Grilling is a beloved summer ritual, and by using canola oil, it’s possible to enhance the cooking experience and flavor of your favorite dishes, while also providing healthy fat.
“Canola oil is your best friend for summer grilling, it offers a unique one-two punch with both grilling and health benefits,” says CanolaInfo spokesperson, Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD. “There is even evidence that it may help to reduce belly fat”.
Villacorta offers a few of his favorite tips for healthy and satisfying summer eating:
Be a Star on the Grill
- High Smoke Point: Canola oil can take the heat which means less smoke when grilling.. Rub grill grates before heating to ensure food doesn’t stick.
- Neutral Flavor: Allow the flavors of your favorite recipes to shine for family and friends.
- Versatility: Canola oil works well in a variety of dishes, including marinades and salad dressings. The low saturated fat content means it doesn’t solidify in the fridge and stays ready to use at a moment’s notice.
“I recommend canola oil to my clients and personally use it regularly,” states Villacorta. “Canola oil is the perfect choice for summer cooking.”
Reduce Belly Fat
Canola oil contains mostly monounsaturated fats and a recent study suggests that using an oil made predominantly from monounsaturated fats may benefit the waistline. Research results — published in the November 2016 Obesity journal — saw a decrease in abdominal fat mass of participants on a canola oil diet, as compared to diets with oils that were made up of other types of fats. The participants in the study were at risk of metabolic syndrome, which affects 40% of Americans, among others.
“In short, canola oil can mean great things for your grill and could help your waistline,” adds Villacorta.
Get Started with Healthy Summer Grilling Recipes
Grilled Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Basil
- 3 Tbsp light soy sauce 45 mL
- 3 Tbsp canola oil 45 mL
- 1/4 tsp dried pepper flakes 1 mL
- 6 tuna steaks (6 oz/170 g each), rinsed and pat dry
- canola oil cooking spray
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 125 mL
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 60 mL
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice 30 mL
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar 15 mL
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic 2 mL
- In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, canola oil and pepper flakes. Place tuna steaks and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of soy sauce mixture in a large, resealable plastic bag. Turn bag several times to coat tuna steaks. Refrigerate no longer than 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill coated with cooking spray over high heat. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine cilantro, basil, lime juice, vinegar and garlic.
- Remove tuna from bag, discarding any leftover marinade, and grill tuna for 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until very pink in center (internal temperature of 145 °F/65 °C). Do not overcook tuna or it will become tough. Serve with remaining soy sauce mixture and top with equal amounts of cilantro mixture.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin 2 mL
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander 2 mL
- 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil 20 mL
- 2 Tbsp lime juice 30 mL
- 1 tsp lime zest 5 mL
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 ears corn on the cob, shucked and grilled*
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half 500 mL
- 2 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion 30 mL
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives whole and pitted 75 mL
- 4 cups leaf lettuce, shredded 1 L
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- In a small bowl, whisk together cumin, coriander, canola oil, lime juice, zest and garlic. Set aside.
- In large bowl, gently combine corn, tomatoes, onion, olives and vinaigrette.
- Divide lettuce among four plates, top with salad and garnish with egg.
*Cooks Note: You can replace the fresh shucked and grilled corn with 1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes