From the Garden to the Grill

By Susan Littlefield

The season of barbecues and cookouts is here, and many of us will be enjoying burgers and steaks, chicken and fish hot off the grill. But don't forget to add vegetables and fruits to your grilling repertoire as well. That's the message from Shirley Perryman, Extension Specialist in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University. These foods are not only high in nutritional value and low in calories, they don't form the potentially dangerous compounds called HCAs that can occur when meat, poultry, and fish are grilled.

In a recent press release, Perryman offers suggestions for successfully grilling both vegetables and fruits. For example, she suggests drizzling vegetables with low water content such as carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, and summer squash with oil prior to grilling so they won't stick. She notes that while marinades can enhance the flavor of many grilled veggies, marinades containing added sugar will cause the vegetables to blacken when grilled. Both white and sweet potatoes can be steamed on the grill in foil packets, seasoned with a little olive oil, salt, and a scattering of chopped fresh herbs.

For a healthful dessert or to use in a tasty fruit salsa, try grilling fruits such as nectarines, peaches, bananas, apples, pineapples, and pears. Yum!

To read more about spicing up your summer grilling with fruits and vegetables, go to: CSU News & Information.

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