Riverwood Dietitians Megan Perpich and Melissa Simons share these tips for healthy grilling with fruits and vegetables.
The hot summer months are usually accompanied with backyard barbeques, which are not just for grilling meat. Try adding fruits and vegetables to the BBQ menu.
Adding fruits and vegetables not only adds color to your meals but provides you with several vitamins and minerals. Grilling fruits and vegetables caramelizes the natural sugar and brings out other unique flavors. Harder fruits such as apples, pear and pineapple grill easier than softer fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines.
Harder vegetables such as carrots, asparagus, winter squash, potatoes, beets, parsnips and broccoli can be precooked, so the cooking time is shortened. Other vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and peppers can be raw when placed on the grill.
Use these instructions to make grilling fruits and vegetables easy:
- Wash fruit or vegetable and make sure the grill top is cleaned prior to placing your fruit or vegetable of choice on the grill. Keep in mind you don’t have to remove the skin from the fruit or vegetable. Leaving the skin on provides nutrients and a smokier flavor.
- Fruits and vegetables can either be threaded onto a skewer or placed on the grill top.
- Spray the grill top with a non-stick spray to prevent the fruit or vegetable from sticking.
- Make sure the grill is not too hot to avoid the outside cooking too quickly, leaving the center uncooked.
- To jazz up any vegetable use different herbs or spices.
- For grilled fruit, add flavor with cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup or lemon juice.