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IDEAS TO KEEP YOUR BARBECUE HEALTHY

You wait ages for a Bank Holiday weekend, then two come along at once…

With the weather looking good for the second of this month’s long weekends, you might be thinking of heating up the old barbecue and getting a few friends round for some well deserved food and drink in the sunshine. But if you’re watching what you’re eating, or looking to keep things healthy this weekend, a plate piled high with burgers, sausages and potato salad might not sound like the best idea! So here’s some of CK Elite’s top tips for keeping your barbecue healthy this weekend.

REMEMBER, THERE’S MORE TO A BARBECUE THAN BURGERS

Burgers—especially shop-bought, ready-made burgers—aren’t always the healthiest choice when it comes to the barbecue, as they’re often full of hidden fats and salts that your diet could well do without. If you haven’t got the time to make your own patties from scratch, why not try tracking down some leaner, lower fat, higher protein turkey burgers for a change? Bear in mind that turkey isn’t as strongly flavoured as beef, and can go dry quickly—so keep an eye on those cooking times, and don’t be afraid to give those burgers a helping hand with plenty of herbs, spices, sauces and relishes.

THERE’S PLENTY OF FISH IN THE SEA

It’s easy to forget that fish and seafood barbecue just as well as other meats. Tuna steaks wrapped in foil and marinated in lime and chilli, or a little teriyaki sauce, cook perfectly on the slow heat of a barbecue, as do other meatier fish like salmon and swordfish. Lighter fish, like sea bass or cod, cook just as well but take much less time, while prawns and other shellfish are excellent low-fat, high protein alternatives. And for something a bit different, why not try skewers of diced fish, prawns and scallops, cooked quickly and coated in chilli jam?

VEG ISN’T JUST FOR VEGGIES

It can be hard catering for veggies and vegans at barbecues, but there are plenty of veggie-friendly recipes and ideas to try out that are just as good for meat-eaters looking for something to go alongside their burgers and sausages. And they’re all a lot more exciting than jacket potatoes and beans… Peppers, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and larger root veg like squash and pumpkin all barbecue really well. Whole baked aubergines, wrapped in foil with a little garlic and oil, can be cooked on the barbecue too. But for the best of all worlds, try mixing things up with skewers of cherry tomatoes, courgette slices, chunks of fresh carrot and red onion.

JUST DESSERTS

Last of all, why not try rounding your barbecue off with something sweet? Bananas roast perfectly in their own skins on a barbecue, or why not try chargrilling chunks of pineapple, pear or apple, or even quickly roasting softer fruits like plums and nectarines, simply cut in half, for something a bit different. Served with cream or ice cream, any one of these would make a perfect end to a meal in the sun.

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