Are you planning a barbeque, but you want to be health conscious? Barbeques are notorious for having lots of unhealthy, fatty foods, and it can be hard to resist temptations. Fortunately, it is totally possible to plan a healthy barbeque that all your friends can come to without worrying about packing the pounds. These life hacks will help you make sure your barbeque is healthy and delicious.
Guac It Up
Guacamole is a healthy alternative to other dips like queso or refried beans, and it will be a total hit at your barbeque. Guac’s main ingredient is avocado, which is a superfood packed with all sorts of nutrients and antioxidants. I like to throw in some extra jalapenos to give my guac a little kick.
Lots and Lots Of Veggies
There are so many delicious veggie dishes you can serve at a barbeque, it’s almost tempting not to serve any meat at all! Give this grilled asparagus recipe from Epicurious a try, and watch as every last piece is devoured by your guests. Serve a huge salad, and of course, put out every veggie you can think of for burger toppings. The more veggies the better. Ask your guests if they’d like to bring veggie dishes of their own to contribute, and you’ll have more healthy options than you’ll know what to do with.
Sweet Potatoes Are Your Friends
Sweet potatoes are significantly healthier than regular potatoes, and they are perfect for barbeques. This grilled sweet potato recipe from Real Simple is mouthwatering, and it makes a great replacement for french fries. You can even make desserts with sweet potatoes, like this sweet potato pie from Cooking Light.
You might want to consider swapping out the beef burgers for salmon burgers. Try this savory salmon burger recipe from Food and Wine and you’ll wonder why you ever ate beef burgers. Even if you don’t want to replace the traditional burgers, you should consider serving fish as an addition or alternative. The health benefits are totally worth it.
Everyone Loves Kebabs
Serving kebabs is the best way to trick (ahem) people into eating healthy. Load up kebab sticks with all sorts of veggies (you can kebab almost anything) and grill them. You can add healthy meat like chicken pieces or shrimp, but you don’t need to. Grilled veggies are delicious, and eating them off a stick is just plain fun.
Don’t Serve Alcohol
This seems like a huge thing, but honestly, it makes a huge difference. Most alcoholic drinks are so packed full of unhealthy calories that a few drinks will undo any healthy efforts you made during your barbeque. Obviously whether or not you include alcohol is completely up to you, and a few drinks now and then never hurt anyone, but limiting the alcohol consumption at your barbecue will make it considerably healthier.
No Sugary Drinks
Cut the soda and the sugary lemonade. If you want to have a healthy barbeque, you should make an effort to only serve healthy drinks. Try making a batch of iced tea to serve in lieu of the traditional sugary line-up. Coffee is also a good option (weather depending). Just shy away from anything like soda or fruit juice that has high amounts of concentrated sugar.
If you’re having a barbeque, chances are it’s not going to be your healthiest day ever. Allow yourself a few indulgences, and don’t worry if you eat one or two things you shouldn’t. Do your best to make your barbeque healthy, but then just enjoy it. You deserve it.
About the Author: CALEB PALMQUIST