Katie's Healthy Bites: Grilled Fruit
Firing up the grill this summer? Push those hot dogs and burgers aside and make room for sweet and satisfying fruit. Grilled fruit makes for a delicious summer snack, dessert, side dish or even as a topping for meat or fish. Grilling fruits causes the natural sugars to caramelize, which spotlights their sweetness and adds a deep, smoky flavor. Adding fruits to your barbecue repertoire is a great way to incorporate more good-for-you grub into your diet; here are the basics:
The best fruits to grill are firm fruits (like peaches and pineapple) that can withstand the heat of your grill without becoming mushy. This is not to say your can't grill other varieties with more delicate textures – they just may require some special attention when cooking.
Simply oil the grill or use cooking spray to prevent fruit from sticking. Larger pieces of fruit can be placed directly on the grill while smaller pieces can be threaded onto skewers to make fruit kabobs. If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water overnight to prevent charring.
When grilling fruit, you just want to heat it up, not cook it through like a steak, so keep the heat on the grill low. Keep the skin on your fruit -- this helps to hold the fruit together while grilling.
- Grill apples sprinkled with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey; use as a topper for pork, chicken or ice cream.
- Grill pineapple or mango and add to a fruit salsa; serve it with tortilla chips or spooned over fish.
- Skewer berries and melon and grill along with shrimp, or toss with lime zest and mint for a twist on fruit salad.
- Grill peach, plum and nectarine halves and use in a salad or drizzle with balsamic and a dollop of ricotta or marscapone cheese for a tasty dessert.
Ready to add grilled fruits to your summer BBQ? Here are a few tasty recipes to try: