grilled pineapple & pineapple cilantro smoothie – from the beach to memorial day

My friends and I were all in favor of celebrating this warm change of weather with a potluck picnic. After the forecast laughed and changed to a whimsical drizzle, we continued indoors with a front yard BBQ.

grilled pineapple & pineapple

Now as a native Southern gal, I appreciate barbecue. I just don’t partake in it. I love my veggie- and fruit-laden meals, so this event was just an opportunity to be inventive with vegetarian options. After hemming and hawing at the grocery store, I spied the golden opportunity: fresh pineapple. At the shindig I sliced the fruit in thick rings, squeezed a layer of lime juice on top, and set them out to cook.

So if you plan on breaking out the grill for Memorial Day, I highly recommend buying a pineapple. It’s nice to finish a hearty meal on a fresh, citrusy note. Not to mention it’s super easy to cook.

Oh my goodness, this is such a treat. The tangy sweetness takes over all taste buds, and the grilling gives the fruit’s outside a firm bite. I’ve indulged in this grilled dessert twice in the past week, and I hope many more opportunities to make it come this summer!

The inspiration for the simple dessert came in part from a recent vacation to Florida. My boyfriend, his family, and I took a road trip down to Ft. Lauderdale and Key West!

grilled pineapple & pineapple

I love them with all my heart. The trip was a hoot, especially the part where we drove for 18 hours straight from New York to Florida. (What?!) They’re fun like that.

Apart from soaking up every second of sunshine I could, I ate pretty much every thing on the peninsula. Key Lime Pie? Sounds like a divine breakfast. Fried plantain nachos? Don’t mind if I do. At the end of this grand vacation, I was brown and full as a coconut.

When back in New York, I aimed to work tropical flavors into a refreshing drink. Enter the Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie. The pineapple, cilantro, and avocado create a bright medley of flavors, whisking you away to a beachfront. I like adding a large amount of ginger too, for spiciness and digestive aid. The spinach just adds some great Vitamin A and C. In fact, every ingredient adds great nutrients. Pineapple and cilantro are known for Vitamin C, and avocado offers healthy fat and fiber. (By the way, I’m not a doctor, so please don’t take this as any sort of medical advice.)

grilled pineapple & pineapple

Although this healthful drink is a treat, it is not something sweet to sip. This is the older sister who drags you out of bed at 5 AM for marathon training. It will whip you into shape. So coming back from an indulgent break, this zesty drink was welcome in the utmost. Though I do crave a slice a Key Lime Pie.

Grilled Pineapple

1. Slice a pineapple into six 1-inch rings. Place on a roaring grill. Squeeze the lime evenly over all rings. Let cook for 7 minutes

2. Flip the rings over, and juice the remaining lime on top. Let cook for another 7 minutes, or until golden-brown on the edges.

Pinapple Cilantro Smoothie
1. Slice off the ginger’s skin, then mince the inside. Pit the avocado and cube the meat.

2. Blend all ingredients together. Serve in frosted glasses, for fun.

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