With BBQ season upon us; the invites come rolling in and it seems every other weekend someone is having either a planned or impromptu garden feast.
For most of our European counterparts – temperatures in the mid to late twenties constitutes summer – but, here in the UK we call it a heat wave and incredibly – we’ve had a whole month of glorious weather with temperatures reaching 30°C on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure many of my pregnant followers here are struggling. For tips on how to survive a summer pregnancy check out my previous post How to Survive a Summer Pregnancy
Growing up in Australia, BBQ’s were a national past time and I’m pleased to say this love of outdoor eating has been passed on nicely to my kids. Plus my husband loves a BBQ or more precisely – loves any opportunity to eat a massive amount of grilled meat with a beer in hand.
Nothing conjures up a UK BBQ more than a hot dog, burger, homemade potato salad and a large glass of cider, Pimms, beer or basically anything cold, wet and alcoholic. Having spent two very hot summers pregnant with my babies; I was not only teetotal but also the designated driver at most events – grrrr.
I’m not a big drinker by any means but there is something cooling and refreshing about a glass of cider or a Shandy to go with your burger. Thankfully, there are so many opportunities that allow you to enjoy your day with the best of them without adhering to a warm orange squash or mineral water along with the kids.
BBQ food can also come with a risk to us pregnant ladies and we need to be aware and cautious about how food has been prepared and stored as well as how it has been cooked.
I was in Cuba at five months pregnant with my first child and a day trip to an island included an all you can eat BBQ buffet. Yippee – my plan was to make the most of it and gorge myself on delicious freshly cooked Cuban delights whilst sunning myself on the beach. That was until I saw the food and the ten thousand flies that hovered over the spread and the anxiety crept in. Needless to say, I spent the entire day starving hungry and irritable, much to the delights of my husband, and after a nasty incident with a jellyfish I ended the day with my legs wrapped up nicely in vinegar soaked tissue paper.
You can read more about that incident at Why You Need a Babymoon
So how do we ensure we’re safe during BBQ Season?
Keep cooked and raw meats separate and use different utensils for each.
- Leave the cooking and raw meat prep to someone else and ensure they wash their hands avoiding cross contamination.
- Defrost frozen meat thoroughly
- Ensure salads, creams, dips, dressings and yoghurts haven’t been left out in the sun for too long.
- Ensure your meat is cooked all the way through, checking for any pinkness and that the centre is piping hot.
Cover up your food with fly nets or foil and store in an air tight container.
The below mocktails are sure to sweeten the day and enable you to sit back, keep cool and enjoy your yourself, plus if you’re hosting – these are sure to impress your friends.
Non Alcoholic Mojito
- 40 ml soda water
- 6 Mint leaves
- 2 Lime wedges
- 30 ml Apple juice
- Crushed ice
- 1 Sprig mint to decorate
Crush the mint leaves in the bottom of tall glass, add ice and pour over soda water and apple juice.
squeeze one lime into the mixture and decorate with remaining lime cut in half and sprig of mint to decorate.
- 5cm chunk of watermelon
- 4oz red seedless grapes
- 1 small 1 cm piece of fresh root ginger peeled and chopped finely
- 60 ml of soda water
- Strawberry and mint to garnish
blend the watermelon, grapes and ginger in a blender and stir in the soda water.
pour into a glass of your choice and decorate with a strawberry and mint.
Red Grapes can be really sweet so if they’re unavailable choose the green seedless variety.
- 200g of cooked and peeled baby beetroot. ( The ready packed variety works a treat not the picked variety )
- 150ml of apple juice
- 50ml of soda water
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- couple of ice cubes
Add all the ingredients to your blender and serve straight away in a tumbler
Beetroot is a powerful cleanser so serve this in small measures.
Raspberry and Ginger Cooler
- One punnet of raspberries
- 1 tsp of honey
- 50ml of diet lemonade
- 200ml of ginger ale
- crushed ice
To make about four servings you’ll need to heat a punnet of raspberries in a saucepan with a tsp of honey until softened and then blend up until smooth. next push the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds.
You’ll be left with a smooth coulis. Mix with diet lemonade and parts ginger ale and spoon a tablespoon of raspberry coulis in and stir.
Enjoy poured over crushed ice with slice of lemon!
Stay cool in this heat and as Paul Hogan AKA Crocodile Dundee once declared ‘ Come on Down and we’ll throw another shrimp on the barbie