Healthy eating is all the rage. From newspapers and magazines to social media and the wider Internet, there’s lots of information out there to digest. You can learn about which types of foods to avoid, what styles of cooking to use, or which diets are best. But, if you want to avoid information overload and cut through all the noise, you’ve come to the right place. Read on and try our tips on healthier grilling.
If you’re trying to eat a little bit healthier, there are a series of simple changes you can make for your next BBQ. It’s easy to cook healthy food on a grill and still enjoy the delicious barbecue flavour. As with any style of cooking, a little preparation and thought before you fire up the charcoal can really pay off and help you meet your healthy eating goals – whatever they may be.
1. Use leaner meat
If you’re cooking meat on your barbecue and you want to make a healthy change, simply choose leaner cuts of meat. Or why not swap fatty cuts of red meat for fish or chicken? If you do use red meat, trim away as much of the fat as you can for a lean joint. Fish is super easy to barbecue and often gets overlooked for more traditional ribs and burgers, but it can be a great healthy alternative.
For burgers or other homemade barbecue foods, try switching the ingredients of your patties to a lean mince and mix in veg like mushrooms or onions. This basic swap will definitely add some healthy savoury flavour. Chicken kebabs featuring grilled veggies, like aubergine or pepper, make a tasty barbecue dish that’s quick to cook and a healthy alternative. You don’t have to abandon all red meats forever – but for a healthier option, try making a switch to leaner meat or trimming fat away.
2. Marinate your meat for a healthier BBQ grill
Marinating meat or using a spice rub is a great way to make your BBQ healthier. By using spice rubs or marinades, you can use less salt when cooking, and add heaps of flavour to your food. This works perfectly for meat, but you can also marinate grilled veg or fish for delicious barbecue flavour.
3. Grill fruits and veg
We love a rack of barbecue ribs as much as the next person, and there’s no reason you can’t cook ribs as part of a healthy BBQ – but it’s good to mix things up. There’s a lot of tasty recipes out there for grilled fruits and veggies, so why not give them a try?
If you’re looking for veggies to grill on your barbecue, you’ll want to choose carefully. You can roast pretty much anything on a barbecue with a simple roasting dish or foil tray. But, if you’re looking to get that tasty grilled aroma and texture, you’ll want to use veggies like large peppers, stuffed mushrooms, or courgettes.
Barbecued fruit also makes for a delicious and healthy dessert option. Perhaps tropical fruit or stuffed apples sounds enticing? Plus, your guests will be dead impressed that you’ve kept the barbecue going for dessert.
4. Make homemade sides for a healthier BBQ accompaniment
If you’re serving up your grilled delicacies with sides, consider making them yourself. You’ll skip the added salt, fats or sugars by using homemade recipes for ketchup or coleslaw. Or, make a tasty salad to accompany your main dish. Layering your grilled meats or veg on top of a bed of salad makes for some seriously impressive presentation – and it tastes great, too.
Remember that for some sides, like chips or corn on the cob, you can cook them on your grill right next to the main dishes. Don’t put the oven on for shop bought chips, try our recipe for spicy grilled fries and grill the perfect accompaniment to your BBQ.
5. Use wholegrain breads
Another easy healthy swap you can make at your BBQ is to switch white breads out for wholegrain rolls and buns. For hot dogs and burgers, it’s a healthier choice. Using whole grain breads gives you a little extra fibre and seeded rolls add texture and a dash of flavour.
6. Clean off your grill and accessories
It might not sound relevant, but thoroughly cleaning your barbecue grill and accessories actually has real health benefits.
Plus, cleaning your grill properly ensures that any leftover bits of food don’t add any bitter tastes to your next cook.
Whatever you’re barbecuing, it’s a delicious way to cook for your whole family. And, there’s some really simple changes you can make to your barbecue repertoire to make it a lot healthier. So, if you’re looking to make some healthier choices at your next BBQ, just follow these 6 easy tips and you’ll be well on your way.