Carefree Cooking: Grilling with Fruit and Veggies

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Summer is an wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors, so why not have a barbecue? Grilling is an excellent way to cook food in the summer, because you can avoid heating up your kitchen. Grilled foods are also healthier than many other forms of cooking, because it is possible to use less oil or butter while grilling. Another benefit of grilling is that it creates a nice smoky flavor on the outside of the food.

Cooking outside on the grill provides a fun, relaxed summer vibe.

people grilling

These benefits, among others, make grilling a popular method of cooking during the summer months. It is no wonder that many people across the United States grill food on their deck or in their backyard every weekend during the summer. (Check out this post: 6  Freezer Meals for the Grill.) However, grills can be dangerous if they are not used properly. As with any other kitchen appliance or device, grills should always be kept clean and in good working order.

Most of us think of hamburgers and hot dogs when we think of grilling. But let’s not forget about fruits and veggies. Most of us don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in our diet, so let’s get creative and get our nutrition game on.

Raw fruits and vegetables actually provide the most health benefits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have some fun cooking up some nutritious food on your grill.

5 Pro Tips for Grilling Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Grilling fruits and vegetables is a healthy, low-fat way to enjoy your favorite foods.
  2. There are many ways to grill fruit and vegetables – on skewers, in foil packets, or directly on the grill.
  3. If you have a grill basket, cooking your vegetables on it will give them extra flavor.
  4. Many grocery stores carry marinated fruit and vegetable kebabs; these can be great for days when you don’t have time to whip them up yourself.
  5. Keep vegetables at room temperature before grilling; they will release less moisture and take on the smoky juices of the grill better.

Don’t Forget the Marinade Make your food taste better with marinade. Marinades can also add more nutrition and health benefits, depending on how you make them. Add honey and lime juice to your fruits before grilling them for more flavor and carmelization. Try this lemon marinade on your vegetable dishes. Lemon Marinade : Add 1 cup of fresh lemon juice along with 4 tbsp of olive oil into a bowl. Then add 2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and finely chopped garlic to taste. Whisk the ingredients together and pour them over the vegetables. Keep in a covered container for 2 hours before grilling or steaming.

Best Vegetables to Cook on the Grill

  • zucchini
  • onion
  • peppers
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • corn
  • asparagus
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower

Don’t Forget the Marinade Make your food taste better with marinade. Marinades can also add more nutrition and health benefits, depending on how you make them. Add honey and lime juice to your fruits before grilling them for more flavor and carmelization. Try this lemon marinade on your vegetable dishes. Lemon Marinade : Add 1 cup of fresh lemon juice along with 4 tbsp of olive oil into a bowl. Then add 2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and finely chopped garlic to taste. Whisk the ingredients together and pour them over the vegetables. Keep in a covered container for 2 hours before grilling or steaming.

Best Fruits to Cook on the Grill

  • peaches
  • pineapples
  • pears
  • mangoes
  • strawberries
  • watermelon

Grilled Fruit and Vegetable Ideas and Recipes

Try grilling zucchini slices with olive oil and sea salt for a quick side dish option.

Grilled peaches with honey drizzled over them make for an excellent dessert or snack.

Grill pineapple chunks and grape tomatoes on skewers for an appetizer or side dish.

Thinly slice some eggplant and wrap around cheese cubes then place over hot coals until browned.

Grilled Veggie Medley

Grilled Veggie Medley is a healthy and easy-to-make dish. You’ll need onion, yellow (or any color) bell pepper, tomato slices, and zucchini slices. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar before sprinkling with sea salt & ground black pepper to taste. You can also add garlic powder or raw garlic if you like for more flavor.  Once the grill is hot enough, place foil on the grate then add veggies onto it leaving space in between each one so they don’t touch when cooking; cook for 15 minutes until slightly charred around edges (turning if needed). Remove from heat & serve warm as an appetizer or side dish.

grilled mushrooms

Grilled Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a surprising little thing to grill. They come out with an amazing smoky flavor, and they’re packed full of nutrients like selenium, potassium, copper and protein.

if you love mushrooms and Parmesan, this is a great side dish or appetizer. All it takes to make this recipe are 15 fresh mushrooms, olive oil or butter (whatever your preference), garlic, pepper flakes, sea salt and half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Simply grill the mushrooms on foil with a little bit of oil or butter until they’re soft enough that their juices come out easily. After 10 minutes sprinkle some Parmesan over them before continuing cooking another 5-10 more minutes depending on how well done you prefer them.

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is high in B vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. This interesting take on a simple restaurant dish will have you curious to try this delicious asparagus recipe.

Take about 20 asparagus spears, 12 halved cherry tomatoes, and 2 sliced onions.

Sprinkle with fresh garlic powder or minced garlic cloves (about 1 tbsp), dried cumin seeds (1 tsp) black ground pepper flakes (2 tsp.), salt sea salt and paprika.

Drizzle with lemon juice then cook them on the grill until desired tenderness.  Cook less time for crunchy asparagus and more time for more tender asparagus.

grilled pineapple

Don’t Forget the Marinade

Make your food taste better with marinade. Marinades add more flavor and can also add more nutrition and health benefits, depending on how you make them.

Try adding some honey and lime juice to your fruits before grilling them for more flavor and caramelization.

Try this lemon marinade on your vegetable dishes.

Lemon Marinade :

Add 1 cup of fresh lemon juice along with 4 tbsp of olive oil into a bowl. Then add 2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and finely chopped garlic to taste. You can also add some of your favorite herbs to this recipe. Whisk the ingredients together and pour them over the vegetables. Keep in a covered container for 2 hours before grilling or steaming.

Conclusion

The most potent form of health care comes from what is on the end of our forks. How we feed our bodies has the most tremendous impact on our health. When we feed our bodies processed junk food, we get junk bodies that break down much sooner than they should.

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet is one of the best ways to improve your nutrition.

Although eating raw fruits and vegetables provides the most health benefits, we shouldn’t shy away from eating them cooked and grilled.  It’s really important to add variety to your diet to get the most nutritional benefits from food.

For additional summer recipes, click here!

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Shellie is an Occupational Therapist and Lactation Counselor turned Health Coach. She grew up in Youngstown and moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University. Columbus has been her home for the past 25+ years. She has 3 jobs, 1 husband, 3 kids, and 1 fur baby. When she’s not momming or working, she is researching all things related to nutrition and natural health. For that matter, she has an unhealthy relationship with her iPad and is not setting the best example for her kids. Her passion is to help busy moms transform their lifestyles so they can raise strong, healthy and happy families. She blogs about nutrition and natural health at Shelli Bolyard.

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