In celebration of one of South Africa’s favourite past times (braaing) and the day dedicated to it (National Braai Day) our dietitians, Monique Piderit and Brigitte Leclercq, have put together some practical tips for a healthier braai:
- A braai is a great excuse to get your greens in. Be creative when doing this, such as making interesting salads.
- Try alternate your protein sources instead of only eating red meat, which may become boring after a while- try something like stuffed fish (stuff with nectarines for something different)- always make sure you are making a sustainable choice such as choosing fish from the green SASSI-approved list.
- Grilled chicken and vegetable kebabs are an easy way to get your vegetable intake, without anyone noticing.
- Have a healthy snack before you go out for a braai. This will prevent you from being overly hungry when you arrive and less tempted to over-eat on snacks. If you are hosting the braai, be sure to start your fire early enough to eat at a reasonable hour. The later the lunch, the longer you may sit mindlessly nibbling away on unhealthy snacks.
- To keep your guests cool in the summer sun, serve cold water. Add colour and flavour using mint, lemon slices or strawberries, and top with lots of ice.
- Choose chicken or fish over red meat. Select barbeque basting to still ensure flavour. Flavour your food with fresh herbs and spices, and limit the use of salt.
- Leave condiments and toppings off starters, salads and side dishes. Substitute for flavour with lower fat condiments such as lemon juice, pepper, mustard, salsa and Tabasco. Make a potato salad with low-fat mayonnaise, or mix half mayo with low-fat yoghurt for a creamy alternative.
- Surprisingly, even salads at a braai can be laden with unnecessary calories by the addition of croutons, bacon bits, cheeses and salad dressings. Look for garden salads with more vegetables than high fat ingredients. Fill up half of your plate with healthy salad and veggies.
- Request that the host not dress the salad or ask for a portion before doing so. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and some black pepper instead of a pre-prepared salad dressing. Alternatively, offer to bring a salad to ensure you have a healthy option of veggies at the braai.
The weather promises to be amazing, so join friends and family to celebrate our heritage and braai!