A Sweet and Safe Grilling Season
Are you looking for something new to add onto the grill this year? Try grilling your favorite fruit! According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, more than 80% of the U.S. population does not eat the recommended amount of fruit. Grilling fruit can be a great way to include more fruit into your meal as a healthy snack, side, or dessert. From peaches and watermelon to apples and pineapples, the possibilities are endless! Grilling fruit brings out its natural sweetness and locks in the flavor – yum! This summer, use your creativity by adding something new to the grill, and be sure to follow the FightBAC™ principles to avoid cross-contamination and foodborne illness. Keep reading to learn more.
Clean: Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops before beginning preparation. Wash fruit under clean, running water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Rub firm-skinned fruit with a clean vegetable brush.
Separate: Always keep fruit separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood items; use separate grocery bags and cutting boards. Pay attention to utensils and do not use the same tongs on your grilled fruit as you used for raw meat or poultry. Never place grilled fruit on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood items.
Cook: Grilled fruit does not have a safe minimum internal temperature like meat, poultry, and seafood, but different fruits will have different cooking (or grilling) times. To cook more evenly, cut fruit into smaller pieces and use medium to low grill temperature to avoid burning. Be careful – due to the high-water content of many fruits, they can become very hot when grilled, let them cool for a few minutes before diving in.
Chill: After the meal, handle leftovers safely to prevent foodborne illness. Never let grilled fruit sit at room temperature for more than two hours before refrigerating or freezing, and not more than one hour if the temperature is 90°F or above. Leftovers? Divide into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator and consume leftovers within 3-4 days and reheat to 165°F before eating.
Written by: Katie McGill, Extension Agent – Better Living for Texans, Brazos County
Content Source: 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and The Core Four Practices, FightBac.org
Recipe of the Month – Grilled Peaches
Grilling fruit brings out its sweetness and is an awesome way to include more fruits into your meal as a sweet treat. You can grill pineapples with pork, cantaloupes as a kabob, and bananas as a snack.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium peaches, pitted and cut in half
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons slivered almonds
- Heat grill. Brush peaches with olive oil and place cut-side down on the grill. Grill for 4 minutes.
- Remove peaches and place on a serving dish. Top each half with ¼ cup of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of almonds. Note: If you do not have access to a grill, this can be done in the broiler or on a griddle.
Nutrients Per Serving: 140 calories, 6g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 13g total sugar, 0g added sugar, and 8g protein.
Recipe from Shirley Sears, North Region Project Specialist – Better Living for Texans