How to Have a Healthy BBQ: Part Two

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Grills up!

It’s National BBQ week. So even if the sun does come out, it’s time to get the coals on and get that juicy meat grilling.

If you read part one of our how to have a healthy BBQ guide, you’ll have learned that lean meats are king, and that salad should never be ignored. But the lessons don’t stop there!

Here, is part two.

8. Dessert can be healthy too

Marshmallows aren’t exactly mentally calorific, but it’s pretty much empty nothingness. So get an apple, core out the middle and put in some raisins. Then wrap foil around the apple, and chuck it on the coals. Soon you get a baked apple that’s lovely as a dessert.

Of course, with fruit, comes sugar. And if you want to avoid that, then you could either go for a nice tasting protein bar or, for those that are a bit more adventurous, some Muscle Mousse Protein Dessert.

9. Rub your grub

meat rub pork ribs

Image source: Smokin Chick
Rub a dub dub

Don’t you hate it when your gym partner sends you a picture of some sad looking food with no sauce or seasoning? One of the reasons people who try to stay in shape ignore sauce is because of the sugar and fat in it. But that is where meat rubs come in.

Cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper…we could go on. The point is that a dry rub, applied to meat a few hours before cooking, will give a tonne of flavour, with nothing more than a bit of sodium to contend with. Though having said that…

10. Marinades can be healthy too


Image source: Southern Daisy
Salsa Ingelsa!

Worcestershire sauce (or Salsa Inglesa to our Spanish speaking friends) adds tang to most things without adding lots of sugar or bad fats. Combining ingredients like this with the spices from above means you can make a mean marinade in no time. Avoid oil, cream, butter and other ingredients that are full of sat fats and sugar, and you’re away. Again, just try and monitor salt levels.

Here’s a quick example of a great pork marinade. Just mix the ingredients well, marinate your meat overnight and pour over the mix as you cook.

• 5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1tsp English mustard
• 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 3 tbsp sweetener
• 400-500g of tomato passata
• 1 tbsp cumin
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• Salt and pepper seasoning

11. Veggies get your grill on

jamaican spiced bbq aubergine

Image source: Lucy’s Friendly Foods
Sauce optional

Someone always turns up with a vegetarian sausage, and they are normally accused of stealing BBQ space. But this needn’t be the case. Aubergine, mushrooms and peppers work well on a BBQ and will take on a great flavour. And who can forget corn on the cob?

Really, there is no limit to what vegetables you can cook on a grill, you might just need some imagination. Speaking of which…

12. Innovate

eggs cooked on bbq

Image source: Egg Farmers of Canada
Just hope the foil doesn’t split…

“Innovation” and “innovative” are two words that get thrown around quite a bit. Someone brings out some chocolate whey protein and they say it’s the smartest thing to ever happen to man! But you can mix things up. I once cooked an egg on a grill, using some silver foil. (Not worth the hassle).

You could make falafel, you could make polenta burgers and you could even replace all bread with more meat. A turkey burger with a chicken breast on either side! Why not?

Disclaimer: things are about to get really pedantic

13. Cook food before you grill it


Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Salad optional, but recommended.

Grilling is pretty healthy, as it allows the fat to drip away, but steaming is arguably healthier as it keep the nutrients locked in. Fitness aside, you are also more likely to pick up bugs from a BBQ grill as the different meats are more likely to touch one another.

So, we know this is sad, but if you really, really want to safeguard against all possibilities, cook food before you grill it.

14. Burnt food is bad food


Image source: BBQ Fail
That looks nice…not.

Apart from the obvious stupidity of having your steak well done, there is more to burning food. Namely, carcinogenic substances.

Don’t panic, it isn’t as bad as you think. But when you burn meat you create polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and (PAHs) heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Studies by the Japanese National Cancer Centre have shown that these can have an impact on your chances of developing an illness. So cook meat as chefs intended.

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