Dietitian Brooke Longfield shows how to sizzle your way to a healthy, balanced meal this barbecue season.
Raising the steaks
Three tips for a healthier barbecue:
- Turn down the heat: Black, charred, overcooked meat creates by-products that can harm your health.
- Choose lean cuts: Rump steaks and eye fillets are good choices, just trim away any visible fat.
- DIY marinade: Acidic lemon juice or vinegar breaks down tough fibres in meat, keeping it tender.
Swap hamburger patties for lean steak
Why it’s better… Pre-made burger patties are usually higher in saturated fat than the equivalent amount of lean steak. Keep portions small, about the size of your palm. Alternatively, opt for skinless chicken or try firm fish fillets, such as salmon.
Swap creamy dressings for vinaigrette
Why it’s better… The creamy dressing in a potato salad is high in saturated fat and kilojoules. Instead, try filling half your plate with a garden salad of mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber and carrot, and stick to a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Swap barbecue sauce for caramelised onions
Why it’s better… Cooked onions provide a sweet flavour without the added sugar and salt that you’ll find in a bottled sauce (a spoonful of bottled sauce can be half sugar). Plus, the onions will boost your vege intake.
Swap sausages for prawns
Why it’s better… Prawns have half the kilojoules of sausages and virtually no saturated fat. And try coating your seafood in olive oil, fresh garlic and herbs rather than using a bottled marinade, which can be high in salt.
Swap white bread for grilled corn
Why it’s better… A cob of corn has around 6g fibre and counts as 1 1/2 serves of veg. A slice of white bread has barely 1g fibre, so is less satisfying with few nutrients.
Healthy barbecue bites
- Avocado: Grill half an avo, flesh-side down, then carefully scoop out the warm and smoky flesh
- Stone fruit: Caramelise peach and nectarine halves and add them to salads
- Asparagus: Drizzle crisp spears with olive oil and chargrill until tender
- Cos lettuce: Pop a wedge of cos lettuce on the hotplate until grill marks appear
- Pineapple: Dust pineapple wedges with cinnamon, and then barbecue for a sweet end to the meal.
Kick your summer barbecue up a notch by swapping steaks and snags for succulent fish and smoky grilled veges.