With the British summer just around the corner, we’re about to enter the barbecue season — as long as the weather holds out. If you are one of the millions of people up and down the country who begin to plan the perfect garden party at the first sign of sun, it might be worth taking a moment to consider what your guests really want before loading up on frozen burgers and crates of beer.
Last year, vegetarian and fish food products experienced an uplift of 14.9% and 9.3% respectively in 2016, according to The Grocer’s Focus On Barbecue report, suggesting that more people are looking for less-calorific options when it comes to the grill. With this in mind, we’ve decided to put together three great tips for hosting a fabulous and healthy barbecue. Let’s get cooking.
Upgrade your burgers for the better
Let’s face it, if you host a barbecue without burgers, it’s always going to leave some puzzled faces among your guests. However, rather than scrapping this summer staple, why not enhance it with some health-conscious upgrades and serve up a gourmet burger instead?
There are many simple switches that you can make to keep the calorie and fat count down. For example, this recipe guide from Eat Live Glow suggests that you swap beef burgers for tasty but light choices like turkey, salmon, and sweet potato and chickpea, all of which are sure to delight your guests.
If you are still determined to offer a traditional burger, you can make smart choices at the supermarket too. Choosing a lighter style of bun, such as a sandwich flat, and a less fatty cheese can remove many of the extra calories while preserving maximum taste.
Mix things up with plenty of grilled vegetables
Alongside your new and improved burgers, make sure that you include a lot of healthy vegetable options too. Not only will this cater for any vegetarian guests, but it will provide a much lighter alternative to classic meat products like sausages and kebabs.
There are plenty of options for serving up some grilled veggies, such as corn, Portobello mushrooms, zucchinis, and asparagus, all of which will create a taste sensation. If you need a bit of guidance, put a few minutes aside to take a look at Jamie Oliver’s unfussy video masterclass on how to grill the perfect BBQ vegetables.
Provide drink options that are on the lighter side
The drinks that accompany a summer barbecue are often overlooked by the health-conscious when the spotlight is firmly on the grill. However, the sugary juices, carbonated drinks, and beer and wine we wash our food down with can add to the calorie count too.
As an alternative to fizzy drinks and fresh juice, why not keep your guests refreshed and hydrated with some fruit-infused water? Preparing it couldn’t be easier: before your garden party, put some fruit to a pitcher of water, add some ice, then let it sit in the fridge as the flavour infuses. Try experimenting with different fruits, and even herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary, to create new tastes.
For an alcoholic beverage, dispense with the beer and wine and enjoy some spirits and low-sugar mixers instead. Gin is a classic British summertime favourite and can be drank with a variety of mixers, including the old go-to, tonic water. To save time, you can order some premium spirits, such as this gin selection hamper from Bottled & Boxed, to be delivered straight to your door with next day delivery.
So, there you have it, three great tips for keeping your summer barbecue as healthy and fabulous as can be. All that’s left to do is to send out some invites and pray the weather forecast is favourable.