Summer and barbecues go hand in hand. This doesn't need to mean loads of sausages wrapped in white bread. With a little bit of effort barbecues can be full of nutritious choices.
When choosing meat for your barbecue choose lean options and remove any visible fat. Try trimmed beef rump or lamb steaks. Seafood is also a great choice - Prawn skewers are my favourite. If you can't bring yourself to have a barbecue without sausages check the label when deciding which ones to buy. Standard sausages contain around 25% fat (25g per 100g) but some are much lower at less than 15% fat. Vegetarian alternatives such as tofu or falafel are great for variety. A good idea is to marinate your meat as this helps prevent your food from charring. Charred food is associated with an increased risk of cancer so it is important to cook your meat right through but take care not to blacken the outside.
Barbecued vegetables are delicious! Try barbecued cobs of corn, flat mushrooms, capsicums, courgettes, eggplant, asparagus and tomatoes. Vegetable kebabs using combinations of these vegetables are always a hit, especially with pineapple chunks too.
Barbecues are a great chance to experiment with a variety of salads. Half of your dinner plate should be full of vegetables so salads are a great way to do this at a barbecue. However, be careful not to drown salads in dressings, especially creamy dressings as these tend to be higher in fat. We recommend vinaigrettes, "lite" dressings or even just a squeeze of lemon or orange juice. For inspiration check out our Salad Recipes (link to Salad Popular Collection).
Be careful not to counteract your healthy food choices by drinking lots of high energy drinks such as alcohol and sugary soft drinks. Make sure there are always jugs of iced water available - a few lemon or lime slices make these look and taste more appealing. Soda water is a great option too. When drinking alcohol alternate your alcoholic beverages with a non-alcoholic beverage. For juice fans dilute the juice half and half with a 'diet' lemonade or ginger ale.
Barbecues are about spending time with friends and family so don't feel you need to slave away in the kitchen preparing fancy desserts. A summer fruit platter is a great way to finish a barbecue. Add a few treats such as squares of chocolates or scorched almonds with the colourful fruit if wished.