July is National Grilling Month! While we tend to think more of hamburgers and brats on the grill, fruits and vegetables can be a healthy way to add a little color to the grill this year. Recently, Farm Assistant Jenna Lee was joined by Wisconsin’s 71st Alice in Dairyland Kaitlyn Riley where she gave some tips on how to add some of Wisconsin’s diverse fruits and vegetables to your grill.
“Our state has a lot to be proud of from the ground up. Wisconsin is the top producer of snap beans which brought about $40 million into our state’s economy,” said Riley. “We rank second in the nation for cabbage, third for potatoes, sweet corn and carrots, and those are just a few of the vegetable varieties we produce.”
Along with vegetables Wisconsin also produces some great fruit like cherries and apples. In fact new numbers from the USDA say Wisconsin produced more than 11 million pounds of cherries in 2017 with a value of over $2 million. Not to mention Wisconsin’s 300 commercial apple orchards produced 49 million pounds of apples in 2017. That’s up 20 percent from the year, contributing $26 million to our state’s economy.
Adding fruit like Wisconsin cherries and apples to the grill can be a fun way to satisfy any sweet tooth. Kaitlyn has some tips on how to best grill fruit this summer:
- Fruits are pretty simple because you don’t have to worry about reaching a certain internal temperature but they do cook very quickly.
- One of the simplest ways to grill fruit would be to wrap it in foil. Personally, I like the flavor of foods directly on the grill, so I prefer fruit kabobs. Kabobs are great because they are easy to flip, and your family and guests can easily customize what they want.
- Once they are off the grill, you can enjoy them however you like
“Some of the best places to find Wisconsin fruit and vegetables are at local farmers markets. They tend to have the freshest and most diverse Wisconsin based products, said Riley”
When Kaitlyn isn’t grilling she has been out and about traveling the state to promote Wisconsin agriculture. She just finished June dairy month where she visited many county dairy breakfasts.
“Growing up on a dairy I thought I knew a lot about the dairy industry but going out to the many different dairy breakfasts I was able to learn even more about our vast Wisconsin dairy industry,” said Riley.
Kaitlyn’s next stop will be at the Wisconsin State Fair where she will do many demonstrations for the attendees. Not to mention you can see her participate in a cream puff eating contest.
” I’m excited to see all the hard work the youth exhibitors put into their project all year long on display during the fair, and I can’t wait to continue to educate the public on Wisconsin agriculture, said Riley”
For more information on how to grill fruit and vegetables this summer and to follow Kaitlyn during her Alice adventures visit:
Alice Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DATCPAliceInDairyland/
Alice Instagram: Alice in Dairyland
Alice Twitter: @Alice_Dairyland
Alice Travel Blog: http://www.aliceindairyland.com/blog