Summer has finally arrived, and that means longer nights surrounded by friends, family and, of course, a good BBQ. We all know that fish and meats can be grilled up for a fresh summer dinner, and instead of a pasta or green salad on the side, try out some of these tasty ways to grill up fruits and vegetables.

Leaving the skin on veggies packs in more nutrients as well as acts as a natural insulator while cooking. Make sure to leave husks on corn, as well as the skin on eggplant, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and squash. To shorten grill time you can pre-cook veggies, such as green beans, broccoli, beets, asparagus, cauliflower, and artichokes. Just blanch the vegetables in hot water then transfer them to an ice bath to shock the vegetables before you throw them on the grill. You can even try grilling up some romaine lettuce for chicken wraps, a unique salad, or use in place of a burger bun.

When picking which fruits to grill, make sure to pick barely ripe and firm fruits such as peaches, pineapple, watermelon, or apples. You can simply brush them with oil before grilling, or marinate them in your favorite spices or sauces, like sweet chili pepper sauce, honey, cinnamon, or butter. Make sure to cut up your fruits into large, uniform slices for even cooking. Use a bag or container to add marinade and toss fruits in. Cook your fruits over moderately hot coals, or you can wrap them in foil and use indirect heat. Remember, cook times will vary depending on the fruits firmness and moisture content.

For a colorful appetizer, create a DIY kabob bar with a variety of fruits and veggies. Cut up veggies and fruits such as mushrooms, onion, pineapple, bell peppers, watermelon, brussel sprouts and let guests get creative with a tasty and fresh combo!

Is your mouth watering now? Share your favorite vegetables or fruits to throw on the barbie. And to cook up more grilled inspiration, check out the following links to some awesome recipes:

Grilled Pineapple Spears
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with a Cilantro Lime Kick
Grilled Romaine Lettuce with Balsamic Glaze
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
Grilled Broccoli & Arugula Salad