Grill it Up – In Good Health – This July 4th
One of the best ways to eat healthy this summer just might be waiting in your back yard. That’s right, I’m talking about your grill, that quintessential summertime cooking surface.
But the grill isn’t just for heavy burgers and thick steaks. In fact, you can get some deliciously healthy treats from your grill after stocking up in the produce section. Vegetables and even some fruits prepared on the grill can give you a good dose of healthy fat and a heap of smokin’ flavor. Not to mention making great use of local, seasonal offerings.
Not convinced yet? Then see for yourself with these three easy ways to get a healthful dose of fruits and vegetables from your grill. (And if you’re wondering where to go for fresh, local produce, don’t forget to check out this great finder at NC Farm Fresh.)
Tarragon Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Serves 4 as a side
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” rounds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp dried tarragon
- Salt and pepper to taste
After cutting the sweet potatoes into rounds, microwave for 4-10 minutes depending on your machine. You’re looking for soft but not mushy consistency
Toss the sweet potato rounds with the coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt until well coated.
Place on a heated grill at medium-high heat for three 3-4 minutes on each side. Each side should be browned when ready, and a little crispy.
Toss warm rounds with dried tarragon and salt and pepper if needed; serve alone or on a bun (for the vegetarians out there).
The result? Sweet and not mushy, combining the best of both worlds. If you’re like me, sweet potatoes might not be high on your favorite foods list. But dipped in a little ketchup, and you could swear you were cheating.
Smoky Ginger Roasted Corn
This recipe is adapted from Vivian Howard of A Chef’s Life and her grilled corn with ginger bacon butter. Instead of using butter and bacon fat, we’re using coconut oil again—plus a little salish (smoked salt) for flavor without the bacon (also good for those vegans and vegetarians out there). This mixture makes enough for about a dozen+ ears.
- 1 cup coconut oil (softened)
- 1 tbsp salish salt
- 1 tbsp grated ginger (use a microplane)
- 2 garlic cloves (grated on the microplane)
- Zest of 2 limes (use microplane)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Take all ingredients above and blend in a mixer. Then roll out onto wax paper or parchment, shape, and chill.
Then shuck the corn, including the husks and silks, and brush with olive oil. As Vivian says: “Using tongs, grill the corn on all sides until golden in some spots. The corn may pop so be careful. Once it looks delicious, transfer the corn to a platter and rub it all over with the [smoky ginger] butter.”
Grilled Balsamic Peaches with Greek Yogurt
It’s peach season, and if you’ve never had grilled peaches you are in for a surprise!
- 6 peaches, cut in half and stones removed
- Brown sugar
- Coconut oil
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Plain Greek yogurt, 2%
Melt the coconut oil and brush the flesh of the peaches, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Place flat side on the grill, off the flame, and cook for about 4 minutes. Watch for flare-ups and be vigilant.
Meanwhile, reduce the balsamic vinegar and vanilla by one half and let cool.
Remove the peaches from the grill and either serve warm with the balsamic vinegar reduction, or cool and serve with plain Greek yogurt.