The countdown to Braai Day has begun, but this year Pharma Dynamics, together with the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF), is encouraging South Africans to make their coal-side celebrations on 24 September a healthier occasion. Teaming up with food consultant and cookbook author, Heleen Meyer, they have compiled a healthy braai edition of the popular, Cooking from the Heart cookbook series.

Packed with heart-healthy braai recipes, the free cookbook has also received the thumbs up from the braai master himself, Jan Braai. Available to the public this September, the launch of the recipe book coincides with Heart Awareness Month to offer South Africans alternatives to the often unhealthy treats enjoyed at a traditional South African braai.

braai herbs

Cooking from the Heart 4, Braai Edition contains 30 recipes that cater for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike and features easy-to-follow recipes for healthy, homemade marinades and seasonings, snacks, sides and salads, and even desserts.

For a healthier braai, try these top tips from the Cooking from the Heart braai edition:

1. Choose proteins wisely by opting for lean meats, such as fish and skinless chicken breast instead of too much red meat. If you do opt for red meat, rather buy loin or tender cuts and remove any visible fat before cooking.

corn braai

2. Marinate or rub meat with salt-free spices and lemon, which add amazing flavour and will reduce the need for salt, which heightens your risk of hypertension. Use chilli, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, paprika, thyme or rosemary for a lip-licking taste.

3. Fill up your plate with grilled vegetables, salads and side dishes. The more colour you add, the better. Meat and veg sosaties (kebabs) are another great option for added more vegetables to your braai.

Braai Day

4. When preparing salads or side dishes, don’t drown them in salty sauces or heavy store-bought dressings. Rather make your own healthier condiments.

5. Opt for wholegrain breads, rolls or wraps, which provide additional fibre, instead of white carbs.

The Cooking from the Heart initiative forms part of Pharma Dynamics’ overall wellness campaign, to promote healthy eating among the South African public in a practical, affordable and tasty way. All the braai recipes featured in the book have been approved by the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA and are oh-so-delicious and easy to pull off.

Download Cooking from the Heart braai edition here and start planning your Heritage Day festivities now. Printed versions of the book can also be obtained from selected GPs, who will be able to advise patients further on a healthy eating plan.

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