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Summer Grilling with Fruits and Vegetables

Summer Grilling with Fruits and Vegetables

Cooking Demonstration Shows You How

Looking for something new to spice up your summertime meals? How about a new menu idea to get you out of the kitchen on hot summer days?

Try grilling vegetables and fruit to bring new flavors and combinations to your menus, says Anna Mazzei, a Washington Hospital Registered Dietitian. “Summer cookouts can be more than hot dogs and hamburgers,” Mazzei says. “Grilled vegetables and fruit are healthy, nutritious, low-fat and tasty. And they are easy to cook on any grill.”

Mazzei will demonstrate a variety of grilling techniques and seasoning combinations for vegetables and fruit during the Health & Wellness seminar, “Veggies on the Grill: Make Room for Summer Produce.” This seminar will be live on Facebook and on Washington Hospital’s YouTube channel, at 6:30 p.m., August 22.

“California is the fruit and vegetable basket of the nation,” Mazzei adds. “We should take advantage of all this wonderful, healthy food that’s right in our backyard. It’s easy to find — whether at a local grocery store or the neighborhood farmers market. And, often it’s inexpensive because it’s grown locally.”

Mazzei notes: “Grilling outside keeps the kitchen cool. And, if you don’t have an outdoor grill, the vegetables can be cooked quickly on a griddle set on your stove’s burners or on an electric grill pan. No roasting with a hot oven or boiling on the stove, both of which heat up the kitchen. And the cleanup is easier too.”

Vegetables that are delicious grilled include asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers, portabella mushrooms, zucchini and corn, among others. “Use your creative imagination in grilling vegetables,” Mazzei urges. Some vegetables, such as potatoes and onions can be grilled sliced or in a vegetable basket on the grill. Others may require some precooking or parboiling. Cut a sweet potato in half to grill it. Onion slices work very well. Cauliflower can be blanched and then grilled. Or for variety, cook a mixture of sliced vegetables in a grill basket.

Fruit can be grilled too, Mazzei says. Halved peaches and other stone fruit do very well on the grill. Pineapple too, she adds. “You can use the fruit either as a savory dish, as in a salad with the main meal, or as dessert.”

Mazzei will demonstrate how to cook vegetables and fruit on both gas and charcoal grills as well as on an electric grill. She explains, “It’s a matter of where to place the vegetables or fruit in relation to the heat source; how to get the grill flavor, which brings out the natural sweetness of the produce; and the char marks without burning your food.”

“We are lucky to live in an area where we have access to such a wide variety of produce — and the climate that allows us to cook our meals outside, if we wish,” Mazzei notes. “Grilling vegetables and fruit adds a delicious and healthy component to summer meals. We should take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy it.”

For more information on this and other upcoming Health & Wellness seminars sponsored by Washington Hospital, visit

To watch “Veggies on the Grill: Make Room for Summer Produce” seminar on our YouTube InHealth channel, click here.

For Veggie-on-the-Grill recipes, click here.