After a sunny Easter weekend, the BBQs have been well and truly brought back into action for this year and that’s got us thinking about how we can BBQ without piling on the pounds.
In theory, cooking food on the BBQ is pretty similar to grilling, so the actual cooking method isn’t too bad in terms of healthiness, but it’s often the foods we use, the way we prep them for cooking and the amount we eat that give BBQs a bad reputation for being unhealthy.
It’s super easy to BBQ and remain healthy and we’re going to be sharing some top bits of advice with you:
Fry Light is Your Friend
We often use a lot of oil when BBQing, whether that be for marinating meats or greasing the BBQ racks but if you’re trying to watch your calories, cooking sprays such as Fry Light are your new best friend.
A real kitchen essential for any dieter or health conscious person, low-calorie cooking sprays are available in all kinds of varieties, are super affordable and typically contain around 1 calorie per spray, so by swapping our pouring oils for these, you could hugely be reducing the calories your cooking methods are creating.
Make Your Own Marinades
Whether it be chicken, ribs, chops or whatever kind of meat, many people like to marinate their meats before BBQing and this is often the point at which a lean and healthy cut of meat can become loaded with unnecessary calories.
Flavour is essential in a sustainable and satisfying healthy diet, so you don’t have to say goodbye to marinating your meats all together, but going homemade is the way forward.
Marinades can be made using store cupboard ingredients such as herbs and spices, cooking spray, honey, lemon juice, orange juice and garlic.
As well as being better for you, pre-made marinades often contain all kinds of additives that are totally avoidable by simply making your own!
Pick Your Proteins Wisely
As we mentioned before, the cooking method of BBQing is often not a problem in terms of healthy eating; it’s usually what we put on the BBQ that is the issue.
It’s easy to load the grills up with shop bought, pre-marinated meats such as ribs, greasy burgers and thick sausages but if you’re trying to host the healthiest BBQ possible, picking your proteins wisely will make a massive difference to how many calories you consume.
Chicken breasts and pork chops are two of the leanest cuts of meat and are considered better for dieting than red meats. Choosing to BBQ fish is also a great way to go healthy with your eating during the summer weather; fishes such as salmon are delicious when done on the BBQ!
Serve Up Some Healthy Sides
Even if you go healthy with your proteins, you can still load your plate up with unnecessary calories by overdoing it with unhealthy sides. So, if you want to be the perfect BBQ host, put on a spread of healthy and tasty sides that everyone will enjoy, dieting or not!
Swap your classic chips for homemade sweet potato fries, have plenty of salads and roasted vegetables available and you could even BBQ some corn on the cob!
A BBQ with friends or family doesn’t need to throw you off-plan as long as you prep your food right, choose the right foods and plate up properly.
Do you have any top tips for hosting the ultimate healthy BBQ? Let us know!