Quick Summer Grillin’ Ideas For Fresh Fruit & Veggies

With the 4th of July weekend just around the corner and many backyard Bar-B-Q grills getting fired up for a good long weekend workout, you may want to experiment with some new or different culinary choices and still manage to stay on the healthy side. It’s very realistic and possible with so many summer fruits and veggies in plentiful supply and generally best prices of the year if  purchased now (especially at farmer’s markets or roadside produce stands).

So here are a few ideas to “get your grill on” or at least get you started and you can adjust seasoning suggestions according to you and your family’s tastes. Many of the suggestions listed below will probably take less time to prepare and grill than it takes to watch your coals turn white. (If you use gas, they’re still almost as fast as heating up the grill.) A few of these edible concoctions feature ingredients like corn, eggplant and tomatoes, which might be better suited a month from now, at least in certain parts of the country. However there are quite a few suggestions for foods that are in season right now that everybody doesn’t necessarily think of putting on the grill. You might wanna make note that salt and pepper are generally added to each of the following in moderation according to you personal preferences .

So Let’s Get Grillin’

  • Best Grilled Artichokes — Cut artichokes in half, scoop out the choke, parboil until tender. Grill, cut-side down, until lightly browned; grill a couple of halved lemons, too. Combine the juice from the grilled lemons with melted butter and spoon over the artichokes. Finish with parsley.
  • Grill Bread — Grind in a food processor to make coarse bread crumbs. (You can add garlic and/or parsley and/or Parmesan, or not.) Grill asparagus until tender. Top with bread crumbs and olive oil.
  • Tahini Tofu Steaks — Thin Tahini with lots of lemon juice and some minced garlic. Cut a brick of firm tofu into four slabs and brush with sesame oil. Grill over a moderate fire, turning a few times, until marked and crisp outside and custardy inside. On the last turn, baste with the Tahini sauce. Serve on thick tomato slices with a drizzle of soy sauce and chopped basil, Thai if possible.
  • For perfectly ripe Tomatoes only — Grill tomatoes, any size, until hot and lightly charred but not bursting. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh mozzarella (or, even better, Burrata) and grilled bread.
  • Grilled Guacamole — Halve and pit avocados; lightly char them, then scoop out the flesh. Grill halved red onion, too. Chop, combine, add tomatoes, lime, garlic and spices if you like.
  • Rub thick Zucchini slices with a mixture of fresh or dried dill, yogurt, olive oil and lemon. (Or use pesto or parsley pesto.) Grill slowly.
  • Lightly char whole or halved heads of baby Bok Choy; drizzle with soy sauce and top with chopped scallions.
  • Peel and thickly slice a not overly ripe Mango. Brush very lightly with neutral oil and grill just until softened; sprinkle with cilantro and/or mint and lime juice (you might as well grill the lime first, too).
  • Grill Pineapple (or anything, really, from pork to tofu to eggplant). Make a sauce of half-cup peanut butter, a tablespoon (or more) soy sauce, a dash (or more) sriracha chili sauce, a handful of basil or mint and enough warm water to thin. (It’s tempting to say, “Throw away the pineapple and eat the sauce,” but the combination is sensational.)
  • Grill Red, Orange and/or Yellow Peppers — Toss with olives, capers, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Charred Salsa Verde — Toss whole husked tomatillos, scallions and jalapeños in olive oil and grill until charred. Remove the blackened skin from the chilies and chop or blend everything with diced avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Eat with chips or top grilled chicken with it.
  • Lightly grill ripe Figs — Brush with balsamic. Chop and toss with arugula and blue cheese. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Ratatouille — Grill chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, eggplant, onion and tomatoes (or use cherry tomatoes), all until lightly browned and perfectly tender. Toss with fresh marjoram or oregano, thyme, basil and olive oil.

For more Quick Summer Cookin’ and Grillin’ Ideas —

— check this LINK from the New York Times on Today

Making The Right Fruit & Vegetable Choices

healthy-foods

VEGETABLE LIST

Studies show certain veggies can make you healthier.

Research clearly proves healthy veggies can extend both the length and the overall quality of your life. Numerous studies have proven that by increasing your daily intake (mainly from the “A” list), you can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other chronic illnesses.

The list of healthy veggie benefits is almost as long as the “A” category list. So pick some winners, learn how to prepare them and start eating and enjoying “A” category veggies now and for the rest of your long healthy life.

CATEGORY A

Alfalfa sprouts
Arugula
Bean sprouts
Beet Greens
Beets
Bell Peppers
Bok choy
Broccoli
Broccoflower
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Chard (Swiss & red)
Chinese cabbage
Chives
Collard greens
Garlic
Green onions
Green peas
Greens
Horseradish
Kale
Leeks
Lettuce, red or green
Mustard Greens
Onions
Parsley
Peppers
Pumpkin
Sauerkraut
Shallot
Snow Peas
Soy beans
Spinach
Summer squash
Sweet potato & yam
Tomato
Tomato, cherry
Turnip greens
Watercress
Winter squash


CATEGORY B

Artichoke
Artichoke Hearts
Asparagus
Avocado
Celery
Chickpeas
Chile peppers
Cucumber
Eggplant
Endive
Green beans
Kidney beans
Kohlrabi
Lemon grass
Lentil beans
Navy Beans
Okra
Split Peas
Radishes
Radicchio
Rutabaga
Turnips
Zucchini

CATEGORY C

Bamboo shoots
Corn
Jicama
Lettuce (iceberg)
Lima beans
Mushrooms
Potato (white)
Rhubarb
Water chestnuts

Here are a few beneficial, healthy tips you definitely want to consider…..

  • When shopping for produce, to get maximum benefits, buy organic whenever possible.
  • Choose fresh or frozen rather than canned, since canned is generally extremely high in sodium.
  • To avoid extra calories from fat and a high sodium intake, use herbs, spices, lemon or vinegar, rather than salt, butter or oil for seasoning.
  • Now that you know what’s good for you, it’s time to shop (or plant your garden), and get busy eating and enjoying these extra healthy foods!

Top 10 Most Important Vegetables: Nutritional Benefits

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colorful ripe fruit composition isolated on white

FRUIT LIST

The following alphabetical fruit list has important fruit facts arranged in order.

For example, in the list of all fruits, if a fruit has a particularly high level of carotenoids and a moderate level of vitamin C, the higher nutrient found in the fruit (carotenoids) will be listed before the nutrient that’s only found in moderation (vitamin C).

Any concerns are in parenthesis. For instance, if the fruit has a high glycemic index rating, which might negatively affect blood sugar levels, you’ll see (glycemic).

And if preservatives, such as sulfites, are commonly used on a conventionally grown fruit or if it’s highly sprayed or waxed, you’ll see (preservatives), (pesticides) or (wax coating). In that case, it’s important to buy organically grown varieties of that particular fruit.

Alphabetical Fruit List with Nutritional Values (in order)

FRUIT NUTRITIONAL VALUES IN ORDER (concerns)
Apples flavonoids, fiber, C (pesticides, wax coating)
Apricots carotenoids, A, C, fiber (preservatives)
Bananas B6, C, potassium (glycemic)
Blackberries flavonoids, fiber, C, K, manganese
Blueberries flavonoids, C, manganese, fiber
Cantaloupe carotenoids, C, A, potassium
Cherries flavonoids (pesticides)
Cranberries flavonoids, fiber, C, manganese
Dates (glycemic)
Dried fruit (glycemic, preservatives)
Figs (preservatives)
Fruit juices (glycemic)
Grapefruit carotenoids in pink, flavonoids, C
Grapes flavonoids, manganese (pesticides)
Guava carotenoids, fiber, C
Kiwifruit C, fiber (glycemic)
Lemons flavonoids, C (wax coating)
Limes flavonoids, C (wax coating)
Mangoes carotenoids, A, C (glycemic)
Nectarines carotenoids, C (glycemic, pesticides)
Oranges carotenoids, flavonoids, C, fiber (glycemic)
Papayas carotenoids, C, folate, potassium
Peaches carotenoids, C (pesticides)
Pears flavonoids (pesticides)
Persimmons C (glycemic)
Pineapple C, manganese (glycemic)
Plums carotenoids, C
Raspberries flavonoids, fiber, manganese, C
Raisins (glycemic, pesticides, preservatives)
Strawberries carotenoids, flavonoids, C, fiber (pesticides)
Tangerines carotenoids, A, C (glycemic)
Watermelon carotenoids, C, A, B6 (glycemic)

Importance of the Fruit List

This list of all types of fruits is a great source of high fiber foods and many essential nutrients. Especially important are the phytonutrient-rich carotenoid and flavonoid foods high in antioxidents, plus vitamins A and C, folate, manganese and potassium.

Research shows people who regularly eat fresh fruit have a lower risk of many chronic diseases. And since fruit is delicious, nutritious and generally low in fat, sodium and calories, most fruit can play an important role in healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Raw fruit is also high in enzymes and high fiber carbohydrates which are important for good digestion, healthy bowel function and relieving constipation.

So let’s face the fruit facts, making the right fruit choices gives you the get up and go to get up and go!

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10 Best Foods For Healthy Eating

The 10 healthiest foods below are your best bet for great healthy eating results.

healthy_foodThe reason is that these 10 healthy foods have the most nutrition per food calorie, which translates you get the healthiest “bang for your bucks”.

With this focus on healthy eating, you can look and feel your absolute best, slow down the aging process and help protect yourself from illnesses and degenerative diseases.

THE 10 HEALTHIEST FOODS


salmon(1) – Fish – Eating fatty fish, especially salmon, at least three times a week is one of the healthiest things you can do Omega 3 Fish Oil reduces your risk of heart disease, inflammation and much more, plus it improves your nerves, eyes and brainpower.

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roasted-vegetable-mix(2) – Vegetables – Five or more servings a day from the Vegetable List (see chart below) with high nutritional values can give you the fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium and phytonutrient antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

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Fresh-Berries-mix(3) – Fruit – Two to four daily servings of fresh or frozen fruit are recommended. Blueberries, raspberries, oranges, red grapes, plums, apricots and papaya are some of the best on the Fruit List (see chart below) .They’re rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and flavonoids.

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whole-grain-mix(4) – Whole Grains – Brown rice, oatmeal, sprouted breads, and other whole grains are great sources of fiber, vitamins B and E, protein, minerals and essential fatty acids. High Fiber Foods help prevent colon cancer, high cholesterol and constipation.

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garlic-&-onions(5) – Garlic and Onions – Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic that can boost immunity, protect against bacteria, parasites and viruses and help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer. Onions are antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral and have been shown to help improve LDL / HDL cholesterol balance and fight off bronchitis, asthma, hay fever and infection.

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yogurt-mix(6) – Yogurt – Plain, unsweetened, low-fat yogurt and other cultured dairy are excellent sources of complete protein, calcium and lactobacillus. They help protect against osteoporosis, cavities, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and intestinal disorders. Yogurt’s beneficial bacteria also makes it a natural antibiotic and anticancer agent.

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chicken-turkey-fillet-mix(7) – Poultry – Skinless chicken and turkey are valuable sources of complete protein and B vitamins. Chicken soup really is good for colds and flu. Its high cysteine content helps break down mucus. Turkey is leaner, low in calories and high in selenium, which strengthens the immune system. White meat is easier to digest than fattier dark meat.

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bean-mix(8) – Beans – Lentils, peas and other beans are good sources of fiber and B vitamins. Combined with whole grains, especially rice, they become an excellent source of complete protein. Beans have also been found to help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and reduce cancer rates.

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nut-mix(9) – Nuts – Raw nuts are rich in protein, vitamins B and E, minerals and essential fatty acids. They’ve been found to have both anti-cancer and anti-heart disease properties. Almonds, for example, help lower cholesterol.

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drinking-tap-water(10) – WaterSurprised? Water is a very essential nutrient in your diet. It’s needed for digestion, assimilation, metabolism, elimination, weight control and more. And unlike coffee, colas and alcohol, eight glasses of pure water a day have no calories or negative side effects.

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healthy-foods

VEGETABLE LIST

Studies show certain veggies can make you healthier.

Research clearly proves healthy veggies can extend both the length and the overall quality of your life. Numerous studies have proven that by increasing your daily intake (mainly from the “A” list), you can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other chronic illnesses.

The list of healthy veggie benefits is almost as long as the “A” category list. So pick some winners, learn how to prepare them and start eating and enjoying “A” category veggies now and for the rest of your long healthy life.

CATEGORY A

Alfalfa sprouts
Arugula
Bean sprouts
Beet Greens
Beets
Bell Peppers
Bok choy
Broccoli
Broccoflower
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Chard (Swiss & red)
Chinese cabbage
Chives
Collard greens
Garlic
Green onions
Green peas
Greens
Horseradish
Kale
Leeks
Lettuce, red or green
Mustard Greens
Onions
Parsley
Peppers
Pumpkin
Sauerkraut
Shallot
Snow Peas
Soy beans
Spinach
Summer squash
Sweet potato & yam
Tomato
Tomato, cherry
Turnip greens
Watercress
Winter squash


CATEGORY B

Artichoke
Artichoke Hearts
Asparagus
Avocado
Celery
Chickpeas
Chile peppers
Cucumber
Eggplant
Endive
Green beans
Kidney beans
Kohlrabi
Lemon grass
Lentil beans
Navy Beans
Okra
Split Peas
Radishes
Radicchio
Rutabaga
Turnips
Zucchini

CATEGORY C

Bamboo shoots
Corn
Jicama
Lettuce (iceberg)
Lima beans
Mushrooms
Potato (white)
Rhubarb
Water chestnuts

Here are a few beneficial, healthy tips you definitely want to consider…..

  • When shopping for produce, to get maximum benefits, buy organic whenever possible.
  • Choose fresh or frozen rather than canned, since canned is generally extremely high in sodium.
  • To avoid extra calories from fat and a high sodium intake, use herbs, spices, lemon or vinegar, rather than salt, butter or oil for seasoning.
  • Now that you know what’s good for you, it’s time to shop (or plant your garden), and get busy eating and enjoying these extra healthy foods!

___________________________________________________________________________

colorful ripe fruit composition isolated on white

FRUIT LIST

The following alphabetical fruit list has important fruit facts arranged in order.

For example, in the list of all fruits, if a fruit has a particularly high level of carotenoids and a moderate level of vitamin C, the higher nutrient found in the fruit (carotenoids) will be listed before the nutrient that’s only found in moderation (vitamin C).

Any concerns are in parenthesis. For instance, if the fruit has a high glycemic index rating, which might negatively affect blood sugar levels, you’ll see (glycemic).

And if preservatives, such as sulfites, are commonly used on a conventionally grown fruit or if it’s highly sprayed or waxed, you’ll see (preservatives), (pesticides) or (wax coating). In that case, it’s important to buy organically grown varieties of that particular fruit.

Alphabetical Fruit List with Nutritional Values (in order)

FRUIT NUTRITIONAL VALUES IN ORDER (concerns)
Apples flavonoids, fiber, C (pesticides, wax coating)
Apricots carotenoids, A, C, fiber (preservatives)
Bananas B6, C, potassium (glycemic)
Blackberries flavonoids, fiber, C, K, manganese
Blueberries flavonoids, C, manganese, fiber
Cantaloupe carotenoids, C, A, potassium
Cherries flavonoids (pesticides)
Cranberries flavonoids, fiber, C, manganese
Dates (glycemic)
Dried fruit (glycemic, preservatives)
Figs (preservatives)
Fruit juices (glycemic)
Grapefruit carotenoids in pink, flavonoids, C
Grapes flavonoids, manganese (pesticides)
Guava carotenoids, fiber, C
Kiwifruit C, fiber (glycemic)
Lemons flavonoids, C (wax coating)
Limes flavonoids, C (wax coating)
Mangoes carotenoids, A, C (glycemic)
Nectarines carotenoids, C (glycemic, pesticides)
Oranges carotenoids, flavonoids, C, fiber (glycemic)
Papayas carotenoids, C, folate, potassium
Peaches carotenoids, C (pesticides)
Pears flavonoids (pesticides)
Persimmons C (glycemic)
Pineapple C, manganese (glycemic)
Plums carotenoids, C
Raspberries flavonoids, fiber, manganese, C
Raisins (glycemic, pesticides, preservatives)
Strawberries carotenoids, flavonoids, C, fiber (pesticides)
Tangerines carotenoids, A, C (glycemic)
Watermelon carotenoids, C, A, B6 (glycemic)

Importance of the Fruit List

This list of all types of fruits is a great source of high fiber foods and many essential nutrients. Especially important are the phytonutrient-rich carotenoid and flavonoid foods high in antioxidents, plus vitamins A and C, folate, manganese and potassium.

Research shows people who regularly eat fresh fruit have a lower risk of many chronic diseases. And since fruit is delicious, nutritious and generally low in fat, sodium and calories, most fruit can play an important role in healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Raw fruit is also high in enzymes and high fiber carbohydrates which are important for good digestion, healthy bowel function and relieving constipation.

So let’s face the fruit facts, making the right fruit choices gives you the get up and go to get up and go!

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Here are a few more related posts from this blog about healthy eating:

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