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Traditional Braai? Make it a Healthy Outdoor Feast and Lose Weight!

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Fortunately for us South Africans we get to enjoy the glorious outdoor weather through the last days of summer and through autumn, too.  In fact, it’s the best way for healthy people to spend their weekends because it’s easy to plan nutritious menus for picnics and braais. Plus, being outdoors means you have a fun excuse to be active, too.

With Easter just around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to plan a traditional family braai or meet at a pretty park for a healthy Easter picnic. So here are some yummy guidelines for healthy outdoor dining, to help you make the most of the last warm sunny days before winter.

The essentials for outdoor dining

Now, your first thoughts might be ‘how do I enjoy a braai or picnic when the food is all about fattening boerewors and starchy potato salad and garlic bread?’ Don’t despair because we have some great ideas for you to have a fantastic time, without feeling guilty about what you eat from the basket or the braai.

PICNIC

Picnics are a great excuse to get outdoors and are a low-cost and fun day out for everyone. Here are some top tips on making a healthy picnic basket:

Dishes:

  • Vegetable pasta with sweet peppers
  • Salmon and green leaf salad with a squeeze of fresh lemon

Side dishes:

  • Seeded bread and Provitas with a selection of dips
  • Low-fat hummus, whole wheat pitta bread and carrot sticks
  • Fruit salad with seasonal fruits – enjoy the last few months munching on juicy watermelon
  • Mixed nuts and dried fruit
  • Low-fat popcorn

BRAAI

Summer and autumn braais are great for getting your family and friends together without the mess and hassle of indoor dining. Here’s a list of all the essentials to make your braai perfect, with a healthy twist:

Meat dishes:

  • Chicken and veggie kebabs including mushrooms, courgettes and onion
  • Salmon with baby potatoes, low-fat yoghurt and herb garnish

Side dishes:

  • Couscous and roasted vegetables with garlic

Dessert ideas:

  • Fruit bowl
  • Banana boats: chargrill the banana (with skins and in foil) and serve with a small helping of cream
  • Sliced melon
  • Sweet mango slices with large dollop of plain yogurt

Don’t forget:

  • Tomatoes and corn on the cob to grill
  • Selection of sauces and marinades
  • Crushed ice
  • Entertainment for the adults/children

Braai safely: top tips

  • Make sure your braai is in good working order.
  • Ensure it is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs.
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
  • Never leave the braai unattended.
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
  • Ensure the braai is cool before attempting to move it.

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