By Colleen Campbell The long awaited summer is finally here, and one of the favourite things to do is take the garden furniture and barbecue set out of storage and enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends.
Barbecues are commonly misconceived as being unhealthy and calorific; well this doesn’t have to be the case. Barbecues offer a great opportunity for healthy eating so instead of thinking high fat sausages/burgers, take a look at some of these nutritious barbecue ideas that will leave you feeling smug that you have cooked a healthy barbecue meal.
- Opt for lean cuts of meat that are lower in fat. Chicken is also delicious cooked on the BBQ, and it has a lower fat content than beef burgers and sausages. You could cut some chicken breast fillets into cubes and put them on to skewers with vegetables to make to make a healthy BBQ kebab.
- Fish is a great alternative to meat, and is also a low fat option to cook on the BBQ. A good fillet of marinated salmon (using homemade marinade) cooked for 10 minutes is delicious and provides you with a good dose of those healthy omega 3 fats!
- Salads are light, healthy and seemingly low calorie, but beware of the salad dressings which can be a calorie trap. Reduced fat/calorie dressings or balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of fresh lemon will prevent your calorie intake going through the roof.
- You can’t have a BBQ meal without a dessert, right? Instead of the ice cream, gateaux’s and cheesecake, why not choose a selection of your favourite fruit, chop them up and pop them on a skewer and warm them through on the BBQ, and then serve with some low fat yoghurt. Or you could just keep things simple and have a refreshing bowl of fresh fruit salad.
- I’m not a party-pooper, so I’m not going to suggest that you should abstain completely from alcohol, however I do recommend that you moderate your intake and use strategies that can help reduce your overall calorie intake, such as having mixers with diet drinks (e.g. gin and slim-line tonic or a wine spritzer), opting for single measures instead of double and drinking water in between drinks.
- I can’t talk about BBQ’s without mentioning the importance of removing badly burnt bits from your meat, poultry or fish. If you are anything like my father, who is burn prone, just be mindful that the charred spots are thought to be carcinogenic (increase cancer risk) but don’t fret, just simply cut them off before serving and enjoying. Marinating the food first can lower levels of the dangerous chemicals produced, and part cooking them in the oven or microwave prior to adding them to the barbecue will reduce cooking time and the risk of burning.
So, who do you nominate to stand over the glowing coals in the baking hot sunshine preparing all the yummy food?