Healthy Foods for Your Summer BBQ – Part 1

There is nothing better than when summer comes around that you can finally get out of the house and start eating al fresco.


There is something about cooking on a naked flame that brings the cavemen out of us all, and for most women they have the opportunity to sit back with a glass of wine as their husband take over the grill. Food also tastes much better outdoors, perhaps it is the aromas permeating from the grill or just the ambiance. As unlike inviting guests for dinner where the environment is quite formal and a fixed number of places set around a table, BBQ picnics are casual and normally have an open invitation to many. But notoriously many BBQs feature either burnt or, even worse, under cooked food, and there is a limited choice of options, normally sausages and chicken. But things don’t have to be like this, and with a little thought and pre-planning you can eat really healthy and delicious food.

Opt for Lean Protein

On your supermarket shopping trip for ingredients try and stay away from the regular BBQ fare, when choosing meat look for lean protein in the form of chicken and turkey rather than pork or beef. Chicken thighs are ideal, they need slightly longer cooking than chicken breasts but pack a bigger flavor and stay moist better. Leave the skin on when grilling the thighs to protect the skin, your guests then have the option to remove the skin for a really healthy option if they want to. You can still enjoy pork ribs or pulled pork just cut back on portion size and fill the plate with salad.

Use Raw Veg and Fresh Fruit

Grilled food with a smokey barbecue flavor goes great with raw vegetables and fruits. Try making tasty crudites with low-fat dipping sauces or think outside the box and make your dressing and BBQ sauces with citrus and Asian spices rather than with creams and mayo. Try experimenting on your combinations to surprise your guests.

Think Beans

All manner of beans can be used with barbecue food, imagine Mexican food without re-fried beans – it just would not have the same impact. Beans are also a great source of fiber; they are one of the healthiest forms of carbohydrates. Mixed bean salads are great to serve with grilled meat and fish, they also add texture to the dish as well as are tasty and nutritious. Leave off the fatty dressings and spice the salad up with a little chili and lime juice which go perfectly with pulled pork.  You can even opt for baked beans because they go really well with all sorts of grilled meats, just opt for the lower sugar and salt versions. If you are worried about serving raw chicken then why not cook it part way through in the oven first, wrap it in foil until you are ready to grill. Then you can place it directly on a hot grill and char the skin to perfection and the meat will be succulent inside.

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