The Big Lunch takes place on Father’s Day this year, 18th June and marks one of the UK’s biggest opportunities for neighbours and communities to get together over a heart healthy meal in the spirit of fun and friendship.
Whether you want to celebrate the life of the father figure in your life or simply grab the opportunity for a party, why not introduce your neighbours and new friends to some recipes that will nourish their hearts as well as their palettes.
If you don’t want the stress of organising your own Big Lunch, or you’re finding yourself alone this Father’s Day, you might want to join the other 7 million people expected to take part. There’s a good chance there is a Big Lunch event near you. Take some inspiration from our handy, heart-friendly hints when deciding what dish you intend to take.
Get down to your roots
Root vegetables such as potatoes are packed with fibre when left in their skins, helping to mop up cholesterol. Popular amongst all ages and easy to bake whilst you mingle, potatoes are wonderfully versatile, coming in many varieties such as the classic Rooster or the creamy Elfe. What’s more, tucking into a potassium packed potato and enjoying some active fun with friends will do wonders for your blood pressure.
Add some beet to your heart
The vibrant colour of beetroot gives you a clue that it is great for heart health. It’s even better added to a green salad, along with some colourful peppers and tomatoes and a dash of mono-unsaturated olive oil. As well as being packed with fibre, antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium and calcium, beetroot are the sweetest and most tender during their peak season from June to October, so now is the perfect time to dig up a beet.
There’s something fishy about coronary heart disease
Tuna is a low-fat fish that is low in calories, as well as being a good source of vitamin D, linked with reduction of hardening in the arterial walls. Canned tuna contains fewer omega-3 fatty acids than fresh tuna and other canned forms of oily fish, so look out for tuna canned in fresh water. Add it to your baked potato with a dollop of natural yoghurt, or bake with wholemeal pasta, tinned tomatoes and heaps of veg.
If you booze you lose
Take a break from alcoholic drinks and experiment with a range of tasty ‘smoothies’. Include an array of colour for a signature smoothie that is packed with life giving antioxidants and bursting with flavour. Blueberries, apricots, bananas and mangoes provide a perfect starting pointing for your heart healthy cocktail. Serve in a delicate glass of ice to take control of your portions and add a touch of class.
Be Savvy about sugar
If you want to keep up with the neighbours without adding inches to your waistline, why not dish up a naturally sweet dessert of warm figs and apples. You could give your fruit dessert a crumbly topping of hearty oats and wholemeal flour for maximum benefits and a traditional dessert flavour that your dad would love.