While the sun is shining, there's no time like the present to invite some friends and family round for an al fresco feast. It's what summer is all about - sitting outside, drinking ice cold drinks and indulging in some perfectly cooked hot-off-the-barby treats.
But if you want to know how to make it the best summer meal yet, then listen up.
Pinterest has released its summer entertaining report which lists the top food and drink trends of this year. From introducing Middle Eastern delicacies to your BBQ repertoire to swapping burger buns for veggies, here's how to take your barbecue up a notch.
1. Decorative ice
Ice cubes are a must-have at any summer party or barbecue and according to Pinterest there has been an 82% increase in the number of people searching for ways to liven up their cubes. Get ahead of the trend and stay ice cold by adding fruit and herbs to your ice tray. It's great for livening up plain water and cocktails alike!
2. Flower power
Flowers are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face - and even more so if they're edible. According to Pinterest there's been a 32% rise in the number of foodies searching for decorative flower inspo. This year add some extra colour to your dishes and make your guests feel very special by sprinkling a few edible flowers over your offerings. Or try adding these sugary flowers to your dessert.
3. Bunless BBQ
We all love a good burger in a bun, but if you're looking for a lighter way to serve up your beef or sausages, why not swap your carbs for a veggie alternative? For example, use some romaine lettuce hearts as tacos (pictured below), or tomatoes halved work a treat for burgers. As stated by Pinterest, it's what all the all the cool kids are doing as there's been a 52% increase in how to BBQ bunless.
4. smoked everything
As seen with Asda's new Southern States of America range, which offers everything from oak smoked ribs to, juicy burnt ends and Spicy Chipotle Pulled Pork too - when it comes to barbecues, smoke really is king. And it seems it's what the people want as there's been a whopping 170% increase in searches for 'smoked everything'. From mac and cheese to onion rings and cocktails - get creative and add some extra smokiness to your grub.
5. Middle Eastern flavours
It's time to push our beloved guacamole and houmous to the edge of the table and make room for harissa and baba ganoush as there's been a 55% increase in the number of searches for Middle Eastern flavours. If you're looking for some inspiration, try our jewelled butternut squash houmous and griddled crudités which is bursting with colour and flavour. Or spatchcock a chicken and barbecue this magnificent bird which is marinated in Moroccan spices. Yum!
6. Upcycled Fruit
We love a little upcycling project. Just take this watermelon below for example, how appealing does it look? You could also hollow out a coconut and use it for a smoothie bowls or cocktail. It's the perfect addition to any al fresco event, especially as there's been a 37% increase in the number of searches for upcycled fruit.