Grilled pineapple is a delicious way to enjoy this healthy fruit that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Pineapple is also a good source of vitamins B6 and C. It also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. When grilled, the sugars of the fruit caramelize, giving it a crunch on the outside while leaving the inside soft and juicy. This tasty treat isn’t limited to Hawaiian pizza toppings—it can be mixed into many types of food to give a sweet, tangy taste. Not sure where to start? Try one of these 5 options:
Salads are the perfect and perhaps natural place to start out on your grilled pineapple adventure. Mixed with salad greens, pineapples add a little juice of their own to the taste of your normal dressing and can be added to just about any salad. For a quick recipe try topping mixed greens with chopped, grilled pineapple, scallions, hearts of palm and crumbled turkey bacon. Sprinkle on a tiny amount of crumbled blue cheese and toss in a light, citrus dressing. To make your own pineapple citrus dressing mix ¼ c. olive oil with 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 3 Tbsp. pineapple juice. Season with crushed garlic, finely minced shallots, salt and pepper.
A tasty but decadent treat is the Hawaiian burger, made by adding grilled pineapple and sliced ham to a cheese burger. But you can make your own healthy version by topping a whole wheat bun with a turkey or veggie burger, a slice of grilled pineapple, melted reduced-fat cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion and a smear of Dijon mustard. Since the pineapple ads sweetness, you can even skip the sugar-laden ketchup.
Grilling food allows for grease to drain off meats, helping lower the calorie count and reducing saturated fat. Shish-kebabs are skewers of meat and vegetables that are cooked on the grill. Cut chicken or another lean protein into thick chunks and slide on to the skewer, follow by chunks of pineapple, onion and green pepper. Repeat the line-up to fill the skewer, leaving a few inches as a handle, and season with salt and pepper. Grill until the meat is tender. The pineapple will add a new splash of flavor to this old cook-out favorite.
Black Bean Tacos
Top a warm corn tortilla with a mixture of black beans, diced, grilled pineapple, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and green chilies. Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco and spoon on your favorite salsa. Pineapple doesn’t have to be limited to just black-bean tacos, add them diced to chicken and even beef versions, or whip up a fresh pineapple salsa by tossing them with tomatoes, garlic, onion, chili, cilantro and lime.
The citrus-y sweetness of grilled pineapple makes it perfect in a variety of desserts. Pineapple turnovers can be made by wrapping grilled chunks in light dough and baking in the over. Or line a bowl with warm grilled pineapple and scoop on fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt and coat with a dusting of grated dark chocolate.