6 Powerhouse Vegetables to Add to Your Grill

Freshly grilled asparagus

With summer around the corner, the wealth of glorious veggies just waiting to be grilled up becomes abundant. We're not talking the usual summer standbys like peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms – we're going a step further, grilling vegetables that you haven't necessarily thought of grilling up…until now. Impress your friends and family with this powerhouse list of absolutely delicious recipes.

This summer, 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 both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

1. Grilled Asparagus

How to Grill Asparagus:

Remove the hard ends of the asparagus. They'll usually just snap right off in the appropriate place or you can use a knife to cut them evenly. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill just a few minutes until barely tender. Remove from the grill and dress with lemon juice and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, optional.

Why You Should Grill Asparagus:

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 Sweet Potatoes:

Boil sweet potatoes, skins on, until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Slice into disks or thin wedges carefully to keep them intact, 1-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Grill on each side to form grill marks.

Why You Should Grill Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids that help stabilize blood sugar and boost your metabolism. They are tied in first place with carrots for beta-carotene content, which is great for warding off chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties so are also good for fighting diseases related to inflammation like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Grilled Brussels Sprouts 

How to Grill Brussel Sprouts:

Remove the stem and cut in half. Boil or steam for three minutes. Drain and pat dry. Combine olive oil, tamari sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium to a large bowl. Toss in Brussels sprouts and stir to coat. Skewer sprouts and grill until browned on each side.

Why You Should Grill Brussel Sprouts:

Brussels sprouts are known for their cancer prevention qualities related to four specific glucosinolates including glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, and gluonasturtlian.

4. Cabbage

How to Grill Cabbage:

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 Grill Cabbage:

Cabbage provides special cholesterol-lowering qualities. It's also a Brassica vegetable along with cauliflower, kale, and broccoli so it has loads of fiber, as well as cancer protection. Purple cabbage is chock full of the antioxidant anthocyanins, found in blue, purple, and red plants.

Read More:  6 Healthy Fruits and Vegetables to Eat Today

5. Grilled Cauliflower

How to Grill Cauliflower:

Remove the hard stem and slice the full head into cauliflower steaks. Dress with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Place on the grill, close the lid, and let roast for 15 minutes.

Why You Should Grill Cauliflower:

Cauliflower is loaded with vitamins C, K, and folate. It provides detox support and anti-inflammatory response.

6. Romaine Lettuce

How to Grill Romaine Lettuce:

Remove any brown or loose leaves, and cut about an inch of the dark green leaves off of one end and shave the brown stem off the other. Make sure the stem is still intact so that the leaves stay together on the grill. Prepare a vinaigrette using your favorite dressing or mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Brush the romaine hearts with the vinaigrette. Place on the grill on high heat. Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done. Serve as is or chop up and add to a salad (try a yummy grilled caesar salad!).

Why You Should:

Romaine is fully loaded with nutrition. It is not only high in many minerals including calcium and iron but also contains high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin K as well as a good amount of protein and omega-3 fats.

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Sara Novak specializes in health and food policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger, HowStuffWorks.com, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. After graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Sara headed up the communication efforts for a national scholarship program in Washington, D.C. Sara has also handled copy writing and public relations for a global environmental consulting firm. She loves fiddling with healthful recipes, traveling, and exploring life atop her yoga mat. Today, Sara lives in Charleston with her husband and two lovable cocker spaniels, Madison and Bella.