Grill You Way to Weight Loss this Summer!

Fruits and vegetables taste simply fantastic when grilled along with more traditional foods.

Summer is here and it’s time to break out the grill! With so much fresh produce in season, it is a great time to try some new dishes. Of course, the great thing about an abundant supply of fresh fruits and veggies is that you can pile your plate high with foods that taste delicious, will fill you up and ultimately help you to lose weight.

Grilling Technique

Whatever fruit or vegetable you decide to grill, it is important to cut the produce into uniform pieces so that they will cook evenly. Simply scrub vegetables and slice them. The skin is much healthier for you and it provides a nice barbecue flavor to the end product. Vegetables take a little longer than fruit, and some vegetables benefit from being par boiled before grilling. Always set the grill to a low-medium heat. It is a good idea to use canola or vegetable oil to prevent the fruit or veggies from sticking to the grill. Either use a brush, or if using the spray can just be mindful that it is flammable. Bamboo skewers are a terrific way to cook small pieces, or to cook a variety of bit-sized treats. Remember to soak the bamboo skewers in water before using them as this prevents them from catching on fire. When cooking fresh fruits and vegetables, slow and steady is the preferred method. Turn only once during the cooking stage so that they do not fall apart.

Parboiling

Par boiling means to pre-cook an item before placing it on a grill. Vegetables such as asparagus, beets, broccoli, and root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and parsnips are much easier to grill when they’re cooked a little beforehand. Simply wash and slice them then drop them into boiling water for a few minutes, drain and pat dry. Once dry, lightly coat them with oil and place on the grill. Parboil them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until it is time to grill.

Grilling Vegetables

Surprisingly, grilling vegetables really enhances their flavor. Vegetables such as fennel, onions, summer squash and tomatoes are heavenly grilled. Just cook them on the grill. Slice them evenly and lightly brush or spray with oil and place over a low heat. Radial heat is best, so avoid flames. Large mushrooms slowly grilled are delightful! Sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini and corn all transform a barbecued meal. Fill skewers with bit-sized morsels to make cooking easier, or offer a range of vegetables in this way to really show off your grilling knowledge.

grilled fruits vegetablesGrilled Fruits

Grilling fruits is a fun way to jazz up a cookout. Large slices of watermelon grilled are unforgettable. Once grilled, sprinkle with fresh mint or cilantro with a little honey or maple syrup and it is a real treat. Or toss grilled pieces of watermelon with bite-sized mozzarella, grilled cherry tomatoes with coarsely chopped basil leaves for a brilliant summer salad. Pineapple is another terrific fruit to grill. These are a festive addition to burgers or a great topper for grilled fish and chicken. Slice fresh mangoes and place them on the grill cut side down for another great fruit accompaniment for pork, chicken and fish. Slices of apples and pears are also a surprising addition to a traditional barbecue. Slices of lemons, oranges or limes grilled are really fragrant and delicious garnishes too.

Grilled Desserts

Most grilled fruits are tasty items for salads and side dishes for barbecued meat; however, there are plenty of opportunities to impress guests at your next outdoor gathering by grilling fruit desserts. Soak pieces of watermelon in liqueur before grilling, then toss with confectionery sugar and finely slices cilantro or mint for an adult treat. Apples, pears, oranges and grapefruits are just as yummy soaked in brandy before grilling. Serve with whipped cream. Fruit kebabs on bamboo skewers are a fun and festive way to introduce friends to the idea of grilled fruit. Essentially, a skewer can offer a sampling of a variety of fruits. Try serving them with a chocolate sauce, fruit jam or yoghurt as a dipping sauce.

Grilling fruits and vegetables boosts their flavor without adding calories. With such a large variety of fresh produce available over the summer months, it makes sense to explore the different ways to grill magical summery meals for your friends and family. The best thing is that you are expanding your culinary skills and shrinking your waistline at the same time. Grilling fruits and vegetables doesn’t require fancy equipment; it only needs you to give it a go!