25th – 31st May is National BBQ Week and we certainly have the weather for it this year. Barbecues don’t have to be a nutritional disaster. Say goodbye to charred meat and white baps, here’s how to have a healthier BBQ.

 

SERVE HEALTHIER NIBBLES

Instead of crisps, olives and unroasted nuts make good nibbles for picking on whilst you wait for the main event. Make some kale crisps or serve a healthier dip, such as guacamole with vegetable crudités.

 

AVOID BURNING THINGS

Cooking food, especially meat, over smoke and flames can create carcinogens. Aim to cook food for longer over a lower heat. Don’t burn food and clean the grill well after you’ve finished.

 

WATCH OUT FOR SUGAR-HEAVY SAUCES

Instead, marinade in herbs, spices and citrus fruit zests combined with olive oil.

 

Read more: How To Avoid Hidden Sugars

 

BE CREATIVE WITH SALADS

There are many delicious ingredients that can be added to salads so think beyond iceberg and cucumber. Some of my favourite ingredients for jazzing up a salad include: pomegranate, spiralized courgette, walnuts, pine nuts, rocket leaves, fresh basil and mint. Or try my Strawberry and Avocado Salad recipe.

 

DON’T FORGET VEGETABLES

Many of us tend to be so focussed on meat that we miss out on delicious barbecued vegetables. Peppers, aubergine, mushrooms and courgette work well cut into similarly sized pieces and cooked on skewers. Corn on the cob works well too.

 

Read more: 3 Ways Eating Vegetables Aids Weight Loss

 

RETHINK YOUR DRINK

If alcohol is normally a key feature of your barbecue, offer some more interesting non alcoholic drink options too. Pitchers of infused waters will ensure everyone stays hydrated, try one of these three flavourful combinations from Marbella Club‘s Chef Andrés:

  • Cucumber, green apple, thyme sprigs and lemon peel.
  • Mango, lime, juniper berries and basil leaves.
  • Pineapple, strawberry, ginger, mint leaves and star anise.

 

BARBECUED FRUIT MAKES A GREAT DESSERT

Slices of fresh pineapple are delicious barbecued. Or wait until the BBQ has died down leaving just white coals and pop bananas onto it, skins on. Leave it until the entire skin has turned black and they are soft to pinch then peel away the skin and eat. Barbecued banana is delicious with coconut milk yoghurt.