AP photo by Larry Crowe|
Dessert on the grill is a natural for healthy eating because so little fat is needed in the cooking. Grilled Nectarines with Blueberry Preserves can make use of your dying charcoal fire or done on the gas grill.
The grill is for more than meat
By Jim Romanoff
For The Associated Press
Since grilling is a generally healthy way of cooking, why limit yourself to the entree?
Grilling is healthy because often little additional fat is used during cooking, as is typical in other preparations such as sauteing. So you might as well take advantage of this healthy technique and toss dessert on the grill, too.
Grilled fruit is a light alternative to the rich cakes, pies and ice cream that often accompany summer barbecues.
“It makes fruit seem like a more decadent dessert than this healthful finish really is,” said Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of several books on grilling, including “The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining.”
Grilling fruit caramelizes the natural sugars, softens the texture of the flesh and releases the delicious juices. The flavors of the fruit become concentrated and the smokiness of outdoor cooking adds an element right at home with the taste fresh fruit.
Many fruits can be grilled, but as a rule of thumb the more watery the fruit is, the harder it is to grill. Wet fruits such as watermelon and some types of berries get mushy and lose their shape over a fire.
Hard fruits such as pears, apples and pineapples are the easiest. These fruits work well because they keep their shape and texture while cooking. Plus they’re harder to accidentally burn.
Very little fat is needed for this cooking technique. The Jamisons recommend preparing the grates with oil and brushing the fruit with canola oil, or even a little melted butter or almond oil. This will ensure that the fruit won’t stick to the grates or become too dry.
Grilled Nectarines with Blueberry Preserves
Start to finish: 15 minutes
4 ripe nectarines or peaches
2 teaspoons canola oil
8 teaspoons blueberry preserves
Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium.
Halve the nectarines and remove the pits. Brush the cut side of each nectarine half lightly with oil.
Place the fruit, cut-side down on the grill and cook, uncovered, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the nectarines over and spoon 1 teaspoon of preserves into the cavity of each. Continue grilling until the fruit is tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.
Nutrition information per serving: 123 calories; 3 g fat (0 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 1 mg sodium.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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