Grilling is an American tradition and outdoor pastime that brings friends and family together around a table with foods filled with a smoky flavor.
The staple items to grill, of course, include meats and fish, but the lesser-known practice of grilling veggies and fruit is an easy (and tasty!) way to increase your healthy food intake.
One of the perks of grilling is that it usually involves a shorter cooking time. This often results in only a minimal loss of essential nutrients and vitamins from vegetables and fruit as opposed to the significant loss that can result from overcooking.
So, you've got a simple, nutritious, flavorful meal with your favorite people. What are you waiting for? Take a look at 5 unlikely foods you may not have considered throwing on the grill!
[Slideshow] 1. Avocados
Avocados contain a good source of potassium and fiber. In addition, they contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which provide heart-healthy benefits. Cut avocados into halves and throw on the grill. Use them to make a smoky, savory guacamole or cut up to top a salad.
2. Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is a nutritious food that has a high water content and a low calorie content. Win-win! Cut a head of romaine in half and brush with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place cut side down over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red wine vinegar and serve.
Waxy or Russet potatoes work well thinly sliced or cut into wedges. If they're smaller in size, you may simply cut them in half. Brush potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and do contain carbohydrates, but when paired with leafy greens and lean protein they can provide just the right amount of energy your body needs!
This sweet fruit can be cut and placed onto skewers or thrown on the grill. They pair well with grilled chicken or fish, and they also make a wonderful dessert when sprinkled with cinnamon sugar! Peaches possess antioxidant properties, which can protect the body from various diseases.
Grilling intensifies the flavors of tomatoes by concentrating the juices and giving the skin a smoky flavor. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which can help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and reduce the chance of developing heart disease. Place tomatoes cut-side up on the grill until they start to sizzle. You may also throw cherry tomatoes on the grill whole or on skewers.