National Braai Day (24 September) is around the corner, and this year South Africans are encouraged to make it a healthier event given the rise in lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease. Read on for top tips for a healthy braai.
To help braai-lovers in this endeavour, Pharma Dynamics has again teamed up with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and well-known food consultant and cookbook author, Heleen Meyer to compile a healthy braai edition as part of its popular, free, Cooking from the Heart cookbook series.
It contains 30 braai recipes that cater for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The recipes include healthy, homemade marinades and seasonings, snacks, sides and salads, as well as vegetarian dishes and even desserts.
7 Tips For A Healthier Braai
1 Choose proteins wisely by opting for lean meats, such as fish and skinless chicken breasts instead of too much red meat. If you do opt for red meat, buy loin or tender cuts and remove any visible fat before cooking.
2 Marinate or rub meat with salt-free spices and lemon, which add amazing flavour and will reduce the need for salt, which heightens your risk of hypertension. Use chilli, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, paprika, thyme or rosemary for a lip-licking taste.
3 Limit your meat intake (of any type) to 150g.
4 Fill up your plate with grilled vegetables, salads and side dishes. The more colour you add, the better. In South Africa, we have a great selection of fruit throughout the year so be sure to add these to the braai menu. Meat and veg sosaties (kebabs) are always a hit. Add red, green or yellow peppers, butternut, baby marrows, eggplant, mushrooms and onions to the skewer and brush with healthy oil before grilling.
5 When preparing salads or side dishes, don’t drown them in salty sauces or heavy store-bought dressings. Rather make your own healthier condiments.
6 Opt for wholegrain breads, rolls or wraps, which provide additional fibre, instead of white carbs.
7 Consider healthy toppings over ice cream, such as chocolate bananas or fruit salad. Grilled fruit is also delicious! The natural sugars caramelise in the high heat, which makes it extra sweet and flavourful.