Grilling Vegetables Marinade

The healthiest part of a meal, the veggies, is often overlooked. Flame kissed with a slightly smoky flavor, marinaded grilled vegetables can become the best part of the grilling experience. Delicious! You know what vegetables you like but how can you add flavor to them? You marinade them of course! Here are some tips and marinade recipes to help you add more vegetables to your grill.

Most vegetables cook evenly and are less likely to stick if marinated first. A marinade is made of three main components; an oil, an acid, and a seasoning blend. Although any type of oil can be used as the base of a marinade, using a virgin olive or a coconut oil is better from a health standpoint. A small amount of oil is necessary to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the grill.

The marinade must also contain either an acidic component such as lemon or lime juice or wine vinegar, or, an enzymatic blend made from foods such as pineapple or papaya. Depending on individual preferences, spices or herbs are mixed with these to flavor the food. Since there are so many possible combinations, every dish can boast its own marinade.

A marinade will naturally draw the water from vegetables. Therefore, those with less natural water seem to work particularly well when the veggies are going to soak for a length of time. For instance, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, onions, peppers, mushrooms and cauliflower can be marinated for quite a while.

Vegetables with high water content, such as tomatoes, need to marinate separately or be added shortly before use to prevent a dilution of the marinade.

A marinade can be mixed from any spices that suit your taste. For instance, if you have a liking for Thai food, the following marinade will give you that flavor but without excessive sodium, and can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

Now, let’s start putting what you learned into practice with these vegetable marinades for tasty grilled veggie side dishes.

Soy Orange Vegetable Marinade

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of rice vinegar
1/3 cup of water
2 teaspoons of low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 Tablespoon of minced ginger
2 Tablespoons of unsweetened orange juice

Good vegetables for this marinade would be squash, peppers, carrots and cauliflower. If they are going to be grilled, allow vegetables to soak for an hour. Another option would be to simmer the vegetables in a saucepan with the marinade for about 5 minutes.

Apple Cider Mustard Vegetable Marinade

Ingredients:

½ c. canola oil
½ c. olive oil
3 c. apple cider vinegar
½ c. granulated sugar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. salt
Black pepper to taste

For an interesting, somewhat sweeter blend of spices, mix these together and let the vegetables soak overnight. Suggested vegetables for this marinade are hearts of palm or artichoke, carrot slices, zucchini, cucumbers, celery and whole, small tomatoes.

If you want to add more healthy items to your meal, these grilling vegetable marinades will help you add flavor and nutrition. Just select your favorite vegetable combinations, let them sit in a marinade and grill your way to a delicious meal!

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