These 3 simple grilled fruits are a super fun addition to any cookout! Prepare them ahead and have them ready to go on the indoor or outdoor grill with your meal or as a fresh summer dessert.
Usually I am working with recipes making not-so-healthy foods a little healthier. This time, I’m afraid, adding brown sugar and vegan butter to fruits doesn’t fit that bill. But they are oh-so-yummy! Each of these grilled fruits is prepared in a slightly different way, using vegan butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and even balsamic vinegar. Once you’ve made these, you’ll see how other fruits can be grilled in the same way. You can also switch up what you coat the fruits with, to suit your own taste. Or just grill them naked (the fruits, not you!) for maximum nutrition.
Prepping the three fruits to grill is easy. When you are prepping the pineapple, you’ll find it helpful to cut the pineapple pieces long. This makes it easier to skewer them. To get the long pineapple pieces, cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple. Then move your knife from top to bottom of the pineapple, removing the thick peeling. Use a small knife to cut little divets and remove the seeds on the side of the pineapple (the brown spots). Cut the pineapple in half from top to bottom. Laying the pineapple halves on the cut flat sides, slice the pineapple straight down, including the core. I make my slices about 1/2-inch thick. A little bit thicker will work, too. Then cut out the core edge from any slices that have core down one side. I cut off about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of the core.
To prepare the peaches, wash them, then slice them in half. Remove the pit from each peach. Cut about 1/4 inch off of the bottom of each peach half to make a flat surface, so both sides of the peach halves will grill evenly.
Preparation for the strawberries only involves cutting off the leafy tops, then washing the strawberries and patting them dry.
I grilled my fruit indoors using a panini grill, which opens flat to use griddle style, too. I opened it flat on my stove top so I was able to use the vent hood over the stove to vent any hot air or steam. Mainly, I just think it’s too hot to be outside grilling in August and I wanted to keep my kitchen as cool as possible, too. But, I think I might always cook this fruit indoors, mainly because of the mess of the melting sugar and maple syrup. I’m not sure how the sugar will do running into the fire and onto the outdoor grill, but I imagine the cleanup would be harder. The fruits can be cooked on another surface on top of the outdoor grill, or even on aluminum foil, but then you won’t have the nice grill marks. If you try it, let me know!
You might find that your indoor grill’s high setting won’t produce good grill marks on the fruit. My panini griddle has a “sear” setting. If you have that, just turn your grill on to sear once the fruits are nearly done, and it will heat up just enough to give you those grill lines. Remember to return the grill down to the high setting before adding more fruit.
Of these three fruits, I would rank my favorites as follows: 1) pineapple 2) peaches 3) strawberries. I like the pineapple the best because the grilling (and the brown sugar, cinnamon and vegan butter) removed a lot of the tanginess and acidity from the pineapple. The flavor reminded me a lot of baked apples – just really delicious, fresh and new (for me). The peaches are great, because they’re peaches! We all know how tasty cooked peaches are. If I make the strawberries again, I will skip the balsamic vinegar – it’s just not my thing. The strawberries could also be buttered and coated with brown sugar before grilling.
Experiment with grilling these and other fruits and let me know what you like!
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