Nutritionist Tips for The Great British BBQ
As we dip into the warmest time of the year, it’s undeniable that we’ll all be looking forward to a typical summer activity: the Great British BBQ. Keeping it healthy and being wary of the ever-changing weather are crucial when planning a BBQ so we sat down with our in-house nutritionist, Jenni Henderson, to get some tips. From how to add in more veg to achieving the same smoky taste indoors when the weather is less than perfect, here she shares the secrets to the perfect BBQ.
We all like to enjoy BBQs in the summer. How would you recommend cooking Scotch Beef and Lamb on the BBQ to ensure it’s healthy as well as delicious?
I must admit, when I’m sat out in the garden in the sun and sniff that all too familiar charcoal smell from over the fence, my stomach does start rumbling! A summer BBQ means so much more than food though; it usually means friends, family, and lots of fun too.
BBQs can be done spur of the moment – which is often wise, given our climate – but if you can put in a little advance preparation time, you can ensure you’re getting the best from your Scotch Beef and Lamb. Marinades are a great way of adding taste and flavour to your meat, and they can also prevent you from over charring your meat too, which is better for us.
What other healthy seasonal ingredients would you recommend having at a summer BBQ?
I think sometimes we just assume BBQ’s are a meat feast, but we shouldn’t forget our vegetables and fruits. Adding vegetables to skewered meats is a great way to increase the vegetable content of your BBQ, and seasonal salads are a must in my book. Some good veggies to try out on the BBQ include asparagus, aubergine, courgette, and peppers. They are lovely in a wrap too, and you can then add some grilled halloumi or feta cheese.
Keeping the kebab theme going, fruits are easy to skewer and it’s something to get the kids involved in. I also love having watermelon to keep things fresh and also like adding fresh seasonal berries or pomegranate seeds to salads to add flavour, texture and vitamins!
The weather is not always very predictable in the UK so how can people achieve the same tasty, healthy dishes in the oven or on the grill?
We’ve all been at a BBQ when the male contingent of the group is suffering outside trying to cook in the pouring rain, while the rest of us have ran inside. Luckily, you can absolutely cook the same dishes indoors- but leave the barbie outside!
If you’ve prepared meat and vegetable skewers, they can easily be done in the grill. Similarly, using a griddle pan on the hob can still get you the BBQ style lines on your steaks, and any products such as burgers and sausages can easily be done in the oven. Remember that you can always start any meats off like this and then finish them off on the BBQ to give them that classic BBQ flavour.
What’s your favourite BBQ dish?
I have to say in my extended family it’s always my brother who steps up to cook and it’s his marinated Scotch Beef steaks that I enjoy. They’re different every time but they usually involve a spicy BBQ flavour.
What else would you take to a BBQ?
Probably some games – I love a bit of Giant Jenga. Also an umbrella and midge repellent!
What BBQ dishes would you recommend for kids? Is there anything that parents should get them involved with preparing?
I think BBQ’s are a great time for kids to try new cuts of meat instead of just offering them a burger or sausage. I think they will love the kebab style dishes and they can easily help prepare the skewers. Also, making any salsas or salads will help keep them involved. I enjoy a bit of guacamole with anything so am always looking for an avocado squasher!