The following content is provided by Whole Foods Market. It does not reflect the work or opinions of the NBC Washington editorial staff. Click here to learn more about Whole Foods Market.
Trade classic cookout desserts like pie and cobbler for something different — grilled fruit. From peaches to watermelon, grilled fruit makes for a refreshing, smoky-sweet treat that’s simply irresistible. Not to mention, it looks stunning. What are the best fruits to grill? Consider stocking up on these four fresh fruits before your next backyard barbecue.
Why? Grilled peaches scream summer! Top them with ice cream for a sweet fix or serve them on their own. Use them for a salad course (or a main course) with our recipe for Grilled Peaches with Dandelion Greens and Ginger Dressing.
How? Slice clean peaches in half and remove the pits. Place cut-side down on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about five minutes or until light grill marks appear and the flesh is tender. If desired, flip and grill for another three minutes to caramelize the skin, too.
Why? Juicy watermelon is another harbinger of summer, and grilling infuses the moisture-rich fruit with a pleasant hint of smokiness. Try our recipe for Grilled Watermelon with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
How? Slice a watermelon into half-inch-thick pieces, then cut each piece into six evenly sized wedges. Place on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about one minute or until light grill marks appear. Flip and grill for another minute.
Why? Delicious paired with sweet (a drizzle of honey), spicy (a dusting of chile-lime salt) or a combination of sweet and savory (like our recipe for Grilled Pineapple with Balsamic Honey Glaze), grilled pineapple is endlessly versatile. The sturdy nature of pineapple makes it ideal for grilled fruit novices.
How? Peel a pineapple and slice into half-inch-thick rings. Place on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about three minutes or until light grill marks appear. Flip and grill for another three minutes.
Why? Not a fan of fuzzy peach peels? Try the same method with nectarines! Use the sweet and tender grilled stone fruits in cocktails, like our Smoky Nectarine Punch, or simply drizzled with honey and garnished with fresh blueberries for a sweet dessert.*
How? Slice clean nectarines in half and remove the pits. Place cut-side down on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about five minutes or until light grill marks appear and the flesh is tender. If desired, flip and grill for another three minutes to caramelize the skin, too.
Our Top Fruit Grilling Tips
- Start with quality fruit. Not only will you find a wide selection of organic produce in the Whole Foods Produce department, but our field inspectors personally visit farms to select the best-tasting fruits and vegetables at peak season.
- Opt for fruits that are naturally medium to firm in texture, medium to large in size, and just reaching ripeness. (In other words, it's probably best to skip overripe, itty-bitty raspberries that will melt right through the grates.) This way, the ingredients offer the ideal blend of sweetness and ability to stand up to the heat.
- If you're worried about losing any of your fruit to the flames, try grilling in a parchment-paper-lined foil packet rather than over an open flame.
- Clean your grill grates beforehand. Scrub with a grill brush or crumbled-up ball of foil then dampen a towel with oil and grease the spick-and-span grates with tongs for a nonstick surface. If you find you still have trouble with sticking, brush the fruit with a layer of a neutral-flavored oil, such as canola, too.
- Cook fruit over medium heat so the natural sugars get caramelized rather than scorched.
- If you don't have an outdoor grill, no worries — try the same strategy using a grill pan on your stove.
**While supplies last. Quantity limits apply. Quantities limited. No rain checks except where required by law.
Not only can Whole Foods Market help get your summer on (click here to see how), the market is heading to parks and camps this summer. Partnering with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, Whole Foods will provide free ice cream, BBQ, or boxed meals to summer camp kids, program registrants and DPR staff at special events and on key dates throughout the summer. Keep an eye out!