Healthy BBQ recipes for a sizzling summer

07 July 2020 | Healthy living

A big part of British summer culture is the beloved barbecue. With lockdown still affecting our options for leisure and socialising, having a small barbecue in a garden or park remains one of the available and safe options. Enjoy Sidonie Sakula-Barry's healthier recipes to put on the barbie.

Having a barbecue is one of people’s joys of the summer – including mine! But barbecue culture is often associated with lots of red meat. The main options are often burgers or hot dogs, and we can end up consuming more red and processed meat than we would like. This is especially important because eating processed meat, or having a diet high in red meat, increases the risk of bowel cancer.

If you’re looking for healthy alternatives to your usual barbecue menu, look no further – we’ve put together delicious recipes with plenty of veggies and no red meat, which will give your barbecue a colourful twist. It’s best to not let your meat or veggies get too charred or burnt, as cooking meat at high temperatures, or prolonged exposure to heat, can create heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These have been linked to DNA damage in a way that could lead to cancer, although the evidence in humans is limited. Most of these recipes can also be cooked under a grill.

Zesty turkey and courgette burgers

I discovered this recipe when needing to use up some courgettes I had and now can’t get enough of it. Using turkey mince is a great, healthier alternative to beef mince – and the lemon zest and juice adds a freshness to a usually heavy barbecue meal.

Turkey and courgette burger recipe

Barbecue warm spring veg salad

This salad – full of spring flavours such as warm courgettes and asparagus, balsamic tomatoes, halloumi and a pesto dressing – is absolutely delicious and easy to make. You can either cook the vegetables on a barbecue or under a grill.

Warm halloumi and asparagus salad

Spicy Mexican grilled corn

At barbecues, I always wanted my corn on the cob with lots of butter, because I didn’t know any other way. Traditionally this is a Mexican snack with mayo, cheese and spice, but this is a healthier version while still having all the flavour. You’ll never eat corn the same way again!

Spicy Mexican corn on the cob

Warm gooey banana split with chocolate

It’s often difficult to think to think of a dessert that will hit the spot while sticking to the barbecue theme. These cooked bananas tick all the boxes by being quick, easy and making the most of your barbecue at the end of its embers.

BBQ banana split with chocolate

Sidonie Sakula-Barry | 07 July 2020