Many Americans find it challenging to fill half their plate each meal with fruits and vegetables, as dietary guidelines recommend. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages Americans to add both color and nutrients to Memorial Day cookouts by grilling with a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables.
“Fill up on fewer calories with nutrient-rich, low-calorie produce,” says nutritionist Judy Caplan. “It’s not only good for your waistline, but water-rich produce will also help keep you hydrated on hot summer days.”
A quick and easy way to pack nutrients into your grill-centered meal is to skewer marinated vegetables like red, yellow or orange bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and onions into a tasty kabob. Simply brush the vegetables with olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices, and grill over medium heat; turning until marked and tender (about 12-15 minutes, and 8-10 minutes for cherry tomatoes and pre-boiled potatoes).
“For a sweet treat, grill sliced watermelon for about 30 seconds on each side,” says Caplan. “Some of the water will evaporate over the heat, which leaves an intensely flavored watermelon slice to savor and enjoy.”
Summer squash like zucchini, patty pans and yellow crooknecks are other delicious options that you can stuff, bake, steam or grill: