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LighterLife: Healthy BBQ tips

August 14, 2013 - Recipes

Barbecues don’t have to mean burgers, hot dogs, and coleslaw. Don’t jeopardise your weight loss this bank holiday, enjoy a healthier outdoor meal with the family with our hints and tips…

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Healthy kebabs
Swap your meat kebabs for vegetable kebabs. Peppers, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes all go well on a skewer. For a healthy dessert, thread pineapple, orange, apple and banana on to a skewer and flame for a minute each side. Soak wooden skewers in water before using to stop them from burning on the barbecue.

Add flavour
Herbs are a great way to get flavour without adding fat or calories. Toss herbs directly onto the charcoal while you’re grilling. If you’re using a gas grill, soak the herbs in water and place them on the grate before putting your food on top of them. You can also add bold flavours to your food after it’s cooked without adding fat! Try these
low calorie options…

Is it cooked?
When you’re cooking any kind of meat on a charcoal barbecue, make sure the coals are glowing red with a powdery grey surface before you start cooking. A gas grill basically has the same convenience as your oven. Food will cook more quickly and more evenly than on a charcoal grill.

Food hygiene
Don’t place raw meat next to cooked or partially cooked meat on the barbecue – raw meat can contain germs that cause food poisoning, such as salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter.

Get a clean grill
It’s imperative to keep your grill as clean as possible before placing your fresh food on it. Invest in a grill scrubber! The 3 in 1 Barbecue Scraper £2.50, waitrose.com will do just the trick to get rid of your last barbecue grime, ensuring the best grilling results.

Smoke your food
Smoke cooking infuses flavour without the use of fats, salts or oils, so no added calories either. The Cameron’s Smoker £59.50, cookequip.co.uk is great for meat, fish and vegetables, and comes with a 24-page recipe and instruction booklet and wood chips.

Choosing your meat
To buy raw meat by weight, estimate 100g per person. Chicken and turkey breast are the healthiest choice, however if you fancy something else…

Beef Look for lean topside steak (3g fat, 120 kcal per 100g) or lean rump steak (4g fat, 125 kcal), these are healthier and cheaper than sirloin – 5g fat, 135kcal.

Pork Go for lean cuts. Leg cuts, such as ham, or loin, as in boneless sirloin pork chops or top loin steaks are the healthiest choice (7g fat and 170 kcal per 100g serving).

Something fishy…
Fish is a healthy alternative to any meat. When barbecuing, pick fish with relatively firm flesh, such as salmon, sea bass, tuna or cod, rather than delicate, flaky types like halibut. These will cook better on your barbecue.