With summer comes a wealth of glorious veggies just waiting to be grilled. We’re not talking summer standbys like peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms—we’re going a step further, grilling vegetables that you haven’t necessarily thought of grilling … until now.
Consider hitting up the farmers market (or even better, your backyard garden) for some of these delicious eats. You’ll take grilling vegetables to new heights for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
How to Grill. Remove the hard ends of the asparagus. They’ll usually just snap right off in the appropriate place or you can use a knife. Paint with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill just a few minutes. Remove from the grill and dress with lemon juice and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Why You Should. Asparagus is a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and harmful compounds like free radicals.
2. Sweet Potatoes
How to Grill. Boil sweet potatoes, skins on, until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Carefully slice into disks or thin wedges to keep them intact, 1-inch thick. Paint with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Grill on each side to form grill marks.
Why You Should. Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids that help stabilize blood sugar and your metabolism. They’re also tied in first place with carrots for beta-carotene, which is great for fighting chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. They are good for fighting diseases related to inflammation like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Brussels Sprouts
How to Grill. Remove the stem and cut in half. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Combine olive oil, tamari sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss in a bowl with Brussels sprouts. Skewer sprouts and grill until charred on each side.
Why You Should. Brussels sprouts are known for their cancer preventing qualities related to four specific glucosinalates including glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, and gluonasturtlian.
How to Grill. Quarter the cabbage and remove any tough ends. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Keep the cabbage sections facing up so that the lemon juice doesn’t leak out and then place the sections on the cool part of the grill. Close the lid and let them roast on the grill for about 45 minutes, or until the tops are a little charred and the inside leaves are nice and tender.
Why You Should. Cabbage provides special cholesterol lowering qualities. It’s also a Brassica vegetable along with cauliflower, kale, and broccoli so it has loads of fiber. Purple cabbage is chock full of the antioxidant anthocyanins, found in blue, purple, and red plants.
How to Grill. Remove the hard stem and slice the full head into cauliflower steaks. Dress with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, cumin, and chili power. Close the lid and let roast for 15 minutes.
Why You Should. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamins C, K, and folate. It provides detox support and an anti-inflammatory response.
Sara Novak is a journalist who specializes in health and food policy. This article was originally published on NaturallySavvy.com