Plan a Summer Party with Grilled Fruit

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Summer picnics and BBQs are the perfect time to gather friends and family, and cook until your hearts are content and bellies are full. It’s also the best time for grilling, and you shouldn’t feel limited to animal proteins and heavier foods.

Try grilling healthier fare like fruits for an easy and delicious twist on traditional desserts. Pineapple, stone fruits and even watermelon are incredible when grilled, and are a fiber-rich alternative to sugar-laden desserts like cakes and cookies.

Here in Nashville, we have an amazing company called the Peach Truck that hauls around ripe peaches on a daily basis during the summer, and I constantly find myself buying more peaches than I know what to do with.

Peaches and other stone fruits are one of my favorites to grill, but pineapple also is an amazing and incredibly sweet fruit to grill. The sugars naturally start to come out and caramelize to create a unique level of flavor. Dip the fruit in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed pistachios or toasted shredded coconut for an epic summer dessert.

Grilled Pineapple in Dark Chocolate with Coconut

Grilled pineapple dipped in raw chocolate and coated in toasted coconut can be served warm or frozen like an ice pop when placed on a skewer or wooden stick.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

1 large pineapple

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup finely chopped pistachio, for optional garnish

Optional: For an added flavor boost, sprinkle cayenne, cinnamon, sea salt or curry powder on the pineapple while grilling.

Directions:

Heat the grill to medium-high setting; grease the grill rack well to prevent sticking of the pineapple. After peeling the pineapple, cut long ways into long rectangles about 1 inch in thickness; repeat with entire pineapple. Grill for about 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side) or until grill marks appear.

For simple chocolate syrup: In a bowl, add coconut oil, cocoa powder and maple syrup, and stir to combine. Set aside until grilled pineapple is ready.

Drizzle the chocolate syrup on top of each pineapple slice and add shredded toasted coconut. Enjoy immediately while still warm, or you may also put in the freezer for the chocolate to harden and enjoy later.

Per serving: Calories 190; Fat 17 g; Carbohydrate 14 g; Sugars 11 g; Protein 3 g

Note: Nutrition information reflects dividing the entire recipe for chocolate sauce evenly among all skewers; this isn’t accurate, as you’ll most likely have leftover chocolate sauce, which will decrease the calories and fat specifically. You can use the leftover chocolate with the Peach Ice Cream.

Peach Ice Cream

This thick and creamy dairy-free ice cream is made with seasonal peaches and coconut milk. You can also use this recipe to make ice pops!

Makes 24 popsicles or 12 servings of ice cream

Ingredients:

2 cups peaches, pureed

1 cup canned light organic coconut milk

1 cup coconut water

1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Using a blender, puree 2 cups peaches, then add coconut milk, coconut water, sea salt and maple syrup. Pour into a large mixing bowl, and stir in diced peaches, orange zest and shredded coconut. Adjust maple syrup to desired sweetness now, since once the ice pop is made, no flavor adjustments can happen.

For ice pops: Garnish options include toasted shredded coconut or freshly diced peaches; place them at the bottom of each pop mold before pouring the liquid mixture in. Pour liquid mixture into a mold(s) filling up to 24 popsicles. Freeze until solid, about 3 hours or overnight. Serve frozen.

For ice cream: Pour liquid peach mixture in an ice cream maker and let run until thick. You may freeze it for additional time to harden.

Per serving: Calories 60; Fat 4 g; Carbohydrate 5 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 1 g

McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN is an internationally known Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, wellness expert, blogger, and creator of Nutrition Stripped, a guide to living whole and eating well.

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