Summer is here, restrictions are lifting and its finally time to gather our friends and fire up the BBQ!

skewers on bbq

Lockdown has already been hard on our waistlines. So, how do we survive summer BBQ season without doing more damage? The good news is, it’s easy. Grilling your food in general is a healthy method of cooking. And, if you’re looking for a few extra, simple and effective, ways to keep it healthy, read on.

1. Trim excess fat and choose lean cuts of meat.

Super simple, but very effective in keeping things on the healthy side!

2. Marinate meats and chicken to add flavour and moisture.

Once you’ve ditched the fat, you’ll need to prevent your meat/chicken from drying out.

Marinades keep things moist and can pack a flavour punch at the same time. For a classic, quick and simple marinade mix together the following:

  • Olive oil, lemon juice, plenty of garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

As an added bonus, The Berkley Institute found that ‘marinating meat for 20 minutes prior to grilling may reduce the formation of hetercyclic amines (cancer causing chemicals)’ – so it’s a win/win.

3. Make skewers to keep the calories light.

Skewers are a great way to reduce the amount of meat you eat, and get some colourful veggies in. To prepare, alternate meat, chicken or prawns with big chunks of onion, peppers, mushrooms or courgette. Then, brush with a little olive oil, pesto or marinade and pop on the grill. So simple and super healthy.

4. Fill up on salad and grilled veggie side dishes.

Ditch the calorie laden coleslaw and opt for lighter side dishes.

  • Grill corn on the cobs or asparagus spears for veggies full of flavour.
  • With salads think Mediterranean inspired Greek salad, which is full of heart healthy olives and creamy feta cheese.
  • As a lighter alternative to a mayonnaise loaded potato salad, try steaming new potatoes and dress with a light chive vinaigrette.

For more tasty inspiration, go to our salads and sides section.

5. Don’t blow it when it comes to dessert!

So you’ve made all the right choices so far, don’t let a calorie laden dessert ruin all your good work!

Fruit makes a great dessert option. You get a natural sweet hit without any of the fat and calories of traditional desserts, so give these ideas a try:

  • Grill bananas in their skins, or halved peaches, on the BBQ. Then, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with low fat crème fraiche or natural yogurt. Delicious!
  • Keep it seasonal with a big bowl of fresh berries. Is there really anything quite as good as plump, juicy English strawberries??? Tasty, healthy and a great way to round off your BBQ.
summer strawberries in bowl
Finally, and most importantly, relax, have fun, and enjoy your friends and newfound freedom this summer.

What are your favourite healthy BBQ recipes?? Share in the comments below.

Fiona Lyne

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