Summer brings so many lovely things, one of my favourites being a good excuse to have a barbecue – the perfect opportunity to spend leisurely time with friends and family while enjoying great food alfresco style! So for this month’s blog, I’d like to share with you my tips for having a great gluten free barbecue!
As we all know, the British weather can be a little unpredictable, so to have all things covered and to save a mad dash to the shops when the sun starts cracking the flags, I find it better to have a few good old BBQ staples tucked away in my freezer over the summer months. In addition, it allows the spontaneity that can sometimes be lacking when choosing to have a get together, as you always know you’re covered with some great gluten free treats!
When it comes to the all-important ‘barbecue bun,’ I’m a big fan of Juvela Fresh White Rolls. They are perfect filled with a delicious beef burger, tasty fried onions and a generous squeeze of tomato ketchup* – classic! Likewise, if you’re after a bun with a bit of crunch, Juvela Part Baked White or Fibre Rolls are just the ticket. Something really useful I found out this week is that they’re are also great sliced in half and toasted…so no need to put the oven on for one roll! They are perfect simply freshly baked/toasted and buttered, served with a fresh crispy salad and nibbles too if you don’t want any meat.
Naturally gluten free… naturally tasty too!
One of the beauties of barbecuing is that so many things you can choose to have on the grill are naturally gluten free, so it eliminates the risk of cross-contamination whilst cooking. With a couple of tasty basic salads, gluten free rolls, meat, chargrilled halloumi and freshly prepared meat or vegetable kebabs, you are guaranteed to cover all options for everyone to enjoy!* However, if you do have gluten-containing items on the barbie, always make sure its ‘bottom shelf’ and everything is kept separate – and to give it all a good scrub afterwards!
Homemade gluten free beef burgers for the barbie
Although gluten free burgers are quite readily available these days, I think there is something rather good about a tasty home made one. The recipe below is so quick and easy it can be made in advance and popped in the fridge in no time – moulding the little patties into shape is extremely satisfying too! In addition, the basic recipe can be used to make your own creations simply by adding different fresh herbs and spices of your own choice (I like a good bit of chopped chilli when I fancy a fiery kick).
Basic Ingredients (Makes 4 burgers)
Small onion (finely chopped)
500g good quality mince
Step One: In a bowl mix together the mince, chopped onion and egg. Lightly wet your hands with water and divide the mixture into 4 balls (depending on the size you require), set in the palm of your hand and flatten down to form patties about 3cm thick. Pop on a plate, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes.
Step Two: When ready to use, brush one side of the burger with vegetable oil and place on medium hot griddle (about 40 minutes after the barbecue’s been lit). Leave for 5 minutes until the meat is lightly charred, oil the other side and turn and cook for a further 5 minutes. If you like your burgers well done, increase the cooking time by 1 minute for each side.
Educate others about cross-contamination
Living with the coeliac condition means you are naturally mindful of cross-contamination – for me, watching out for it quickly became a part of my daily life without any inconvenience. However, when there are lots of people about, it’s always best to make others aware how to prevent cross-contamination too. Politely reinforcing simple things like ensuring serving spoons are not mixed up, separate knives are used and gluten free bread is sliced, buttered (from separate butter pot) and prepared away from gluten-containing bread will ensure that your food remains safe and delicious for you to enjoy!
So with a little luck, we will get some sunny skies to allow us to make the most of some great barbecues this summer…have fun!
Happy healthy eating,
Liz x*The information we’ve provided here is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. As always, please ensure you thoroughly check any food is definitely gluten free by checking the ingredients before you decide to try or buy.