating social healthy, chemical free and paleo friendly with these food prep ideas.
1. Consider Barbeque Alternatives for Healthier Meat.
Meats cooked on high heat can form cancer causing chemicals and briquettes contain lighter fluids. Instead, bring smoked fish or beef, steamed vegetables and hearty chilis to your next tailgating party and be the star of the show for those seeking healthier alternatives. Smoked beef briskets are always a big hit. If you opt for chili, keep it warm for hours in a crockpot. No electrical plugin in your car? No problem, just plug them into a power inverter that connects to your car’s lighter or power source. Be sure to start your car periodically to ensure the battery is not drained. Likely no one will miss the grilled meat. However, if you have a taste for traditional barbeque, go with propane or electric for your heat source and use lean non-muscle meats to minimize the risks.The following information on Cancer.gov from The National Cancer Institute explains why you should be careful about cooking muscle meats including beef, pork, fish and poultry on high heats.
Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk - National Cancer Institute Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals formed when muscle meat, including beef, or pork, fish, or poultry, is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling directly over open flame. In laboratory experiments, HCAs and PAHs have been found to be mutagenic—that is, they cause changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer.
2. Finger Friendly Foods? Keep it Healthy and Fun.
Finger foods such as fresh veggies and nuts are a staple for the paleo diet. However, with friends, family and sometimes strangers dipping in germs can spread quickly. Use creativity in ensuring that finger foods are picked up easily and stay separated. How about a candy style dispenser for nuts and seeds like the one shown here.
Or use the traditional toothpicks to pick up single servings or set veggies and other finger foods in a single layer on veggie trays. Avoid the bowl full of nuts at all costs, ew!
3. Paleo Friendly Beer is Here.
Many people consider a tailgating party incomplete without beer. Although most beers contain gluten and are not paleo friendly brewmasters have recently hit the Paleo bandwagon. There are now a variety of Paleo friendly, gluten-free or low gluten beers and beer alternatives available. Gluten free beer may not taste exactly like traditional beer but they fit your lifestyle and you may even like them better. The HuffingtonPost did a thorough taste test of gluten free beers highlighting the good and not so good options. See what they liked best here and raise a beer to Paleo friendly beer.