With warmer weather means it’s time to get fired up the grilling season. You might think the grill is most useful for your carnivore needs but don’t be fooled; some of the most flavorful fruits of summer can be grilled to juicy perfection.
In fact, grilling fruits and vegetables can help nutrient loss, bring out natural sweetness and lock in tons of flavor. Almost any fruit can be grilled. Just follow a few tips:
- Choose fruits that are ripe but not too soft. They will hold up better on the grill.
- Avoid direct contact with the heat or flame. In my recipes I made use of a grill basket made by KitchenAid. This prevents the fruit from falling through the grill slots but also allows your fruit to get crispy and with beautiful grill lines (presentation means everything, right?)
- Avoid cutting fruit into small pieces. Make sure to cut them big enough to not fall through grill slots or baskets.
- If your fruit has skin on it (i.e. peaches, apples etc.) leaving the skin on will help the fruit maintain shape.
- Before grilling brush fruits with oil, butter, on non-stick cooking spray so it doesn’t stick to surfaces.
Grilling your fruit will bring out its sweetness and caramelize the sugars present but don’t limit your taste buds there. Add tangy twists with citrus juices, or even herbs and spices such as cinnamon compliment the sweetness. Cooking time will vary based on the types of fruit but keep an eye on them. They typically only need low temperatures and minimal time; most will be fully cooked when you can pierce them with a fork.
Practice your fruit grilling skills with the following recipes that make for a full-course sweet summertime meal.
- 1 lb. peaches, diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1-cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp. garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- sea salt to taste
- Heat grill to a medium-low heat
- To prepare grilled peaches, cut into long slices or halves
- Leave skins on an on the pulp side sprinkle cinnamon and cayenne pepper
- Spray nonstick cooking spray over your grill basket or straight on grill
- Grill peaches on pulp side down approx.. 10 minutes until you can pierce easily with a fork
- Remove peaches from heat and when cooled dice into small chunks
- In a medium mixing bowl combine diced peaches with remaining ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes in fridge before serving to let flavors set in
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 long pineapple spears (or approx. 2 cups of pineapple diced into large chunks) I prefer fresh pineapple over the canned for grilling because its more firm.
- 2 tbsp. Braggs Aminos
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ½ red onion, sliced in rings
- ¼ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lime
- Heat grill to high heat
- In a small dish combine lemon and lime juice with Braggs Aminos, cider vinegar, and BBQ sauce
- Whisk ingredients together and toss pineapple in marinade let sit in marinade for approx. 5 minutes
- Remove pineapple from marinade and pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken
- Using a fork pierce chicken while in marinade and let sit for approx. 30 minutes in fridge
- Add pineapple and red onion rings to grill basket and set aside
- Cook chicken on grill until internal temperature is 160 or until center is no longer pink.
- Reduce heat and add grill basket to grill let caramelize for approx. 15 minutes
- Remove from heat and serve
Dessert – Grilled Fruit Kebabs makes 2 servings
- 4 Bamboo or metal skewers (if using bamboo – let soak in water 10 minutes to prevent fruit from sticking)
- 8 large strawberries
- 2 bananas, firm
- 1 large apple
- 8 large strawberries
- 2 tbs. coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbs. lime juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 packet of stevia (or other sweetener of choice)
- yogurt of choice for dipping
- Cut apple into 8 equal pieces
- Cut bananas into 8 equal pieces
- Half the strawberries
- In a medium mixing bowl combine coconut oil, lime juice, cinnamon, and stevia
- Whisk until oil and juice combines and toss fruit in mixture
- Be sure to coat fruit thoroughly before adding equal portions to 4 skewers
- Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired
- Heat grill to low heat – be sure to spray grill with non stick cooking spray
- Add skewers to grill and turn skewers approx. every 2 minutes until the bananas begin to brown and caramelize (they will get the softest first and if you cook too long they will fall off the skewer)
- Serve warm with yogurt