Summer is almost in full swing, which means it’s time to add the grill to the list of kitchen accessories. The image that comes to mind when most people think about barbecuing is putting some form of meat on the grill. The good news is there are so many more options that can be added to the fire to make a tasty, well-balanced meal.
Vegetables are a more common addition with grill makers designing trays that take away their ability to fall through the slats. Aluminum foil, skewers or larger slices are ways around buying another gadget and still getting that smoky flavor. These are just a few of the many vegetables that should get a try on the grill:
Zucchini – Cut in quarters lengthwise, dress with oil and a pinch of salt to add vitamin C and A to your plate. Leave the skin on to get added fiber!
Eggplant – Cut into 1” slices, dress with oil and salt to add fiber to your plate. While it may not be packed with vitamins, it does contain the phytochemicals anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid. Both are antioxidants and believed to fight cancer.
Asparagus – Poke with a skewer or lie across foil, drizzle with oil and salt to add folic acid and vitamin K to your meal.
Fruit is usually overlooked when looking for extras to put on the grill, but it worth trying different ones to see the flavor that the fire gives them.
Peaches – Slice in half, remove the pit and place flesh side down on the grill. Add cinnamon or a dollop of Greek yogurt once brown to add vitamin C to your plate.
Pineapple – Alternate on a kebob with vegetables or slice in 1” rings to add natural sweetness as well as vitamin C.
Apples – Slice in circles or in half and place flesh side down to add fiber. There is almost 15% of your daily fiber needs in 1 apple!
These are just a few of the many fruits and vegetables that are worth sampling on the grill this summer. Try cutting up a variety of vegetables, wrap them in foil and dress with oil, salt and fresh herbs (rosemary or thyme) for a quick side dish. Or make a lime-mint vinaigrette to brush over fruit to make a savory yet sweet dessert. So many options to try out in the coming months!
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.