With summer nearly upon us, here’s a healthy idea that’s already catching on: Throw some fruits and veggies on the grill.
Produce-grilling is already a smoking-hot trend, and for good reason. It adds unexpected flavor and texture to your favorite fruits and veggies, and it’s an easy way to add the good stuff to your summer menu.
With so many produce items to choose from, where should rookie produce-grillers begin?
Corn on the cob is a natural starting point.
It’s the right size, doesn’t need much preparation and comes in a BBQ-ready wrap provided by Mother Nature. Eggplant and zucchini grill up nicely, too. For fruits, try pineapples, peaches, apples and maybe even an avocado.
Of course, the more you grill, the more you can experiment to find even more fruits and veggies you like nice and hot.
Here are a few hints to get your grilling started:
Make sure you prepare your fruits and veggies correctly, so they don’t fall through the grill. Cut pineapples into big chunks and cut bananas and zucchini lengthwise.
If you don’t want to place fruits directly on the grill, use skewers. Always remember to presoak your wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes so they don’t burn over the flames.
As a general rule, don’t peel vegetables before grilling. The nutrients stay locked in and there’s an overall smokier taste. DO peel your fruits prior to grilling.
Dip produce items in olive oil before grilling so they don’t stick to the grill.
Fruits do best over low heat for about three to five minutes. Charcoal grillers should use indirect heat and place produce around the grill edges – not directly over the flame.
Vegetables require medium heat and a sharp eye. Tender veggies such as asparagus won’t take long to cook. Potatoes and other dense items will take longer.
- Try adding cinnamon, lemon juice, honey or hot pepper sauce after grilling.
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with potassium, Vitamin C, folic acid and lots of other nutrients that protect you from high cholesterol and heart disease. Grilling helps preserve their strength which helps preserve those benefits.
So get out there and grill your next fruit salad!
Will you be grilling your fruits and vegetables this summer?