There is no doubt that you’ve fired up your grill this summer – it's such a great way to beat the heat in the kitchen. But did you think to throw some watermelon or bananas on the grill with your steaks, chicken, or burgers and hot dogs?
Before you turn your nose up at the idea, give it a chance!
When you grill (or cook) fruit over a high heat, it causes the fruit’s natural sugars to come out and caramelize. The fruit truly gets elevated to a whole new level of tasty; all bundled in a simple, healthy treat.
Here are a few tips for grilling your fruit from John Schlimm, author of Grilling Vegan Style.
- Always brush your fruit with a little bit coconut oil. This helps prevent the fruit from sticking to the grill and helps enhance the flavor of the fruit. (I prefer coconut oil for the flavor, but you could use olive oil too.)
- Grill your fruit over indirect heat, especially to start.
- Pay attention. Most fruit cooks rather quickly.
Okay, I have to admit the thought of grilling watermelon, which I already think is pretty perfect, had me a little perplexed. But after reading several recipes for grilled watermelon, I finally gave it a try! Delish! Tips: I like to grill wedges over low heat, watching closely, and let rest for a few minutes to cool or you risk burning your mouth. Recipe: add to my Watermelon, Feta & Arugula salad, or eat by itself with a sprinkle of fresh mint and salt.
I love grilled stone fruits. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat these abundant summer staples. Tips: leave the skin on the fruit when you grill and watch closely. Recipe: leave as halves or slice and serve with coconut milk ice cream. I also like to serve with grilled pork chops/tenderloin, or make into a sauce/salsa to serve with pork or chicken.
Probably the most fun way to eat a banana ever! The fruit gets ooey and gooey, and super sweet. Tips: slice the peel open on the curved side, leaving the fruit intact. Grill approximately 5 minutes per side. Watch closely so you don’t overcook and they get mushy. Recipe: Drizzle with fresh lime juice, honey (optional) and cinnamon. You can also top the bananas with ice cream and fresh cut strawberries. Try grilling bananas (still sliced as above) wrapped in foil pack over a campfire!
Surprise your dinner guests with something a little different and very decadent: grilled figs! Tips: slice in half and cook over low heat. Watch closely as they will burn quickly. Choose fruit that’s ripe, yet still firm. Recipe: Serve as an appetizer and wrap with prosciutto or sliced onto an arugula and goat cheese side salad with balsamic. Of course, you can always serve for dessert. I recommend pairing with a nice feta cheese and a glass of wine ;).
Want the apple pie flavor without the crust? Slice an apple into thick rings and grill! Tips: slice the apples thick enough to stand up to the grill grate. Watch closely so they do not burn and make sure to flip. Recipe: top with a drizzle of honey, sprinkle of cinnamon and dollop of ice cream. Or add as a side dish to pork tenderloin and cabbage.
What are your favorite fruits to grill? Did I miss any or do you have any surprises for me? If you have any pictures, please post to Instagram and tag #prepdish or @prepdish or you can always post them to our FB page as well.