Grilling Fruits: A Sweet Addition to Your Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day is just around the corner, signaling the unofficial start of summer and, of course, BBQ season. While we all love the classics—burgers, hot dogs, and ribs—why not add a twist to your grilling menu this year? Grilled fruits are a delightful, healthy addition to any BBQ, bringing a burst of flavor and a hint of natural sweetness. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a backyard BBQ novice, here’s a guide to the best fruits for grilling this Memorial Day.

1. Pineapple: The Tropical Star

Pineapple is a grilling favorite for a reason. Its firm texture and natural sugars caramelize beautifully over the flames, creating a perfect blend of sweet and smoky.

How to Grill:

  • Slice the pineapple into rings or spears.
  • Brush lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Grill over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, until you see those lovely grill marks.

Serving Suggestion: Grilled pineapple pairs wonderfully with savory dishes like grilled chicken or pork. For a tropical treat, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of honey.

2. Peaches: A Southern Delight

Peaches are another top choice for the grill. Their juicy, tender flesh takes on a rich, smoky flavor when grilled, making them a standout addition to any BBQ spread.

How to Grill:

  • Halve the peaches and remove the pits.
  • Brush the cut sides with a bit of melted butter or oil.
  • Place cut side down on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and slightly charred.

Serving Suggestion: Grilled peaches are fantastic on their own or as a dessert topped with whipped cream or Greek yogurt. They also make a great addition to salads with arugula, goat cheese, and a balsamic glaze.

3. Watermelon: The Unexpected Hit

Grilling watermelon might sound unusual, but the heat intensifies its sweetness and gives it a slightly smoky flavor that’s surprisingly delicious.

How to Grill:

  • Cut watermelon into thick wedges.
  • Brush lightly with olive oil.
  • Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, just enough to get grill marks and a bit of caramelization.

Serving Suggestion: Grilled watermelon can be served as a side dish or salad. Try it with a sprinkle of feta cheese, fresh mint, and a squeeze of lime juice for a refreshing and unique taste.

4. Apples: A Year-Round Favorite

Apples are sturdy enough to withstand the grill’s heat, and their natural sweetness makes them a versatile choice for both savory and sweet dishes.

How to Grill:

  • Core and slice apples into rings or wedges.
  • Toss with a bit of cinnamon and sugar for extra flavor.
  • Grill over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side until tender.

Serving Suggestion: Grilled apples are perfect for dessert, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or alongside grilled pork for a classic flavor combination.

5. Bananas: A Sweet Finish

Bananas are another excellent fruit to grill, offering a creamy texture and rich, sweet flavor that caramelizes beautifully.

How to Grill:

  • Leave the peel on and slice the banana in half lengthwise.
  • Place the cut side down on the grill for 2-3 minutes until the flesh is caramelized and tender.

Serving Suggestion: Grilled bananas are a treat with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or a scoop of ice cream. They’re also delicious in a s’mores-style dessert with graham crackers and marshmallows.

Tips for Grilling Fruits:

  • Prep and Oil: Lightly oil the grill grates or the fruit itself to prevent sticking.
  • Moderate Heat: Use medium heat to avoid burning the fruit’s natural sugars too quickly.
  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try different fruits and flavor combinations. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can also be grilled for unique additions to drinks and dishes.

This Memorial Day, impress your guests with these delicious and healthy grilled fruit options. They’re simple to prepare, add a vibrant splash of color to your BBQ spread, and most importantly, taste incredible. Happy grilling!