5 Tips for a Healthy BBQ
Summer is the time when millions of people who don’t typically cook suddenly discover an enthusiasm for charring things on a barbecue. While it’s a summer staple to gather ’round the BBQ with friends, family, savoury foods and fresh cocktails, it doesn’t mean all your health goals have to up in smoke.
Here are 5 ways to have a healthier barbecue this summer:
1. Skip the Meat
Instead of meat, try popping some veggie burgers, or marinated Portobello mushrooms on the BBQ. Tofu slices marinated in barbecue sauce are another delicious option, and are an excellent accompaniment for grilled corn and a salad full of fresh, garden veggies.
There’s really no end to your meatless BBQ options. Grilled fresh fruit and veg can be a great main dish, completed with sesame dressed three-bean salad for a punch of protein. In fact, beans can be used in a variety of ways to spruce up any meatless meal: whole black beans add a healthy boost to any salad, mashed chickpeas make a tasty sandwich spread, and a white bean and parsley dip always satisfies as a side dip for vegetable crudités.
2. Skewer Some Veggies
Summertime barbecues are the perfect opportunity to get kids (and adults) interested in trying new, healthy foods. One of the best ways to do this is to experiment with veggie kebabs. Simply choose your veg, add a marinade, or keep it simple by coating them in a mix of olive oil, salt and pepper and your favourite fresh herbs. Pop them on the grill and you’ll have fragrant, mouth-watering veggie skewers.
Some top contenders for colourful, delicious veggie skewers include:
- Bell peppers
- Summer squash
- Tofu cubes or seitan
3. Get Creative
If the most interesting thing to hit your grill this summer is an artisanal sausage, it’s time to shake things up. Try throwing asparagus, peaches, pineapple, or peppers on the grill. Even bruschetta can be done to perfection on the BBQ!
All these fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, in addition to being cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and high in fibre. What’s more, the heat of the barbecue causes the naturally-occurring sugars in these fruits to caramelize, making them taste even more delicious.
4. BBQ Pizza!
Yes, you read that right – grilled pizza is absolutely delicious – and pretty easy too! Pick up some Lavash bread, or make your own dough, and choose your toppings. Carefully slide the pizza onto the grill and barbecue on a low heat for about ten minutes with the hood closed. Fresh fig, humous instead of pizza sauce, arugla gently tossed in olive oil, are all deliciously creative, healthy ways to add extra zest to your grilled pizza.
5. Whole Grain Burger Buns
No matter your patty, make sure you’re using a whole grain bun instead of one made with refined white flour. Whole grains are a good source of fibre and help lower the Glycemic Index of your meal. They also offer a variety of minerals that are stripped from refined white flour.
Barbecuing might have a bit of a bad rap, but a few changes can make outdoor cooking both delicious and healthy. If you’re really determined to be healthy this summer, skip the beer and burger combo and have a fresh fruit smoothie instead. Add PGX® to your smoothie for a fibre boost!* You can also sprinkle PGX granules on your salad, or add them to home made veggie burgers.
* Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®