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Published on June 15, 2013

Tips for Grilling Fruits and Vegetables

A fresh way to use the grill

In Wisconsin, when grilling gets mentioned the mind immediately goes to brats, steak and hamburgers. But meat isn't the only thing you can throw on the grill! Fruits and vegetables can turn out beautifully. Here are a few tips from Dean's dietitians for a successful, healthy meal.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Oil your grate before grilling to avoid sticking.
  • Grill the fruits or vegetables until they're lightly browned.
  • Use low heat. Coals are ready when you can hold your hand safely about five inches above the heat for about five seconds.

Fruits

  • Fruits generally take 3-5 minutes to cook. Thinly sliced fruit may take less time while thicker pieces of fruit, such as halved peaches or pears, may require a little more time. Keep in mind that fruit can burn easily because of its sugar content, so watch it closely.
  • Cut a variety of fruit into chucks, brush lightly with canola oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and place on skewers or wrap in foil before grilling. 
  • Slice bananas (with peels) lengthwise and brush the cut side with canola oil. Place cut-side down on the grill and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and grill until the bananas begin to pull away from the peel, grill about 2-4 minutes more. 
  • Sprinkle brown sugar onto 1/2-inch-thick pineapple slices. Grill the slices, turning a few times, until browned, about five minutes. 
  • Brush pear wedges with lemon juice and grill, turning a few times until they begin to brown, about 2-4 minutes. Add to a mixed green salad.

Vegetables

  • Fast-grilling vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, baby carrots, eggplant, okra, onion slices, pepper chunks, strips of summer squash and tomato wedges take about 5-7 minutes to cook. Root vegetables, such as beets, winter squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes, take about 20-45 minutes to cook, depending on whether they're whole, halved or cut in slices. Wrap these types of vegetables in foil with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of your favorite spices and herbs.
  • Marinate a large Portobello mushroom in Italian dressing or make your own dressing with 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, a clove of minced garlic, salt and pepper. Grill it like a burger and serve with or without a bun.
  • Soak ears of corn in water for 30 minutes then grill in the husk for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the silk before grilling. 
  • Cut vegetables into equal-sized chucks. Place on skewers with shrimp or chunks of chicken or turkey breast. Brush with fresh fruit juice or broth and grill. These can also be wrapped in aluminum foil before grilling. 
  • Cut tomatoes in half crosswise, brush with olive oil and add your favorite spices. Wrap in foil and grill sliced side up for 6-8 minutes.

If you try one of these options, let us know how it turned out in the comments area below!

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