Use your grill for more than just meat.

By Jeannie Nichols, Michigan StateUniversity Extension Grilling fruits and vegetables is a great way to add taste and color to your meals and a very easy way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals. With the increased availability of many fruits and vegetables, it is easy to consume the recommended amounts every day. Michigan State University Extension suggests that when choosing vegetables for the grill, select firmer vegetables, like asparagus, corn, peppers, zucchini or squash. Grilled vegetables can be used in a salad or served on a side or as the main dish. Grilled vegetables make a great addition to any meal. Following are more helpful tips for grilling veggies: • Vegetables such as asparagus and corn can be grilled just as they are and other vegetables should be cut into pieces large enough that they don’t fall between the slats of your grill. • Brush the vegetables with olive oil and season with herbs and spices to taste. • Place the vegetables on a medium hot grill and cook until tender. Typically it takes about 10 minutes or less for most vegetables to cook. • Frequently turn vegetables to avoid burning them. Having grill marks is an attractive feature of grilled foods but burned vegetables are not very appetizing, so pay attention to them when they are on the grill. • Grilling colorful fruits is a tasty idea, here are some tips: • Fresh apples, pineapple, pears and peaches are the best fruits for grilling. • Try to select fruits that are not over-ripe as they become too soft when grilled. • As with vegetables, fruits can also be peeled, sliced and basted with lemon juice or olive oil, but remember fruits have higher sugar content and grilling brings out this wonderful flavor. • Fruits also contain a lot of water, which makes them very hot once they are cooked. Be sure to allow time for grilled fruits to cool down a little before serving. If you haven’t grilled fruits and vegetables give it a try. You will find them tasty, nutritious and a different way to enjoy those delicious foods that are so good for you. Any leftover grilled fruits and vegetables should be promptly put in the refrigerator. They are very tasty and still nutritious eaten cold or warmed up. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit
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