July is National Grilling Month

Nothing says “summertime” quite like grilling out! Having a cookout or barbecue in the summer is a great way to connect with your friends and family, play outdoor games, and enjoy each other’s company. While we often think of meat like hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken when we grill, you can also try grilling fruits and vegetables!
Grilling fruit brings out fruits’ natural sweetness. Try grilling fresh fruit like pineapple, peaches, pears, watermelon, apples, and mango. Canola oil has a mild flavor and makes a good choice for brushing on fruit when you’re grilling to ensure it doesn’t stick to the grill. You can cut fruit like peaches and apples in half for grilling. Grilled pineapple cut in rings is great served over fish. Serve grilled fruit with low-fat frozen yogurt for a delicious dessert sure to please the whole crowd!
Grilled vegetables have a distinct flavor, which might make children (and adults!) more willing to try them, so a cookout is a great time to explore new vegetables! To grill fresh vegetables, rinse the vegetables under running water. Chop vegetables into large chunks. If you’d like, you can put vegetables on grilling skewers. Brush vegetables with oil and seasoning or a marinade of your choice, such as this Olive Oil Lemon Marinade. Turn vegetables once during grilling and brush with additional oil and seasonings or marinade to ensure they stay moist and flavorful.
Vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, corn, summer squash/zucchini, tomatoes, and onions are popular grilling choices, but you can also grill other vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, and turnips. 
Tell us what your family thinks of any grilled fruits and vegetables you try!
-Cara Mowery

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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