Fruits!! One of the most versatile, healthy food group. You can use it in baking, stewing, blanching or grilling to create healthy dessert recipes. Grilling fruit is one such option adding a new definition to your eating routine.
We all do know about fruits, its nature, seasonal availability, and benefits. In botanical terms, fruits are the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from ovary after flowering.
These are the edible portions adding variety, taste, aesthetic appeal and nutritional content to our daily meals. These are high in moisture content, soft textured, pulpy and can be sweet or sour in taste.
Though fruits and vegetables are similar with respect to chemical composition, harvesting, and processing, the major difference lies in the usage. The plant portions that cover seeds or consumed as desserts are considered as fruits whereas vegetables are generally eaten with main courses.
The significance of fruits in our diet
Fruits are considered as Protective foods as are a rich source of minerals and vitamins,
- Helping in preventing deficiency diseases like pellagra, beriberi, scurvy, etc.
- Help in strengthening the immunity to fight against infections
- Keeping away metabolic disorders
- Maintaining regular metabolic processes
According to the World Health Organization, on an average, an adult should consume 400 gram of total fruits and servings of fruits and vegetables with 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables. But still, its consumption is less and according to India’s Phytonutrient Report, only 9 percent of our total calories are contributed by fruits and vegetables.
The reasons can be multiple ranging from busy schedule, monotony, allergies or short storage life. Assuring healthy preservation techniques help in easy-to-consume, retaining nutrient content to a good extent, all-year-round-availability and best part, adding variety in your meals.
Regular uses of fruits
Fruit is a food group contributing to nutrition, health, and therapeutic advantages. It is the potential of serving numerous functions.
- As whole fruits- In form of salads, mid-morning or mid-evening snack
- Desserts and confectionaries- As cakes, pastries, fruit cream, ice cream and fruit yogurt
- Natural dyes- Color is extracted from fruits mulberry, cherry, and walnut
- As compost- Fruit which got spoilt or inedible portion being discarded away can be turned into manure for healthy soil fertilization and organic growth of food.
- Home furnishings like doormats, tiles, insulations, brushes, etc- extracted from the fibrous covering of fruits like coconut, plantain, and banana.
Now moving to another aspect- Grilling method of cooking. There is a reason to bring up this specific type of cooking to suggest you that why and how we can add vibrant colors in our daily diet preventing monotony and extracting health benefits as well.
Grilling is one form of cooking where food is subjected to direct, dry heat, sometimes above or below food. This technique gives a characteristic color, smoky flavor with crisp texture outside and tenders inside.
The grilling can be done on many mediums depending upon availability and convenience like the charcoal grill, gas grill (using natural gas or propane), smokers in which food is slowly cooked, with comparatively, longer time.
The electric grill is the most common way to grill as is easy to use, comfortable to place in a confined space, do not require fuel and ensure quick and even cooking.
Grilling of fruits
As fruits have a high moisture content, grilling helps in removing the moisture and increasing its shelf life compared to the raw fruits.
The nutritional value also remains intact as no medium of oil and water is employed that might cause leaching of water/fat-soluble nutrients.
Grilling technique is also an appealing way to add variety to our daily fruit intake.
Imparting scrumptious, smoky flavor to the colorful fruits, adding excitement and curiosity among all age groups to try to out something new.
Health benefits of grilled fruits
Consumption of grilled fruits also have numerous health benefits as well
- It is the healthiest food option for grilling as compared to meat products as the probability of formation of cancer-causing compounds- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), is nil.
- These grilled fruits are low in calorie and filling in nature attributed to high fiber content and minimal use of oil.
- Efficient bioavailability of nutrients- Heat treatment causes the removal of water and breakage of the tough cell wall. It results in the better availability of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients conferring to-
- Prevention of lifestyle disorders like hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
- Improving the digestive health as rich in fibers. Therefore, helpful in curing ailments like constipation.
- Grilling increases the alkaline nature of fruits leading to the better mobilization of digestive juices and bile juice, that assist in efficient digestion.
- Better availability of phytonutrients which plays a vital role acting as antioxidants. Thus, helping in the removal of free radicals and consequently, in detoxification and ultimately, reducing the risk of threatening diseases like cancer.
Get to know more creative ideas and guidance from our certified nutrition experts.
Tips to consider while grilling fruits
Grilling technique is the best way that brings out the flavor and taste of as many as fruits and varieties you wish to try. Just certain tips can help you in better, mess-free proceedings.
- Opt for ripe but firm-textured fruits and avoid soft fruits as conversion of fruit sugar might leads to a mushy texture.
- If possible, grill fruits with intact skin should be employed that helps in better retention of phytonutrients along with the intact grilled product.
- Put the grill on medium-high flame for 10 minutes prior to grilling to avoid charring and pleasant texture and flavor.
- Cut large pieces to ensure even grilling and preventing from falling as well. For small pieces, grilling pan or skewers can be employed.
Recipe: Grilled fruit kebabs with yogurt drizzle
Pineapple- 8 big pieces (1 inch)
Mango- 8 cubes (1 inch)
Apple- 4 cubes (1 inch)
Yogurt- 0.75 cup
Honey- 1.5 tbsp
Lime juice- 1 tbsp
Finely chopped mint leaves- 1.5 tbsp
Method of Preparation
- Place fruits alternately on skewers with pineapple and mango on the sides and apple piece in middle.
- Place the skewers on the preheated grill on medium heat, cooking for 2-4 minutes, flipping after every 30 minutes.
- For sauce preparation, mix well yogurt, honey, lime juice and mint leaves.
- Serve crisp and juicy grilled fruits with yogurt sauce on the side.
This recipe is just a glimpse of how you can use your own creativity making combinations, different sauces and toppings. You can add to desserts with cheese, making a salad. You can now, indulge in guilt-free relishing of desserts prepared with grilled fruits and be the proud owner of innovation and appreciation. This will help in losing weight along with its healthy maintenance.
For how long should fruits be grilled?
On an average, 3-5 minutes is sufficient for cooking of fruit sugar and conversion of a firm textured fruit to little brownish and tender product.
Which fruits can be grilled?
The fruit which is tender but firm in texture. Though, quick methods of cooking like roasting, grilling and sauteing should be employed to avoid mushiness and retain nutrient content.
What fruits can be used for desserts preparation?
Due to fruit sugar caramelization, fruits like banana, peach, watermelon, mango, etc can be used.
What can other recipes be prepared with grilled fruits?
Variety of dishes can be prepared to incorporate grilled fruits like salads, skewers, sundaes and even grilled fruits with dip.