All About Grilling Vegetables!
Best Way To Grill Healthy Vegetables – Oil & Seasonings !
Grilled vegetables are one of the easiest and the yummiest foods you can make. Highly nutritious with great flavor, these veggies are very versatile. Pair them with your choice of grilled meat, toss them with salads and pasta, or serve them as a side dish. Whether you like veggies or not, grilling them will make them your instant favorites for sure!
Grilled veggies are very healthy. They do not require a lot of oil to make, nor do they need to be cooked for very long which retains all their nutrition. Vegetables that can be eaten raw, like carrots, onions, tomatoes, and cucumber do not need to be fully cooked on the grill. Just grill them long enough to absorb the smokey flavor and get a nice char and you’re good to go.
You can grill any vegetable on a barbecue; there are no limitations. From the classic veggies, like potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers, to even the delicate leafy vegetables, like spinach and lettuce, all of them are good for the grill. Of course, some vegetables are easier to grill than others, like zucchini and potatoes, since they are firm and solid. But that doesn’t rule out the more delicate ones. With the right technique, you can get those leafy vegetables and fruits charred just right.
The basic logic behind grilling is to have big pieces of vegetables with large surface areas. It is always a good idea to grill them whole to retain that amazing smokey flavor. Cutting them in large chunks works too. Round or long slices of the vegetables are also a good way to grill. A simple formula to remember while grilling is:
More surface area = More flavor
Bigger pieces are easier to manage too, they don’t fall through the grates and cook just right. Although, if you do want smaller pieces, or are working with small sized veggies, skewers are your best friend.
Oiling the vegetables is an important step in the process of grilling. Lightly coat them with oil on all sides before placing them on the grill. This not only prevents the veggies from sticking to the grates, but also facilitates that beautiful browning and improves the flavor of the food. Using olive oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil work best when grilling. You may also oil the grates using half an onion speared on a fork to prevent the veggies from sticking. The acid in the onions removes the debris, while adding a subtle flavor to the food.
On the question of marinating, should you marinate vegetables before grilling them? The answer lies in how you like your veggies. If you want crisp and fresh tasting veggies, avoid marinating them, since the acid in the marinade breaks them down making them soggy. But if you like more flavorful veggies, marinating is the way to go. Some people even suggest marinating the vegetables after you’ve grilled them. Hot grilled vegetables absorb the flavors in the marinade much better than raw veggies.
For grilling veggies, place them on a hot grill and close the lid to create an oven like environment. Since vegetables cook faster, keep checking on them and move them around to ensure they do not burn. A two zone fire is a good idea while working with vegetables. The beauty of grilling vegetables is that you can choose how well cooked you want them to be – soft and mushy, or fresh and crunchy?
Don’t forget to season them with salt and pepper. This is not only easy, but tastes amazing! You can season your veggies before grilling them, or after. Just sprinkle some salt, freshly cracked pepper and toss! You can also add seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, herbs and chili flakes along with olive oil to add more flavor.
Not a fan of the old classic way of serving grilled vegetables? Make them more exciting by adding some toppings or sauces. Top the grilled veggies with some parmesan cheese, cream cheese, feta cheese or goat cheese. If you are more health conscious, use greek yogurt, hummus, tzatziki or homemade pesto instead. Drizzle sauces like balsamic glaze, chili oil, salsa, garlicky chimichurri sauce, or a simple lemon herb garlic dressing, to make the veggies more flavorful.
Grilling can be so much fun! Not only is it a healthy way of eating vegetables, but it also is a fun outdoor group activity that can bring your close ones together. So why not indulge in it some more.
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Get Outside and Get Grilling!