Grilling fruits and vegetables is relatively easy – they cook way quicker compared to meat plus you could easily tell when they’re ready from the grill just by looking at them. However, if you want the most out of your grilled vegetables in terms of flavor and nutrition, there are certain mistakes that a lot of people make that you should avoid.
Here are the top 5 most common mistakes when grilling fruits and vegetables:
1. Not preparing vegetables into workable pieces
One of the most common mistakes when grilling fruits and vegetables is not preparing them into workable pieces for the grill. Don’t just place them there whole – fresh produce need to be cut, peeled or sliced in preparation for grilling so that they can be cooked evenly. Unless you’re using a grill basket for your veggies, make sure they’re the right size for your grill grates – not too small to fall through the grates, but not too big that it would be hard to be cooked through.
2. Lack of preparation
Like meat needs to be thawed and seasoned in preparation for grilling, fruits and vegetables require the same process. What most people do is peel and slice fresh produce then throw them on the grill. This results to an unevenly-cooked and flavorless dish. Boil or steam harder vegetables like carrots and potatoes for a few minutes before grilling in order to cook evenly. After preparing fresh produce into workable pieces, season with salt and pepper or any seasoning of your choice before cooking on the grill.
3. Using too much oil
Oil or cooking spray is used to avoid food from sticking to the grates. Some people slather veggies with oil while on the grill thinking that they would cook much quicker, but this just depletes its nutrients. Exposing oil to high heat results to a smoke that can break down your fresh produce’s antioxidant content. If you don’t want overcooked vegetables with less nutritional value, use only a small amount of oil. If you can, oil your grates and not your food.
4. Leaving vegetables on the grill for too long
As mentioned, fresh produce don’t cook as long as meat does – they cook much quicker. If you’re grilling fruits or vegetables, be sure to keep a close eye if you don’t want them overcooked. Leaving veggies on the heat for too long will result to charring which is a sign that they have been exposed to harmful carcinogenic chemicals. Once vegetables are tender and grill marks appear, they’re good to go.
5. Grilling fruits or vegetables in open flame
When grilling fresh produce alongside meat, be sure to keep them away from the open flame. You don’t want charred and overcooked veggies, you just want a smoky flavor on them. Cook vegetables over medium high heat and only for a few minutes. You can also opt to use a grill basket to makes sure.
Be sure to steer clear from these common mistakes when grilling vegetables and you’ll be able to enjoy a fresh and nutritious meal!
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