A cup of spears supplies 70 per cent of your daily need for vitamin K (vital for healthy bones) and 17 per cent of your daily need for folate, a B vitamin key for circulation.
How to: Brush with oil. Cook directly on the grill or a piece of foil. Or cut on the diagonal and toss in a grill wok (see “Heat Seekers,” below).
This tough-skinned pumpkin is loaded with carotenes that may ward off age-related diseases (including cancer) and protect muscles against damage because of heavy exercise.
How to: Slice and cook on a grill, or skewer and grill roast (see “Heat Seekers”) with potatoes for a carb-packed side dish.
This summer staple supplies a wealth of carbs for restocking glycogen. It’s also a source of an orange-red carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which may protect against lung and other cancers.
How to: Pull husk back and remove the “silk.” Rewrap with husks and grill directly over the flames. Shuck and sprinkle the ears with Parmesan.
With its dark purple skin, eggplant is rich in antioxidants, such as nasunin, which studies show may protect brain cells from inflammation.
How to: Cut into thick slices, brush with oil, and grill directly on the grates. Grill thinner Japanese varieties whole.
Onions are a major source of quercetin, a phytonutrient shown to support immune health in runners, who are more susceptible to illness after heavy exercise.
How to: Chop into wedges, brush with oil, and cook directly on the grill. (Also, try grill-roasting a head of garlic – an onion relative – until soft, then spread on bread.)
With their eye-catching colours, capsicums pack anti-inflammatory nutrients that offer protection to skin and immune cells. They take on a smoky flavour when grilled.
How to: Slice and grill directly over the flames. Add to sandwiches.
This lettuce’s crisp, vitamin A–rich leaves hold up well to a hot grill. It’s also a good source of vitamins C and K.
How to: Cut a whole head lengthwise into quarters, brush with oil, and grill until browned on all sides, turning every minute or two. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Yellow squash and zucchini contain potassium and vitamin C, which help improve heart health. They also contain fibre that supports healthy intestinal bacterial growth.
How to: Slice zucchini lengthwise and leave squash whole, brush with oil, and cook directly on the grill.
It’s not summer without vine-ripe red tomatoes. These beauties are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that’s a potent cancer fighter, especially in men with a family history of prostate cancer.
How to: Cut firm tomatoes in half, sprinkle with fresh herbs, and grill on a plank without turning.
Best ways to fire up a healthy meal
Brush vegetables with oil (to prevent sticking) and place directly above the flames or charcoal. This high-heat, quick-cooking method allows natural sugars to caramelise, while preserving the bright colours, crisp texture, and vitamin and mineral content.
Place vegetables around the edges of the grate (so they are not directly above the hottest flames) and close the lid. The heat builds up and roasts the veggies without charring. It’s ideal for carrots, beets, and potatoes, which take longer to cook (about 15 to 30 minutes).
This method uses a grill wok, which looks like a traditional wok with small holes. It goes directly over the hot flames, allowing small vegetable chunks to cook quickly without charring while still picking up that great grilled flavour. Toss with a marinade for extra zing.
Often made of cedar or hickory, grill planks provide a solid surface for cooking delicate vegetables (butternut squash, tomatoes) that fall apart on the grill. Soaking the plank first keeps the wood from charring and infuses the vegetables with smoky flavour.