If you like to grill, you probably know your way around classics like burgers, steak, chicken breast and corn on the cob. But if you haven’t tried throwing a piece of fruit on the grill yet, consider this a friendly challenge.
Not only is fruit packed with several vitamins and minerals, but it’s also high in fiber, which has countless proven health benefits, from lowered disease risk to better weight maintenance. Plus, the natural sugars in fruit caramelize on the grill, making it even tastier.
You can eat grilled fruit for dessert, chopped up in salads or even have it for breakfast on top of yogurt. Just make sure to use a well-oiled, medium-heat grill so the fruit cooks evenly without burning or sticking.
Here, eight delicious fruits to try grilled:
A cup of watermelon is low in calories (it contains just 47), and delivers about 20% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. Grill it in large, thick slices, then eat it with a squeeze of lime juice, or cut it up and use it in your favorite watermelon recipe.
Try it: When your watermelon is grilled, dice it up and toss it into this watermelon salad with feta and mint.
In peak season (sometime between June and August, depending on where you live), peaches are super sweet on their own. A rich source of vitamins E and K, they’ll get soft and almost syrupy on the inside when grilled. Simply cut a peach in half and remove the pit then grill cut-side down until grill marks appear; flip and grill until soft.
Try it: Make this grilled chicken, lentil and peach salad for a quick weeknight dinner.
Eat a cup of pineapple, and you’ll hit your daily quota for vitamin C. On top of that, pineapple packs important nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6. Taste-wise it’s a great way to make any meal or dessert a little more tropical. Cut off the prickly skin, then grill it in thick slices. You can use the fruit in desserts or slice it thin as a sweet burger topping.
Try it: For taco night, choose grilled pineapple chicken tacos with avocado crema. If you can, grill a little extra pineapple and use the leftovers in this coconut and pineapple smoothie the next morning.
No doubt you already know bananas are rich in potassium, an important nutrient for fluid balance and healthy blood pressure. Bananas are also uniquely creamy, making them perfect for dessert. To grill them, leave the peel on and throw the banana on the grill until it’s super soft.
Try it: This healthy banana split calls for a raw banana, but make yours with a grilled banana and it’ll be even sweeter.
While you don’t want to eat grilled lemons and limes on their own, they look and taste great alongside a platter of grilled meat or squeezed over a grain salad. They also add powerful antioxidants and vitamin C. Cut the fruit in half, then grill it skin side-down for a few minutes, until there are grill marks. Squeeze the juice over whatever you’re cooking to add a bit of charred flavor (plus the usual tang).
Try it: Substitute grilled lemon juice for regular in this grilled steak with baby arugula and Parmesan salad.
Don’t let watermelon have all the fun — cantaloupe is equally easy to grill. It’s also rich in beta carotene, a known antioxidant. Remove the coarse skin and cut the melon into wedges, then grill on all sides until marks appear.
Try it: Chop grilled cantaloupe and use it as a salad add-in. Or, use it to make a simple appetizer of prosciutto-wrapped melon with mint and white balsamic vinegar.
Mango makes a great dessert even before it hits the grill. Its natural sugars make it delicious, and its bright orange color makes it pretty enough to serve to guests. Plus, one medium mango has 5 grams of fiber, 20% of what you need in a day. To grill it, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the pit, but keep the skin on. Grill it cut side-down until grill marks appear, then scoop the flesh out of the skin with a large spoon.
Try it: These mango chicken bowls make a healthy lunch option any time of year, but they taste even better when you grill the mango.
While avocado is typically used in savory dishes, it’s technically a fruit. As well as being rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, a small avocado packs 9 grams of fiber, more than a third of what you need in a day. To grill it, cut an avocado in half and remove the pit, leaving the skin on. Grill skin side-down until marks appear.
Try it: Spice up this grilled chicken with tomato avocado salad by grilling the avocado as well.
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