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Grilling Vegetables: Eating Healthy Flavorful Food

Fitday Editor
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Grilling vegetables is a great way to add diversity to your daily menu. Not only is this a healthy option, but flavorful as well. Gas grills and charcoal grills both offer individual flavors to enhance vegetables that are grilled in season.

Types of Vegetables to Grill

Almost any type of vegetable can be cooked on a grill. However, vegetables with a low water content are the best--corn on the cob, zucchini, potatoes, mushrooms, and artichokes, to name a few. It is best to eat vegetables that are local and in season. This will help you in making your choice. Your imagination and cravings are your only limitations.

Grilling vs. Boiling

It is best to eat vegetables closest to their natural state. When grilling vegetables, they are quickly cooked and this allows them to retain many of their vital nutrients. Boiling them leads to overcooking. You can literally cook out their valuable vitamin and mineral content.

Methods

Vegetables can be placed directly on the grill. Just make sure to spray some type of non-stick spray on the grill to avoid sticking. You can also form a foil pouch for grilling. Several different types of vegetables can be added to the pouch and cooked all at once. This method helps the vegetables to maintain their natural shape and moisture while avoiding sticking to the grill. You can also invest in a vegetable basket. This basket will have small holes and allow you to grill small size vegetables without having them fall directly through the grates.

Grilling Times

Meat, chicken and fish generally take longer to grill than vegetables. Put them on the grill and wait the appropriate amount of time before adding your vegetables. Bell peppers, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, zucchini and squash all take about 3 or 4 minutes to grill. Mushrooms and corn take an additional couple of minutes. Potatoes take even longer. Of course, take into consideration the size of your individual vegetable pieces. Smaller ones will cook faster than larger ones.

Seasoning and Marinades

Vegetables have natural flavors all by themselves. Some are sweet while others are somewhat bitter. Salt, pepper and olive oil may be all you need to bring out their individual flavors. Lemon and orange zest will add a distinctive flair. A simple soy sauce marinade added to the grill will give an added kick. Barbeque sauce could also be added for the finicky eater. Kids love dipping sauces and would love a side of ranch dressing.

Healthy Eating Habits

Adding grilled vegetables to your diet will contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Incorporate vegetables into at least one of your meals each day. Shop local farmer's markets when available, for in-season vegetables. Make it a family event. Allow your family members to choose what you will be grilling. A variety of choices will ensure that your diet is well balanced and packed full of vitamins and minerals.

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