Healthy Summer BBQ Ideas
The sun is shining, bees are buzzing, and flowers are in full bloom; the warm weather has once again graced us with its presence, and we can’t get enough of it! Our summer season is one of the most prized times of year for Canadians, and even makes the harsh, cold winters tolerable.
Some of us are even ready to start taking back all those nasty things we said about our beloved country these past few months.
One our favourite activities to do when the warm weather sets in is to heat up the BBQ. Whether it’s at a fire pit in a local city park, on the balcony of your condo, or in a backyard setting, we just love to enjoy a good meal outdoors, and sit back with a cold one while basking in the glow of a setting sun.
Luckily for us, the Big Carrot offers tons of healthy & unique alternatives to traditional BBQ items which are typically not so good for us, or contain common allergens such as wheat, dairy, and/or egg. Health conscious individuals can still enjoy this fun, summertime activity and feel good about their choices at the end of the day.
Let me share my Top Ten Unique & Healthy BBQ finds at The Big Carrot:
1. Phil’s Turkey Sausages
These gluten-free sausages are made in-house at the Big Carrot, using a simple, yet delicious recipe of ground lean Turkey breast (from Cumbrae Farms) and organic spices & seasoning. They do not contain any miscellaneous ingredients, such as “fillers” made from wheat and corn derivatives, and they also do not contain any sulphite preservatives, which are known for causing allergic reactions in many people. Phil recommends cooking these mouth-watering, high protein sausages over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side.
2. Simply Natural Condiments
Simply Natural offers almost every kind of sauce, spread, or salsa you need at a BBQ, using all natural ingredients, which are completely free of artificial colours & flavours. When comparing the Simply Natural ketchup recipe to other well-known brands, you will notice how simple and clean it is. For instance, Simply Natural’s ingredient list does not include high fructose corn syrup; the most over-consumed sugar in North America.
3. Green Beaver Natural Sunscreen
Natural sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect both UVA and UVB radiation. Ingredients in skin care products can penetrate the skin and circulate in our bloodstream. Choosing a natural sunscreen like Green Beaver is the best way to avoid harmful chemicals while you enjoy being in the sun.
4. Aiden’s Gluten-Free Hot Dog & Hamburger Buns
A kid-friendly option that is easier to digest than most whole wheat buns, and also has a reduced glycemic load. Try toasting their Red Lentil & Blue Corn bun on the barbeque for 30 seconds before serving to enhance the flavor and texture of your burger experience.
5. Organic Ontario Corn on the Cob
Whether it’s boiled, barbequed or grilled, this sweet and succulent summer treat is one of the most popular items at any summer gathering. Slather on some grass fed butter and finish with a dash of salt and some fresh ground pepper and you have an easy to make, mouth-watering, albeit somewhat messy, summer BBQ dish. Most grocery stores stock conventional corn that has been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, and is most likely genetically modified.
6. Organic Watermelon
Another benefit of the warm weather is the abundance of fresh, local fruits that will start to become available in the produce section. As soon as Ontario watermelon is ready, the Big Carrot brings in a delicious harvest from a local Ontario Mennonite farm. This sweet fruit is an excellent thirst-quencher on a hot summer day and contains some important nutrients, such as Vitamin C and lycopene.
7. Bubbie’s Old Fashioned Sauerkraut
This popular Eastern European dish touts tons of health benefits, it has a salty taste and a light crunch that is hard to beat. Made from fermented cabbage, and considered a ‘probiotic’ food, this is an excellent choice for a healthy hot dog or burger topping.
A vegan mayonnaise that some say tastes even better than the original recipe. Great for creamy coleslaws, potato & pasta salads, or as a burger topping for all of your guests, including those who have an egg sensitivity, or choose to eat a vegan diet.
9. Wizard’s Organic Worcestershire sauce
This vegan sauce is the perfect ingredient for homemade BBQ sauces, and can also be used to make Caesar Cocktails. The best part is, that it tastes almost like the real thing but contains absolutely no anchovies or artificial colours & flavours.
10. Screaming Brothers
A coconut based ice cream that tastes incredibly delicious and is hypoallergenic friendly. It contains no soy, nuts, or dairy, and is only sweetened with a small amount of unpasteurized honey. It’s smooth, creamy, and the perfect way to end a long summer day. Try it with our Edward & Sons ice cream cones, which come in a gluten-free option!
Alex Comrie, B.Comm, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.)
Nutritional Consulting www.realhealthworks.ca