The BBQ season is well underway and some of us are already getting bored of the same old BBQ recipes and summer desserts. Ice-cream is undeniably a piece of heaven in disguise, but let’s face it, eat ice-creams all summer and you’ll find yourself in a real pickle when your jeans don’t zip up as easily come autumn. Now don’t get us wrong, we love summer food as much as the next guy, but we can all agree that as we welcome the second month of summer, we need to seek some spiced up healthier alternatives to keep our summer spirits high and our waist band measurements low throughout the season.
A typical BBQ more or less follows the same routine. You start out with some garlic bread and sausages, move on to burgers and/or meat and end with a refreshing bowl of fruit salad usually topped with your favourite ice-cream. Nothing wrong there, but things could be so much better if you pop your fruit on the barbeque as well. Not all fruit are suitable, some will make an amazing choice and some… well we’ll leave it at that. Here are the top 10 fruit you should be grilling on your barbeque this summer.
Number Ten: The Coconut
You buy a coconut, and after great effort, muscle power and multiple banging on the table you manage to crack it open. You have come farther than most and for that we congratulate you. After such hard work, the last thing you would want to do is wait even longer to enjoy the coconut you have struggled so long to open, but take our word for it, it is definitely worth the wait. Grill your coconut white side down until the white flesh turns golden brown, scrape the fruit away from the shell and dip in some melted chocolate if you feel like treating yourself — and believe us when we tell you, you will definitely want to treat yourself.
Number Nine: The Apple
If apple based pastries has taught us anything, it is that apples go through a divine transformation when put under heat, so you can imagine what the result would be if you put them on top of a grill. The grill softens and sweetens the fruit from the outside, making it even juicier and as they are fibrous fruit, apples can withstand the heat for longer and are pretty low maintenance while grilling — you can just throw them on and leave them there for about twenty minutes or so.
Number Eight: The Fig
While it is not the most popular of fruits, figs particularly excel when placed on a grill. If you’re looking for a unique post-barbeque-dessert experience, this is definitely a fruit you should try out. When selecting the figs, make sure they are ripe but firm unless you want them to melt and lose shape while grilling. Preparing them only takes a couple of minutes and as they are cooked over a low flame, you could leave them as the very last thing to grill, when the flames are slowly dying out.
Number Seven: The Strawberry
It seems to be the case that no matter what recipe you manage to squeeze the strawberry in to, you’re in for a delightful surprise. There are very few cases where adding strawberries to your recipe is a bad idea, and this is not one of them, but be warned! Their composition makes them very likely to melt and their size makes them highly susceptible to slipping in between the grid, so make sure to put them on a skewer before grilling. When grilled, the strawberry is commonly coated with a thin layer of balsamic vinegar and rolled around in sugar prior to being put on the grill, but you’re more than welcome to make things your own and try out something else.
Number Six: The Banana
Available all year round, there is no way we could leave this fruit out of our list; with recommendations to eat one every day due to the high nutritional benefits it contains, we felt the need to provide you with a new idea of how you could eat your daily dose of bananas. You can cut it in half length wise and grill away, or you can cut slits into the peel and grill it peel and all. If you really want to spice things up, consider brushing the banana with a layer of rum, honey and cinnamon mixture for that added kick.
Number Five: The Kiwi
An unlikely contender brings us to the middle of our list; kiwis are not the first thing that comes to mind when grilling your fruit, but then again neither does grilling your fruit, so might as well give it a try! Grilling kiwis makes the natural sugars caramelise the fruit which results in a wonderfully sweet end product. If you’d rather not serve them on their own, you could always make some quick coconut frosting on top. All you need is to whisk some coconut cream with powdered sugar and top onto a batch of grilled kiwis; your guests will thank you for it.
Number Four: The Watermelon
No summer BBQ is complete without a healthy dose of watermelon to help your body digest the food you have just eaten. While it may not be the first thing one thinks of when buying a watermelon, we think you should definitely give this a try. It does not have to necessarily serve as a dessert, as brushing it lightly with some olive oil over high heat for five minutes, followed by a light sprinkling of salt would it make a great starter. Either way, be careful when grilling watermelon as its high water content could cause the water to spew out and scald your skin; same thing applies when you’re about to eat it. We wouldn’t suggest you dig in before it has cooled down, but once it has, by all means, don’t let us stop you.
Number Three: The Peach
The delicacy of stone fruits makes them the perfect grill companion as once popped on the heat they will get juicier. There are very few summer desserts that compare to grilled peaches with ice-cream but in all honesty, grilled peaches also pair well with chicken and other meat, so it appears we have managed to find the jack of all trades of grilled summer fruit. Just lightly brush some unsalted butter over the top and cook with skin on until charred and softened; it should take you about four to five minutes on each side and the skin should peel off easily at that stage.
Number Two: Pineapple
The vast range of choices you have with this fruit is what secures its place in the runner up spot. If Hawaiian pizzas are not enough to set an example, we can confirm that your choice here is endless: sweet, savoury, a bit of both – there are millions of recipes that you can follow which will give you a satisfactory meal. If you don’t feel like buying it fresh you can always use canned pineapple, but those tend to have a higher water content, and let’s put it like it is, fresh is always better, so canned pineapple won’t really compare.
Number One: All of the Above
The great thing about grilling fruit on a barbeque is that you can easily grab pieces of your favourite fruit, put them on a skewer and have the best of both worlds. To make things even more fun when guests are around, cut up different fruits, place them in a separate bowl and let your guests create their own personal fusion of fruit.