Healthy and delicious barbecue tips

11 May 2018


Barbecues are usually all about meat, French bread and dipping sauces. With these tips and delicious and healthy alternatives to greasy, calorie-laden junk foods you can learn to enjoy guilt-free grilling.

On average, the Dutch have barbecues 5 to 10 times a year in their gardens, on balconies or at parks. A whopping 31% would like to light the grill all year round. And that’s only logical, because barbecuing is a social event more than any other form of cooking. It’s a gathering of family, friends and neighbours. It’s about people getting together, firing up the grill and enjoying themselves. And you can’t beat that – even if you have to set up the grill beneath an overhead shelter on account of rain.

Smart BBQ tricks
Want to feel healthy and guilt-free every time you indulge in a barbecue dinner? It’s all about proper preparation. And we’re not talking about preparing the food, we mean preparing your stomach. Don’t show up for a barbecue feeling hungry. This will only result in you eating all the French bread that you can find before the grill has even been lit. Instead, munch on a healthy snack or have a salad while you wait until the meat is done.

Nice to meat you
Meat is the main focus of most barbecues but many meats are very high in fat and calories. However, there is a way to go lean without sacrificing anything in the way of taste. Simply avoid high-calorie meats such as hamburgers, bacon and sausages, and opt for lean meats like steak, chicken breast, turkey or pork tenderloin. Want to go meatless altogether? Why not have a full-on fish feast with cod, tuna, trout, plaice, sole or monkfish. Tip: barbecue the easy way with a portable grilling basket or fish wrapped in foil packets.

Go vegetarian
There are many vegetarian barbecue dishes that will satisfy your taste buds and help you feel healthy. Take, for instance, this portobello burger. Kebabs are also one of the most versatile dishes you can make. Simply slice up your favourite veggies (e.g. bell peppers, courgettes, mushrooms, tomatoes), marinate them in olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic, push them onto a skewer and get grilling! Grilled corn on the cob is also a delicious side dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Or try grilling fruit. Grilled fruit makes a great dessert and the heat really brings out the flavour.

Dippity do dah!
No barbecue fest is complete without a few dipping sauces. Throwing a healthy barbecue doesn’t mean sauces are off limits. Just remember that red sauces such as ketchup and curry sauce contain less fat than white sauces like mayonnaise. Unfortunately, most peanut sauces are fattening. You can also make your own low-fat sauces. These yogurt dips are simple, healthy and make a perfect addition to your barbecue menu.

Bon appétit and a happy grilling season!

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