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By: Susan Irby
It’s no secret fresh fruits thrive in abundance during the summer months. The succulent sweetness of crisp and refreshing peaches, plums, figs and nectarines creates mouth-watering flavors and brings bright smiles to faces. Delicious and popular fruit recipes like cobblers and pies are often overloaded with high sugar, high fat and high carbs – a sure-fire way to sabotage the fit physique intense training brings. This summer season, fire up fruits on the grill for a lighter and sweeter appetizer, side dish or dessert.
Grilling fruits extracts the natural sugars for heightened flavor while still maintaining their nutrients. Fruits, in general, are low calorie, contain little to no fat, and have added nutrients like potassium, fiber and antioxidants found in vitamins A and C. While some may shy away from fresh fruits due to sugar and carbohydrate content, carbohydrates found in fresh fruits provide the body with energy and help stabilize blood glucose levels.
This month’s featured recipe is accented with a dollop of higher fat, sweet Italian mascarpone cheese, which is infused with vitamin C and flavor-rich lemon and orange zest. If keeping calories low and fat out is of high importance, substitute low fat or non-fat greek yogurt and sacrifice nothing in flavor and texture.
Fire-Grilled Nectarines with Citrus Mascarpone & Honey Drizzle
1. Spoon mascarpone into a small mixing bowl and stir in lemon and orange zest. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Place knife at stem end of the nectarine and slice in half, lengthwise. Pay attention not to slice through the center pit. Twist the halves apart. Using a paring knife, carefully release the pit.
3. Place each nectarine slice flesh side down directly onto the grill. Grill about 1 minute. Turn over (skin side down) and grill an additional minute.
4. Remove nectarines from the grill and place two halves onto a serving plate. Place 1 tablespoon of citrus mascarpone in the center of each nectarine and drizzle each half with ½ tablespoon of honey.
RECIPE NOTE: Select ripe but still firm nectarines so they hold their shape on the grill. Do not peel. Substitute peaches or plums, if desired.
Nutritional Information: Serving size: 2 nectarine havles with 2 tablespoons of mascarpone and 1 tablespoon honey • Calories: 243.7 • Fat: 12.4g • Protein: 1.5g • Carbohydrates: 31.7g • Sodium: 10.8mg • Fiber: 2.4g • Cholesterol: 40mg MS&F
*Susan Irby, the Bikini Chef, is a radio host for Bikini Lifestyles on 790 KABC, an author and specialist in healthy “bikini” cuisine. Follow her at twitter.com/thebikinichef or visit her website at thebikinichef.com.