Everything you need to know about throwing a perfect—and healthy—cookout


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Photo: Unsplash/Stephanie McCabe

Throwing an epic backyard barbecue—or even just inviting a few friends over on a summer Saturday to grill on your mini-patio—is virtually a mandated summer activity.

But eating clean and showing your friends a good time aren’t mutually exclusive. And no, you don’t have to stick to green salad and watermelon. All the barbecue classics lend themselves to a healthy makeover—you just have to know a few tricks.

From good-for-you cocktails, deliciously charred greens, and decadent (yet nutritious!) desserts, here’s what you need to craft the perfect menu.

Click through for tips on throwing the ultimate—and, yes, healthy—cookout.

Originally posted June 24, 2016. Updated May 15, 2018.

If you’ll be spending all afternoon outdoors grilling, you’ll want to make sure you lather on the SPF. And though those avocado cocktails are delicious, it doesn’t really count as staying hydrated. This spa water is a delicious compromise if you don’t want to give up flavor.

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