This week will wrap up with the Fourth of July and we know that means you will probably spend at least some time firing up the grill. This holiday screams burgers and hotdogs, but there’s something else that is fantastic grilled that you probably haven’t given much thought to – grilled fruit!
Sure, you might have added some onion, tomatoes, peppers, or other veggies to your grill, but fruits are in season this time of year too. Consider grabbing a colorful selection of fruit from your nearby farmers market or grocery store and with just a few minutes on the grill, you’ll have a perfect complement to your other grilled goods. What fruits are good for grilling?
Apricots – Just cut them in half, brush with oil, and place on the grill cut-side down for about 30 seconds. Turn it over and grill again for another 30 seconds or so. Nectarines and peaches work great this way too, just cook two to three minutes more.
Banana – Cut them in half lengthwise but leave the peel on. Place the cut-side down on the grill and cook for about three minutes. Brush with honey (or a mixture of your choice, and grill about five more minutes.
Cherries – Toss some cherries in balsamic vinegar, place in a grill pan, and grill about five minutes, turning a few times while cooking.
Mango – Cut in half and remove the seed, brush with oil, place flesh side on the grill and cook two to three minutes.
Pears – Cut your pear in half lengthwise and remove the core. Brush with oil, place cut-side down, and grill for four to five minutes.
Strawberries – Leave whole or cut in half, coat with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with sugar, and grill for one to two minutes.
Watermelon – Cut into ½ inch thick slices and brush with oil. Grill two to three minutes or until grill marks appear.
Pineapple is another fantastic fruit to try on the grill. Give this recipe from Elif’s Kitchen a try.
Grilled Pineapple and Blood Oranges
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Blood Oranges
10 Mint Leaves
Cut the pineapple into ½ inch thick slices in the shape of a half moon. Cut the blood oranges in half. Place the pineapple slices and orange pieces into a large Ziploc bag. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and shake gently to coat everything evenly. Preheat your grill and lightly oil the grate. Grill the pineapple slices and orange halves for two to three minutes per side until grill marks appear. For more flavor squeeze the blood orange halves onto the pineapple slices. Serve with mint leaves and enjoy!
Tips for Grilling Fruit
One of the best things about grilling fruit is that it takes hardly any time at all. Five minutes or less and your fruit will be grilled to perfection. Plus, there’s a reason it tastes so good. When fruit is grilled, it evaporates a bit of the water from the fruit, making the sugars more concentrated. To get the best results when grilling fruit, give these tips a try:
- When grilling smaller fruit, place them in a grill pan or on a skewer. It will make them easier to turn and less likely to fall between the grates.
- Make sure the fruit is ripe, but not too ripe. Fruit that is a bit more firm will hold up better and will still caramelize and taste amazing.
- Use neutral oils such as grapeseed, safflower oil, or melted, unsalted butter to keep you fruit from sticking.
- Try to be patient. Let the fruit sit on the grill untouched for a few minutes before checking and turning it over.
- Grilled fruit works great for savory and sweet options, so mix and match your ideas. You might be surprised!
- Just like with bananas, try grilling softer fruits with the skin on to help them hold their shape.
- Give different toppings a try before and after grilling. Good ones to try include honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. They help enhance the natural flavor of the fruit.
Don’t Forget to Include Fruit Cocktails!
Now you have burgers, hotdogs, fruits, and veggies for the grill, but you need something refreshing to keep you cool while standing over that grill. Here’s another area that fruit shines! Since fruit is in season right now, which equals cheaper too, stock up on that fruit and mix up some fruit cocktails too. Remember that pineapple that you grilled up earlier? Grab an extra pineapple and give this cocktail from Elif’s Kitchen a try.
Pineapple Rum Cocktail
2 Cups Chopped Fresh Pineapple
2 Cups Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
2 Cups Ice
¼ Cup Pineapple Rum
Cut the lime very thin and into half-moons. Add all the ingredients besides the lime slices into a blender. Blend ingredients until smooth. Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with lime slices. Makes 2-3 glasses to enjoy!
As you can see there are plenty of great ways to add fruit to your weekend 4th of July celebration. So, fire up that grill, kick back and relax, and enjoy some of that colorful, healthy goodness!