Grilled Pineapple Spears for Memorial Day

 Memorial Day cookouts are the perfect kickoff to summer and a great way to get together with friends and family. These gatherings center around eats, especially the favorite BBQ foods associated with summertime.

You can cut a few calories from your meal or dessert menu with grilled pineapple treats. (At Baptist Health, we’re a little partial to pineapples.) Grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in regular barbecued items and will do the same for fruit.

You can serve grilled pineapple spears as a side dish to your  main course  of “world famous” ribs or as part of your “secret steak marinade” for this Memorial Day cookout.  Or,  you could add a scoop of fat-free vanilla ice to transform the grilled pineapple spears into a dessert that not only looks good, but is also a sweet and healthy ending for your BBQ.


  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 oz vanilla extract
  • 2 oz rum extract
  • 1 pineapple: cored, halved lengthwise and sliced lengthwise into 12 spears
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened coconut, toasted
  • Fat-free vanilla ice cream


  1. Combine the honey, vanilla and rum extracts in bowl, and stir until incorporated.
  2. Brush rum extract mixture evenly over pineapple spears; let marinade for two hours.
  3. Over medium-high heat, add pineapple; grill for three minutes on each side or until grill marks form and pineapple is thoroughly heated.
  4. Sprinkle with coconut. Garnish with ice cream, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 116; Calories from fat: 11%; Fat: 1.5g; Saturated fat: 1.4g; Monounsaturated fat: 0.8g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g; Protein: 0.7g; Carbohydrate: 24g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 22mg

ABOUChef-Richard-headshot-REVISED-2014-300x241.jpgT CHEF RICHARD
Chef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at South Miami Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011 for the
opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

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