Summer is a great time to whip out the grill and cook up some delicious foods—and in Singapore, where it’s practically always summer—it’s a perfect excuse to eat BBQ whenever we feel like it. However, having barbeque all the time isn’t exactly great for our health—nor kind to our waistline, for that matter.
That’s why it’s time to include healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables alongside the usual rich and decadent barbeque fare. Here are some healthy BBQ foods that will be a hit with all your guests—from the health-conscious elderly to the lady on a diet as well as vegans and vegetarians—making for a guilt-free BBQ eating experience.
Avocados taste great, be it in a salad, as a dip, or on its own. The already rich, creamy taste somehow gets even better after it’s grilled, developing a lovely smokey flavour, which is accompanied by a nice and soft texture. It’s a nutrient-dense, versatile fruit with a good amount of healthy monosaturated fatty acids beneficial for the health of your heart, eyes and bones.
It’s simple enough to prepare; begin by peeling the skin and cutting the avocado in half. Remove the pit and lay it down on the grill for a minute or so and then add lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and the same goes for a grilled apple. A fruit that takes well to heat, the intense heat of the grill draws out the natural sugars in an apple, resulting in a tasty caramelised exterior. Crunchy, sweet, and satisfying, apples have been proven to curb cancers, decrease diabetes risk, reduce cholesterol and even aid in weight loss.
Usually coated with butter or sugar for flavour, apple slices good even without any extra flavourings. Cut the apples however you like—in half, rings or wedges before placing it over the grill for a few minutes. While ice cream and cinnamon makes for a great dessert topping, you can easily replace it with a guilt-free alternative like vinegar-based coleslaw.
Watermelon—cold, refreshing, the perfect after-meal fruit. Grilling it enhances and concentrates the flavour, at the same time muting the sweetness and adding a subtle smokiness. The nutrient-packed juicy fruit helps keep your body hydrated, lowers stress levels and is even great for the skin and hair.
How to prepare it: Start by cutting the watermelon into slices without slicing off the rind. Add to the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes on both sides before removing it. Add the topping of your choice. Fresh lime juice, cilantro leaves and a dollop of Greek yoghurt are best for an invigorating taste.
Cucumbers are most commonly snacked on raw, but did you know that they taste great grilled too? Retaining the crisp freshness even as it takes on the smoky flavour from the grill, it tastes—as amazing as it is good for you. High in nutrients and antioxidants, while also low in calories, cucumbers are ideal for aiding in hydration and weight loss.
So, how do you grill it? Firstly, cut the cucumber into thirds before setting it down to the grill and cooking both sides for about 2-3 minutes. Then remove it and add it into whatever dish you want, be it in a salad, alongside a feta dip or as a side to grilled salmon.
The eggplant is a vegetable that is able to absorb large amounts of sauces, fats and flavour—making it perfect for the grill! Crispy brown on the outside, accompanied by creamy sweetness on the inside, its texture is lusciously tender. Surprisingly enough, eggplants are high-fibre and yet low in calories and are also known to help with blood sugar control.
To grill it perfectly, peel the eggplant and cut into ¾-inch slices. Brush them with a butter spread, and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper before placing it on the grill for around 10 minutes, while turning it occasionally.
If all these sound like too much of a hassle to cook, there’s no need to worry. BBQ catering in Singapore allows you to leave everything up to skillful chefs, making for a worry-free BBQ catering experience.