Peppers. Pears. Portabella mushrooms. They all taste amazing when prepared on the grill or smoker. Grilling intensifies the natural sweetness of these and other fruits and vegetables, while locking in flavor.
Get fired up with these nine tips for barbecuing your produce:
Some produce, like asparagus and tomatoes, take only a few minutes to grill, while denser vegetables, like potatoes, take longer to cook. To avoid burning your veggies, sear them over high heat, then move them the top rack of the grill to finish cooking. Or, precook them before tossing on the grill for a few minutes to get some color on the outside and that fresh-off-the-grill smoky flavor.
Smaller veggies, like cherry tomatoes, are delicious fresh off the grill, but they can be a little challenging to work with. Put them in a grill basket to keep them from rolling off or falling through the grate.
A fun way to reduce barbecuing time is to thread small pieces of vegetables, fruit and meat, poultry, or seafood on a stainless steel skewer. It’s easy to get kids to eat their veggies when they make their own special grilled kabob.
Before hitting the grill, brush or toss vegetables with a light coat of oil, marinade, or melted butter. A little goes a long way. Plus, the liquid helps your seasonings stick better. However, some fruits, like pears and pineapple, can go straight on the grill sans oil or any seasonings.
There’s no better method to bring out the flavor of produce, like pineapple and broccoli, than by barbecuing them. When cooked over a charcoal, gas or wood pellet grill, the heat of the flame intensifies flavor components while adding a smoky taste. Upgrade to a high-quality grill, and add a few apple or cherry flavored chips to your flame to improve the taste and texture.
Skip the meat and go straight to the veggies on a #MeatlessMonday. Grilling foods such as portabella mushrooms or watermelon slices, which have a thick and meaty texture just like steak, are not only good for you, they’re delicious, too.
During the summer and harvest season, make a trip to your farmers market to select some fresh-picked local produce. Challenge yourself to see if you can grill the recommended five to nine daily servings of produce!
Because grilling brings out the natural sweetness of fruits, they make for healthy and fun desserts. Sprinkle some cinnamon on grilled peaches or mangoes, or top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ready to give it a try? Light the grill and slice some apples to make this healthy grilled snack!
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