As we settle into summer it can be easy to let good intentions slip, and that’s absolutely fine, we all need some time out! However, if you want to stay on top of your health & fitness goals, check out our tips and recipes to help keep you on track. Let’s make this a healthy summer!
Healthify your BBQ
Grilling food at high temperatures, tends to produce a lot of ‘free radicals’, certain chemicals which can be damaging to the body. To limit your exposure, marinating meat can help to provide a protective barrier, and never grill until blackened. In addition, make sure your diet includes plenty of antioxidant rich foods (mainly fruit and veg), to help mop them up.
Why not mix up your BBQ repertoire with some simple nutrient packed salads. Here’s our take on a couple of classics:
Super Healthy Coleslaw
- ½ red cabbage (finely sliced)
- ½ green cabbage (finely sliced)
- 2-3 shredded carrots
- handful fresh parsley (chopped)
- mixed seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ lemon – juiced
- small clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- Combine cabbage, carrots and parsley,
- Add seeds to a dry frying pan and toast until slightly golden, stirring frequently.
- To make the dressing, combine olive oil lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt in a small bowl and whisk well.
- Drizzle, top with seeds and serve!
Herby potato salad
- small bunch basil
- small bunch parsley
- 500g new potatoes
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- small garlic clove
- Boil a large pan of slightly salted water – when boiling quickly drop in the basil for 30 secs or until wilted, then fish out and set aside to cool.
- In the same water, cook the potatoes for approximately 15 mins or until tender.
- Add basil, oil, vinegar, garlic and a good pinch of seasoning to a blender and blitz until you have a vibrant green oil.
- Drain the potatoes and while drying off, chop the parsley then tip into a serving bowl with the potatoes.
- Season and toss in the basil oil.
Ice cream is an essential on a hot summer’s day but why not try making your own healthier version, all you need are bananas and a blender. Bananas are far better than tucking into a tub of sugary, syrupy ice cream. They contain lots of helpful nutrients including vitamin C, vitamins B2 and B6, magnesium and potassium.
Banana ‘Ice Cream’ & Chocolate Sauce
- Bananas – as many as you intend to serve, approximately 1 banana for 2 people
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp maple or date syrup
- Sugar free almond or peanut butter
- Raw nuts
- Cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips)
- Freeze the bananas for a couple of hours, any longer and they might not blend.
- To make the ice cream, put the bananas in a high-speed blender until they become a creamy and fluffy like your classic Mr Whippy then whisk up the sauce.
- To make the chocolate sauce, warm a saucepan, add the ingredients and gently mix.
- Drizzle over the ice cream with any toppings that take your fancy, and that’s it – tuck in and enjoy!
Switch up your drinks
We may not be spending long summer evenings in the pub garden this year, but over the past few months if you’ve got into the habit of enjoying a few (too many) drinks at home, you might be ready to reign it in! These days there are loads of tasty and healthy alcohol-free alternatives that are also much lower in calories so there’s no need to stick to plain old water.
- Seedlip, amongst others, make a range of non-alcoholic gins that are packed full of botanicals, team with tonic and a quality garnish and you’ll barely notice the difference.
- If it’s all about an ice cold beer with your BBQ then try Becks, Heineken, Peroni or Brewdog and if cider’s your thing try Smashed Cyder.
- Low alcohol wine can be a bit hit or miss but most supermarkets now have a good range to choose from so give them a try, if you’re celebrating there’s nothing like a bit of fizz so ‘Sainsbury’s ‘Nosecco’ should help to inject a bit of sparkle.
- Of course, if you’re not avoiding alcohol but just want to feel a bit more saintly about it, why not get creative with our Get More Vits Summer Cocktails.