Healthy BBQ Bites and Tips For Delicious Grilled Fruit

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Grilled fruit is a fancy way to keep BBQ time healthy, delicious and fun. They’re a versatile way to stand out and shake things up at your BBQ gatherings this summer. Plus, you can serve them in desserts or as a side or as a part of a main course. The sky’s the limit!

Because grilling fruit is different than grilling veggies or grilling meat, here are a few tips that will help you keep it yummy, healthy and as easy as possible. Plus 2 of my favorite grilled fruit recipes.

  • Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
  • Grilled Stuffed Peaches with Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella & Basil

Tips for grilling fruit:

  1. Hard fruits are the easiest to grill – Because they hold their shape and texture (apples, pears, pineapple, etc,). Soft fruits become soft and mushy if overcooked (I don’t think I have to warn you about how gross that will be to clean up). If you’re using soft fruit, use it when it’s not-quite-ripe, which will help those softer fruits keep their shape.
  2. Split fruits in half when grilling – (bananas lengthwise, apples down the middle). You can leave the peels on (helps keep the fruit together and you can remove it after). If the fruit is large (pineapple) grill it in slices.
  3. Soak your fruit in cold water & lemon juice – (a tablespoon or so per cup of water) ahead of time. The water will help it stay juicy and the lemon juice will help it keep its color (some will turn brown otherwise). Soak 20-30 minutes in the fridge or add ice to the water.
  4. Grill fruit on medium heat on a clean cooking grate – Fruit will absorb other flavors on the grill, so clean the surface well to avoid hamburger flavored pineapples and sausage flavored peaches.
  5. Spray fruits or dust them in a light layer of cooking oil before grilling – Normally, I’d recommend olive oil, but it has a strong flavor. Try to find a cooking oil that’s less intense.
  6. Add spices or increase soaking time to boost the flavor : Of your fruit. Cinnamon works well for apples. Mint for melon etc. Nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger – all good ideas. No added sugar needed: fruit’s naturally high in sugar & the heat will caramelize it and make it sweeter anyways. (Added sugar will also likely burn your fruit on the grill if you’re not careful).
  7. You can marinate the fruit with alcohols (rum, wine, etc), but pay attention because you can cause quite the FLARE UP on the grill. We like eyebrows. We really like eyebrows.
  8. You don’t have to eat grilled fruit as is. You can grill pineapple, then put it in a sauce. You can grill your melons & cut them up for a fruit salad. You can grill your apples, then make grilled applesauce or stick them in a grilled apple pie. No limits!


Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. fresh, natural orange juice
  • 1/4 c. club soda
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey or 1/2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. Oriental sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 med. red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 ripe medium pineapple, peeled and cut into 1 inch squared chunks.
  • 1 navel orange, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, club soda, soy sauce, honey (agave), sesame oil and ginger. Stir in the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

2. Prepare the grill or preheat the broiler.

3. On skewers, alternate pieces of onion, chicken, pepper, pineapple and folded orange slices. Grill or broil until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side. Serves 4.

Grilled Stuffed Peaches with Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella & Basil

Grilled Stuffed Peaches with Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella & Basil  

Ingredients – serving bites for two

Peach Halves

Basil

Prosciutto

Mozzarella

Balsamic Glaze

Sea salt & Cracked Pepper

Virgin Olive Oil

Yellow Bell Peppers

Wash and cut a peach in half, gut pit with a knife making a nice curved pocket. lay a large basil leaf in the peach, wrap a piece of mozzarella in prosciutto and place over basil leaf. chop some extra basil leaves & orange bell peppers and scatter over a plate. place stuffed peach halves on plate. drizzle virgin olive oil & balsamic glaze over peaches. sprinkle sea salt & cracked pepper over entire dish. you can eat this dish as is or place the peach halves on the grill for a meatier sweetness. if grilling, make sure to baste peach halves with extra virgin olive oil.

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