Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Before the weather gets too cold and you pack up your outdoor furniture. Try a new spin on serving fruits and vegetables by grilling them.

Grilled Peaches Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals which are believed to lower heart disease and cancer risk by fighting environmental stressors, so it's important to get as many servings as you can into your daily diet.

Before the weather gets too cold and you pack up your outdoor furniture. Try a new spin on serving fruits and vegetables by grilling them.

Zucchini, squash, eggplant, asparagus, pineapple, peaches, even apples are all great fruits and vegetables to try.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

Prep-

Wash and dry fruit and vegetables to remove excess dirt.

For vegetables, trim away outer leaves or stems which may char on the grill and slice pieces on the angle (roughly half and inch thickness) to give a bigger surface area for fancy grill marks. For smaller items, clean and trim any bad parts, but keep generally whole.

For fruit, slice larger fruit much the same way as you might vegetables removing pits and trying keep slices with as much surface area as possible. Brush fruit and vegetables with a small amount of oil to reduce sticking.

Grilling-

Brush oil onto the grate before you place the food down. This action also keeps food from sticking.

Cook fruit and vegetables first. They take longer than meat items, so best to cook them first and have them waiting for the meat to arrive.

Place skinny items like asparagus on the grill on an angle or perpendicular to the grate to keep them from slipping through into the fire below. Or try a grill basket from your favorite housewares store which has smaller grates to keep the food inside.

Place items on the grill and leave them alone for a few minutes. Then turn roughly 90 degrees to get the nice cross hatch marks you see in restaurants.

Holding-

Have an oven safe dish or disposable foil tray to put the fruit and vegetables in when you take them off the grill and hold them in a warm (200 °F) oven until you are ready to serve.

Or start them on the grill to give them the lightly charred color and flavor and roast them in a 400 °F oven until fork tender.

Serving-

For vegetables, bring to room temperature. Add a small amount of extra virgin olive, walnut, or other flavorful oil, chopped herbs or nuts, and maybe a dash of your favorite vinegar (balsamic or other kind).

For fruit, serve them alone or with plain low fat yogurt and a touch of honey or simply a dollop of low fat whipped cream.

So as a last nod to summer, open your fridge, grab some fruit and vegetables and head outside to try on the grill. And then use ShopWell to make a list of your favorites to keep handy for next year!

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