By Jennifer Bridge
Grills are so versatile for preparing a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables. Grilling fruits and vegetables has many benefits. You can add new flavors to some of your favorite dishes, increase your family’s fruit and vegetable intake, and they typically take 10 minutes or less to cook. This summer, enjoy some of your favorite healthy dishes fresh from the grill.
Fruit and vegetables will be at their peak of freshness at different times throughout the growing season. Shop your local farmers market for the freshest offerings. Remember to arrive early to get the best selection as many popular produce items tend to sell out quickly at the market.
Stone fruits like peaches, cherries and plums do extremely well on the grill as do apples, strawberries and bananas. Select firm fruit that is not too ripe, as over-ripe fruit can end up too soft when grilled. You can enhance their flavor by applying olive oil or lemon juice before placing them on the grill.
Firm vegetables like corn on the cob and asparagus are easy to prepare on the grill. Place them right on your grill’s cooking grid. Frequently turn vegetables to keep them from burning on the grill. You can grill smaller or chopped vegetables by wrapping them in aluminum foil and then placing them on the cooking grid. Season your vegetables with olive oil and fresh herbs in the aluminum foil. Grilled vegetables taste great as a side dish or dipped in hummus.
You can even involve your family in preparing fruit and vegetables for the grill. Preparing fruit or vegetable kabobs is a fun hands-on activity. Have your children help you chop up fresh fruits and vegetables of your choosing into large chunks. Place the chunks on a skewer and grill.
More information on grilling and nutrition is available at the Meade County Extension office.
Source: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, assistant extension professor
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.