By Nora Heston Tarte
It’s time to fire up the BBQ! Summer is a great excuse to get together with friends and family and cook up a delectable meal with all of the fixings. From the drink menu to the dessert menu, every course at your backyard barbecue should be better than the last. However, when kids and adults with food allergies or sensitivities are in attendance, the rules aren’t “anything goes.” Learn how to create a healthful meal from top to bottom without sacrificing taste or upsetting guests’ tummies.
Greet your guests with lemonade they can guzzle without the guilt. Keep things easy with this recipe from Real Simple:
Beverage: This classic lemonade recipe has only three ingredients, but one small swap can make it guilt- and allergen-free for those trying to skimp on sugar. Kirkman’s No Sugar – Sugar Substitute can be used in exact proportions as regular sugar making it an easy trade-up from regular cane sugar.
Classic Lemonade: (recipe adapted from Real Simple)
Ingredients – (serves 4)
3-3½ cups water
½ cup No Sugar – Sugar Substitute
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about six lemons)
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar substitute and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar substitute is dissolved; let cool. In a pitcher, combine the syrup with the lemon juice and 2½ to 3 cups water. Serve over ice.
Main Course: Barbecued meats may be a crowd pleaser but some sauces and spices can cause intestinal worries for those with food sensitivities. Take the worry out of cooking with a BBQ sauce recipe that is free of gluten, soy, dairy and grains. Start by cooking your chicken, ribs, burgers or steak however you please and end with a glaze of raw, homemade BBQ sauce that is sure to support everyone’s diet.
Raw Blender BBQ Sauce (adapted from DeliciousObsessions.com)
Ingredients – (serves 12-16)
12 oz. organic diced tomatoes, undrained
⅓ cup molasses
¼ cup honey
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¼. tsp. chili powder
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. sea salt
Place ingredients in blender and then puree them. Slather on food either before or after grilling. Feel free to store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge. It should keep for about a month.
Side Dish: Getting your child to eat their vegetables will be a little easier if you whip up a side of sweet and savory maple glazed carrots. This 5-ingredient dish will make any backyard get together a little sweeter.
Maple Glazed Carrots: (adapted from AllRecipes.com)
Ingredients – (makes 8 servings)
1 ½ lb. baby carrots
¼ cup butter or butter substitute
1/3 cup Maple Syrup Flavoring
Salt and black pepper to taste
Place carrots into a pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and transfer carrots to a serving bowl. Then, melt butter or butter substitute in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir maple syrup into melted butter and cook until warmed, 1 to 2 more minutes. Pour butter-maple syrup over carrots and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.
Dessert: It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate chip cookies – that is unless the milk-heavy, chocolate-boasting, sugary, nuts-optional treat does a number on your body. With thousands of recipe variations out there it’s hard to know what direction to go, but this recipe that substitutes coconut oil for butter and Kirkman’s No Sugar Sugar Substitute for regular table sugar may just be the best route to take for a gathering full of people with food preferences and sensitivities you know nothing about.
Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies: (adapted from GiveMeSomeOven.com)
Ingredients – (makes 12 cookies)
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1 tsp. molasses
2/5 cup No Sugar – Sugar Substitute
1 egg (use egg substitutes when necessary)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour [editor's note: make sure you're using a gluten-free flour such as almond flour, or one of the gluten-free brands that are currently available. We apologize for any confusion.]
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Paskesz Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the softened coconut oil, sugars, egg and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Fold in (stir in) the chocolate chips by hand until just combined.
Use a large cookie scoop (equivalent to 3 tablespoons) or a spoon to shape the dough into balls, and place them on a large plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough balls for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chilled dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Or a baking sheet that has been covered with a Silpat, or greased with cooking spray.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just set. The centers may look slightly undercooked. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3-4 months.