There is no doubt that some of the best produce is when it’s in season! Each season brings its own delicious crop of seasonal specific fruits and vegetables. Eating seasonal fruits not only is beneficial to local farmers and markets, but also ensures you will get the freshest, and best tasting fruit. Here are 5 of my favorite summer fresh fruits:
- Cherries – These bright, tart, juicy fruits are a smaller variety of the stone fruits but pack a ton of flavor in a small fruit. Be sure to take the pits out of your cherries before eating, as they can become a choking hazard especially with young children. Cherries are a great source of antioxidants, known to help improve recovery in athletes, and also contains anthocyanins which help to reduce inflammation! Not bad for a tiny, red, sweet fruit.
- Grapes – While these are late summer fruits, all varieties of grapes are fresh for summer. Coming in over 10,000 different varieties, you are sure to find the best one for your tastes. Known for the heart healthy benefits, grapes also contain vitamin C and K which are especially important for immune and blood health. Grapes are the perfect addition to any fruit salad, but are also a great snack when frozen! Try slicing your grapes and placing them in the freezer for a crisp and cool summer snack.
- Mango – These tropical fruits help bring the beaches to our tastebuds. Mango can come in a few varieties but all of them bare the most beautiful yellow-orange flesh that is naturally sweet and packed with vitamins like vitamin C, A, and B6, as well as folate and fiber! Try adding frozen mango to your next smoothie for a bright creamy addition sure to please your taste buds!
- Pears – Of the many varieties of pears available, a few peak during the summer months, such as Red Anjou, Red Bartlett, and Green Anjou. While these pears may not look the same they all have the bright colored skin with deliciously sweet flesh. Pears are especially rich in vitamin C, copper, and potassium all of which are great for your skin, bone, and heart health. Be sure when searching for a good pick, pick a firm but not hard pear with a good clean skin, eating the skin is the best way to get in all the great nutrients pears have to offer.
- Melons – The most popular melons that are star players in any summer fruit platter, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon are the most common of the melon fruits. All with varying taste and textures, there is no denying the delicious, sweet treat that any melon can be. A low-calorie snack, cubed cantaloupe contains over 100% of days vitamin A needs, as well as a heaping helping of vitamin C. Watermelon is full of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals in the body helping to reduce your risk of certain diseases, and even cancer. Honeydew also has fiber and vitamin B6 packed in every bite which helps maintain a strong immune system! Picking the perfect melon is surely a gift, but look for a firm melon with no bruising, with good vining and sunspots which shows it was in a great spot for adequate sun and growth!
Check back next week for my top 5 summer veggie picks!
Article co-authored by: Jessica Skeffington, Dietetic Intern