It’s a warm sunny weekend and you’re not going to miss out on an afternoon of braaing and socialising. Fortunately, we have come a long way since the days of greasy sausage and wors, burnt chops, pap and limp salads – the modern braai can certainly be a healthy gourmet experience. For those of you that have watched the local “Master Braai”, you’ll know just what I am talking about!
Use these tips to make spending time outdoors around a braai grill with family and friends a waistline-friendly past time!
1. Before the braai …. serve healthier lower fat snacks such as popcorn and assorted platters of crudités that make for attractive and tasty treats instead of high fat very moreish snacks such as biltong, crisps and peanuts. Alternatively, light the fire early or get the grill going so you do not get too hungry and snack too much while waiting!
2. There is often too much emphasis placed on meat at a braai – the portions eaten are too big, and can be fatty. Kebabs are a great way of making a small portion of meat go further – add onion, peppers, mushroom or dried fruit between the chunks of meat so that each kebab contains a smaller amount of meat. Soak the wooden skewers overnight in water to prevent them from burning.
3. What we add to our food for flavour can pack on hundreds of extra kilojoules and calories. Go for lower fat sauce condiment options such as mustards, tomato sauce, sweet chili, relishes, etc. Why not make a homemade tomato, onion and basil sauce to serve with the meal?
4. Instead of the traditional meat braai, try a fish braai – it is healthier and a delicious alternative. Almost any fish, seasoned with olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon juice and seas salt and wrapped in foil will make for a quick delicious treat. Visit www.food24.co.za for great recipes.
5. Boost the colour through more veggies at your braai:
• Mushrooms with garlic or grilled asparagus spears.
• Make a paste with crushed ginger, chilli, sesame seeds, olive oil and raw honey. Spread this paste on corn-on-the-cob and braai, turning until golden brown all over.
• Cut butternut in half – remove pips. Fill with fat free smooth cottage cheese and a dash of nutmeg and brown sugar. Wrap in foil and braai on coals.
• Make veggie kebabs or wrap in foil and bake in the coals. Coat the vegetables ever so lightly with a little olive oil and herb salt.
Be sure to put these top tips into practice before you dust off that grill …