This is the time of year when we love to make dinner on the grill. But watch the marinades. They can be full of salt, sugar and grease, as well as the calories you've been trying to burn off.

"What I encourage folks about making a tender marinade without adding salt and fat is to use flavored vinegars, fresh herbs, onions and garlic," says Ann Caldwell, registered dietician at Anne Arundel Medical Center.


Whisk in barely a tablespoon of olive oil, and brush some olive oil on the grill, too.

Can't make your own? She suggests grabbing a bottle of fat-free Italian dressing and turning that into a marinade for chicken, fish or meat.

This marinade is one of Caldwell's favorites on chicken.The recipe is from the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Blueberry Marinade with Tarragon and Ginger

1 c. Fresh Blueberries

2 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Honey

1 ½ tsp. Dried tarragon

1 tsp. Fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

1 Garlic clove, minced

½ tsp. Ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree for 10 seconds.

Pour in jar with tight lid – let stand for 15 minutes to let flavors meld.


Shake vigorously and then pour over poultry or fish, coating all sides.

Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes; turn at 15 minutes.

Remove from marinade and place on grill over medium-high heat