Firing up the grill is one of my favorite ways to enjoy delicious meals in the summer. Grilling allows you to experience the outdoors, and it pairs well with summer activities, such as swimming, camping, and picnics with friends. Outdoor grilling can use gas or charcoal, both of which has pros and cons.
Nothing beats the flavor of using a charcoal grill. Gas grills simply don’t give the same distinct “grilled” taste that charcoal does. Charcoal grills are also cheaper and generally more portable. However, they take longer to heat up, are harder to control the heat, and leave you with a messy clean-up. Gas grills, on the other hand are easy to use and heat up faster, but they’re also more expensive, less portable and require the refilling of fuel. When it comes to grilling, many people ask if there are health risks. High-temperature cooking methods, such as grilling, frying, and roasting, can produce compounds that raise the risk of cancer, though research has primarily been done in laboratory animals, not humans. This doesn’t mean that we need to stop using our grills, but rather that we also utilize other methods of cooking and eat a variety of healthy foods that can combat the risk of cancer, such as fruits and vegetables.
While grilling is often used for meats, many fruits and veggies are wonderful grilled! Not only do grilled fruits make a good dessert with a bit of ice cream, but grilled peaches and pineapple can be chopped to make a tasty fruit salsa. Try veggies such as asparagus, summer squash, peppers, and mushrooms. Grilling brings about a whole new flavor to food!
6 peaches, halved and pitted
Brown sugar, to taste
Ground cinnamon, to taste
Low-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (optional)
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Lightly brush flesh of peaches with oil. Grill peach halves cut side down for 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, turn over peach halves and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Grill for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from grill. Serve two peach halves in bowl and top with vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon.
*Can use most any type of fruit: pears, pineapple, apples, plums, bananas, watermelon
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving with ½ cup low-fat frozen yogurt): 110 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 10 milligrams sodium
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.