Grilling vegetables and fruits (barbecue) is one of the most useful ways of thermal processing of food. Why is it necessary to apply high temperatures to fruits and vegetables? After all, it seems that they are already “asking in the mouth”? The fact is that heat treatment of products makes plant food safe: it destroys pathogenic bacteria, destroys pesticides and nitrates, preservatives, etc. And it is easily digestible, assimilated, deploying molecular chains similar to the process of digestion in the human stomach – and thus saves energy that is spent body for digestion and heating (food and) the body – this is especially important in the cold season. In addition, today many fruits and vegetables are not only grown artificially, in greenhouse conditions, but are literally stuffed with various chemicals used at all stages of cultivation and transportation.
This is necessary because industrial agricultural soils were depleted at the beginning of the 20th century, and without the introduction of chemicals, it is simply impossible to grow anything now. Yes, the consumer wants to buy beautiful, shiny and bright-colored vegetables and fruits, and not faded and with “barrels” (natural). Therefore, all this “periodic table” and “beauty” is therefore better not to be consumed in its raw form, but (in addition to removing the peel!) Thermally process, at least a little. If we are not talking about organic products, but about actually it is not clear where they came from and how they were grown and how they were preserved, then a short heat treatment is a reasonable security measure. After all, after all, what our body needs is the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, not their beautiful appearance, not the peel, and not the legends about the miraculous nutritional value of raw plant foods. Which is sometimes lower than that of the heat-treated. A surprising fact for many people is that proper heat treatment – such as, for example, grilling or wok-frying – not only has very little effect on the nutritional properties of some vegetables, but even increases them in some products! So, for example, grilled tomatoes, carrots, beets, asparagus and some other vegetables are more bioavailable than raw ones – it’s hard to believe, but this is scientific data, including those obtained by American scientists. The healthiest and most gentle ways to cook vegan food are: 1. Grilling 2. Wok frying 3. “Dry” baking (on the wire rack) These cooking methods are much healthier than frying in oil, boiling in water or broth, stewing, roasting in a pot, and even steaming, etc. The gentle mode of these recipes is due to the fact that: 1) food is cooked quickly, and time is the main factor in the loss of nutrients during heat treatment; 2) water-soluble vitamins and nutrients are preserved – there is no contact with water; 3) fat-soluble vitamins are also preserved, because little or no contact with hot oil. But at the same time, each of these useful cooking methods has its own unique pros and cons:
- The grill requires more attention, it is “organizationally” more difficult, but the food turns out to be very tasty. If you make a grill in the country, then there is no problem, but in the apartment you can use a grill pan. Grilling may be the healthiest and fastest, but far from the fastest way to cook.
- Dry baking (on a wire rack) in the oven is a little more insipid, because. does not allow the use of sauces (for example, soy) and oils in the cooking process – but they can be added to the finished product. Roasting also takes a little longer (the warmer the oven is before adding food, the more nutrients are retained), so this is a slow cooking method – but also widely available.
Such processing methods not only facilitate the digestion of food in the stomach, but also allow you to save almost all the beneficial substances of vegetables: it will depend on the product, but most often with the exception of small losses of vitamin C and a small amount of B vitamins. But as we know, and the other are easily replenished from any standard vitamin complex! So, as we can see, grilling is perhaps the most attractive way to cook food sparingly. At the same time, non-vegetarian, meat grill, the most popular in the US – i.e. grilling meat, poultry, less often fish and seafood is a very bad “gift” to health, given the noticeable (up to 60%) increase in the risk of cancer with regular use of such food, not to mention its extremely high calorie content (fried something “on barbie” after all, usually not chicken breasts, but something “juicier” …). Two-nil in favor of vegetarianism: scientists have found that grilled meat products are full of carcinogens: and these are, first of all, 1) the so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 2) heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Fortunately, this whole mostly purely “American” problem hardly affects us: after all, we are only interested in grilled vegetables and fruits! They do not contain carcinogens, provided that they are not touched by fire, they do not burn on you, and you do not pour gravy on them: then you can fry in peace. By the way, if an ordinary grill – on charcoal or gas – seems like a cumbersome adventure to you, and there is especially nowhere to put it, then you can buy a cast-iron “grill pan”: although it will not allow you to bake vegetables “with smoke”, it retains all the benefits of cooking grilled (no oil needed). Such pans, including cast iron ones, are applicable on gas and other stoves (depending on the type and material of the pan – ask when buying). Question: Is it possible to make cooking vegetables and fruits on a grill oven in a frying pan EVEN more gentle and healthy?
Answer: yes, it turns out it is possible! Rules for a healthy grill – the same applies to “dry” roasting (on the grate of our favorite oven): 1. The most enjoyable rule: Eat MORE! Eating at least 3 (preferably five) servings of fruits and vegetables a day has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and certain types of cancer. In addition, it is hot dishes from vegetables and fruits that establish ideal digestion. Instead of pasta, rice, potatoes – it is more useful to eat more vegetables from the grill from the oven + soy products (protein). So let’s forget about the “garnish”! Fruits can also be grilled (try peaches or apricots from the grill – it’s unforgettable!), And in the oven (including apples). Combined with spicy and sweet sauces (like Worcestershire) and gravies, jams, baked fruit is fantastic! What vegetables are good for grilling:
- Bell pepper
- eggplant, etc.
- Pears, etc.
2. Marinate… The marinade before grilling can be lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, onion, other spices, olive oil, etc., including combinations. Marinades allow you to make food taste brighter, and also guarantee against the formation of carcinogens in the process of cooking food on the grill (the use of marinade allows even meat-eaters to reduce the risk of grilling carcinogenicity up to 99%, not to mention vegetables). At the same time, if you marinate vegetables for more than 30 minutes, put them in the refrigerator. Usually 30-60 min. marinating for fruits and vegetables is enough. 3. Faster heat treatment – more nutrients are retained. Therefore, preheat the grill oven well before putting food on them. Most grilled vegetables and fruits are prepared in 3-5 minutes! 4. Turn the vegetables on the grill oven often – evenly, from all sides, cooked food is tastier and healthier. But fruits (and soft vegetables) should be turned over smaller, and carefully – so as not to spoil the appearance of the dish. 5. Use the correct grilling methods and the correct size of the pieces. So, large vegetables and fruits are good on the grill in halves or large slices. Whole vegetables or fruits can be roasted on a spit (many people have a chicken roaster in the oven) or on an oven rack. Finely chopped vegetables and fruits – which can fall through the grill grate – are best baked in the oven in a special “sleeve” (thermal bag) or in foil or on a baking sheet. Recipe: Grilled Eggplant + Quinoa
Ingredients (for 6 snack servings):
- 3-4 medium sized eggplants;
- Sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon)
- Thyme and or oregano
- 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed)
- Half an onion (finely chopped)
- Fresh basil, dill, other herbs – to taste (finely chopped)
- Red wine vinegar – 2 tablespoons
- Honey or agave nectar – 2 tbsp. spoons
- 13 cups pine nuts (slightly toasted in a dry frying pan)
Preparation: Cut the eggplant into large slices (4 cm thick). Sprinkle with sea salt and let sit for 30 minutes (water will come out). Drain off any moisture that has come out. Pour the quinoa into a saucepan, add a pinch of salt and 34 cups of water, bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir with a fork, close again and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Heat the grill (or grill pan, or oven). Squeeze eggplant through kitchen towel or paper towels (to remove even more moisture). Rub both sides with olive oil and grill for about 5 minutes on one side and the other – until dark streaks appear and are soft. (If desired, you can cover the grill with a lid or leave the oven open). Get the slices on a plate, sprinkle with olive oil and spices, herbs to taste. Mix the cooked quinoa with chopped onions, the rest of herbs and spices, olive oil, vinegar, honey or agave nectar, add a large pinch of salt and black pepper and stir. Arrange the eggplant and quinoa on a serving platter (or flat plates), and sprinkle with the slightly toasted pine nuts. Ready! Recipe: Grilled Peaches
One of the most unusual dishes that you can cook on a grilled pan-grill is a baked fruit dessert. Peaches, apricots, apples, mangoes are best for grilling, pears are a little worse. In the “sleeve” of the foil, you can also slightly grill berries: red currants, cherries, cherries, gooseberries, etc. – to get a delicious dressing for ice cream, yogurt smoothie and other desserts. To grill the peaches: 1. Cut the peaches into 6 segments each. 2. In a small bowl, marinate the peach slices in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a pinch of salt. 3. Heat the grill (or grill pan) to medium temperature and wipe with a small amount of oil that is neutral in taste (for example, use soybean oil – it is also stable even at high temperatures: it does not smoke and does not form carcinogens). 4. Grill the peach slices for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do not turn the pieces all the time – you can only carefully look under the bottom towards the end of the set time. 5. Cool cooked peaches to room temperature on a platter. 6. While cooling, make ice cream, whipped cream, honey, maple syrup, or other peach dressing. 7. You can also sprinkle them with freshly squeezed lemon juice (filter so that it is pitted). 8. Some people like to season such peaches with a mild pesto sauce (sold ready-made). 9. Such peaches are also combined with pieces of cheese (brie, mozzarella, camembert, etc.), with sweet peppers, arugula, and other products. Experiment!