Let’s take advantage of the warm weather while we have it! Most often when we think of summer grilling, we think of hamburgers and hot dogs, but have you ever tried to grill your side dishes or desserts? Grilling can be an interesting and heart healthy way to prepare food during the summer months. Some summer fruits and veggies include apricots, avocados, beets, bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, carrots, grapes, mangoes, melons, and many more!

There is an abundance of seasonal produce loaded with nutrients and low in calories that taste wonderful on the grill. For your side dishes, grill bell peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, summer squash, tomatoes, or zucchini. Once you are finished with your main course, complete the meal with grilled peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, pears, or pineapples for dessert. Try adding mint to grilled apples, or vanilla to grilled peaches for even more flavor!

These grilled fruits and veggies not only taste delicious, but are made up of natural ingredients that benefit your body. Take a look below for tips on grilling your next dessert!

Did You Know?

  • Diets high in plant foods are associated with reduced risk of several cancers (American Institute for Cancer Research).
  • Colorful fruit and vegetable peels can be a source of phytochemicals, which protect our cells from oxidation.
  • Farmers’ markets offer a wide variety of seasonal produce and homemade goodies. Visit a farmers’ market near you!

Tips for Grilling Fruit

  1. Pick a fresh firm fruit that is just short of being perfectly ripe.
  2. Slice the fruit in half (you can keep the peel on) and soak it in water so it stays moist on the grill.
  3. Squeeze a lemon into the water to preserve the fruit’s color. Feel free to also experiment with different spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg.
  4. Grill fruit over medium heat on a very clean cooking grate or aluminum foil. Higher temperature works best for some fruits such as cantaloupe.

Sources: The American Institute for Cancer Research, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, LifeWork Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.