Healthy Summer BBQ Recipes

Healthy Summer BBQ Recipes

by Emma Newlyn


The sun is shining, temperatures are soaring, and here in the UK we’ll take any excuse for a BBQ! If you want to look after your health and wellbeing whilst you’re enjoying your Summer BBQs however, here are a few things to keep in mind:


Don’t over-cook the meat: cooking meat over a flame can cause burning and charring, which may taste good, but burnt meat is considered a carcinogen (cancer-causing).


Choose brown or sourdough burger buns or make your own! BBQ food is mostly pretty healthy – it’s simply grilled meat and vegetables. BUT, if the grilled meat is wrapped in a highly processed sugary white bread roll, this can turn your relatively healthy meal into an unhealthy one. Sourdough bread is often a healthier choice when it comes to burger buns, as it has been fermented, and therefore is beneficial for gut health. Brown wholemeal bread is also higher in fibre and nutrients, so would be a healthier choice.


Stay hydrated: The combination of heat and alcohol at summer parties is a recipe for dehydration, which can be dangerous in hot months. Aim to drink roughly 2litres of water per day, and sip 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume, to help prevent both dehydration and a hangover! If you feel thirsty, dizzy, have a dry mouth or are craving salt, these are all signs you are already a little hydrated, so drink up. Adding a pinch of good quality sea salt to a glass of water can also improve hydration and electrolyte balance.


Now you know how to make your BBQ healthier, here are a few recipes to try along side your burgers and hot dogs.


Green Goddess Salad Dressing

Many shop-bought salad dressings are high in sugar, preservatives, additives and ingredients your body doesn’t want you to eat! That’s why having a healthy go-to salad dressing is key to making your meals more beneficial. Leafy greensand many vegetables contain fat-soluble vitamins, meaning we need to consume fats alongside them to properly absorb the nutrients. This healthy dressing is full of good fats and fresh herbs, to help you obtain even more benefits from your salad.


(makes roughly 5 servings)

  • 1 large avocado
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs: choose basil     / chives / parsley / coriander


  • Add all ingredients to a blender
  • Blend until smooth – add a little more lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for a thinner consistency and to make the dressing go further if you like
  • Use straight away, or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week



Chickpea & Cumin Burgers

High in plant-based fibre and protein, as well as bloat-reducing cumin, these burgers are a tasty vegan alternative, without additives or processed ingredients. Make them ahead of time so you can simply pop them on the BBQ when you’re ready.



(Makes 4 burgers)

·      2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

·      1 white onion, chopped

·      1 carrot, grated

·      1 tsp ground cumin

·      1 tsp garam masala

·      1 can chick peas, drained

·      1 whisked egg

·      Zest & juice of 1 lemon

·      Pinch of black pepper


·      Fry the onion and carrot in the oil for about 5 minutes

·      Add the spices, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes more, then transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool

·      Add the chick peas, lemon zest + juice, black pepper and egg to the mixing bowl, and use a hand-held blender or potato masher to thoroughly squash and combine

·      Shape into 4 burger patties, and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up

·      When ready to cook, heat a little oil in a large pan over medium heat

·      Cook the burgers for about 6-7 minutes on each side, or until browned, turning once during cooking

·      Serve with a green salad and salad dressing, and a small serving of potato salad if you like

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