Vegetables are vital to good health and the fresher they are, the more of their nutritional values they will maintain. Vegetables also taste better when they are fresh. Grilled vegetables can be the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal or an accompaniment to a main dish.
When grilling, you will get the best results using vegetables with low water content. Examples include mushrooms, onions, cabbage, asparagus, and bell peppers. You can grill these vegetables wrapped in tinfoil or directly on the grill.
If you wrap the vegetables in a tin foil sachet, you do not need to add oil or fats. If you boil your vegetables, you will lose a lot of their nutritional value in the water. If you fry them, they will soak up a lot of fat. Grilling is the healthiest way to prepare vegetables and it is easy to do.
Benefits of Vegetables
Eating a diet, which is rich in vegetables and fruits, can reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Eating vegetables can also protect against certain types of cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. Orange and dark green vegetables are higher in cancer-preventing antioxidants and nutrients than other types. Vegetables are also low in calories and fat but high in fiber, so they can help you to lose weight by making you feel full.
Nutrients found in vegetables include dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate (folic acid) and vitamin C. Potassium helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Dietary fiber helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and is important for good bowel function.
Folate helps to produce red blood cells. Vitamin A looks after the eyes and skin. Vitamin E protects essential acids and vitamin A from cell oxidization. Vitamin C keeps the gums and teeth healthy, aids in iron absorption and heals wounds.
Grilled Vegetable Recipe
Choose a selection of vegetables that grill well, such as button mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, corn on the cob, summer squash, and tomatoes. Clean and trim them, cutting each one into halves or thick slices. Parboil some small, waxy potatoes until they are tender. Soak the corn on the cob for an hour, having removed the silks but leaving the husks on.
Brush the vegetables lightly with oil, if you do not plan to use foil, so they will not stick to the grill. Alternatively, brush them with a marinade. Prepare a medium hot grill. Place the vegetables on the grill on skewers, in a foil pouch or directly on to the grill.
Denser vegetables such as potatoes and carrots take longer to cook, so add those first. Turn the vegetables as needed, brushing on more oil or marinade. When they can be easily pierced with a fork, they are ready to serve.
You can make a basic marinade by combining 1 part lemon juice with 2 parts olive oil and 1 peeled, crushed clove of garlic. You can make this a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator.
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