Grill some fruits and veggies this summer
Food cooked outdoors on a grill is a welcome sign of summer, and grilling delicious and colorful fruits or vegetables is easy with these ideas. Watch the grilled food carefully because the temperature of grills can vary.
Cut vegetables into large, flat pieces of even thickness throughout each slice. You can cut them into smaller pieces after cooking.
Brush fruit and vegetables with oil to reduce sticking. Lay pieces in a single layer cookie sheet, brush with oil and season. Turn them over and repeat on the other side.
Use marinades or seasonings to add flavor. Be aware that sugar-based marinades cause the exterior of the vegetables to blacken.
Use dry and moist heat to cook vegetables. Grill until both sides have grill marks. Remove from grill and place in a bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap to steam the vegetables for 5 to 10 minutes. This will finish the cooking without drying them.
Here’s a guide for grilling some fruits and vegetables this summer.
Asparagus: Snap off tough end of spears. Roll spears in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes; turn every few minutes until tender.
Corn: Leave the stem and husk on. Pull back the husk, remove the silk, and soak for 15 minutes in cold water. Carefully pull the husk back over the corn. Grill 10 to 20 minutes; turn several times.
Peppers: Cut off top and bottom. Remove core and seeds and cut in half from top to bottom. Brush with oil. Grill 6 to 10 minutes skin side down, then 3 to 4 minutes on the other side.
Squash/zucchini: Cut into two to three slices of even thickness. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill 5 to 8 minutes per side.
Apples, pears: Sprinkle wedges with cinnamon and brown sugar. Grill 5 minutes per side.
Bananas (whole): Brush with oil. Grill 5 minutes per side (until golden).
Grilling with a food thermometer
Meat needs to reach a safe internal temperature to prevent you and your family from getting sick. Although checking the color of the meat is a good start, it does not guarantee it is safe to eat.
The only way to know for sure is to use a food thermometer. You can purchase an instant read food thermometer for around $5 at most stores that sell kitchen gadgets.
Instant read thermometers measure the temperature through a little indentation that is about one inch from the tip. This makes it necessary to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, which may be from the side such as with a hamburger.
Proper internal temperatures for cooked meats are:
*Ground beef, 160°F
*Steaks, 145°F-160°F from rare to well done
A small investment in a food thermometer is worth your family staying healthy. Enjoy your favorite grilled meat knowing it is now safe from bacteria.
Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu /foodwise/newsletter-post ings.”
For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, EFNEP/FNP Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 116 1/1 1st St. E, Jamestown, ND., 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu. edu.