Summer is a time when many fruits are in season, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy them at the height of freshness. Additionally, building more fruit into your diet is a healthy food choice that can even aid with hydration.
Take advantage of in-season summer fruits for tasty and fresh options.
Fruits are important foods in a balanced diet. Filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fruit is also low in fat, with some fruit even being fat-free. Fruits are also low in calories, but high in water content. This means you can eat more without expending extra calories, which helps keep you fuller for longer and may aid in helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Plus, eating fruit that is in season can often save you money too, as prices are lower for these products.
Here are some of the best summer fruits to try this season.
- Berries – all varieties are smart sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. Naturally low in calories, you can have a big bowl to fill you up. Berries are delicate, so handle carefully when washing and aim to eat within a few days of purchase.
- Tomatoes – yes, tomatoes are technically fruit. High in antioxidants, tomatoes are at their best in summer. With so many varieties to choose from, tomatoes can be served in salads, as add-ons for sandwiches or alone with just some salt and pepper. Try heirloom varieties and different colors for a new twist on summer favorites.
- Melons – nothing says summer better than a fresh slice of melon. Melons are a bit hardier than berries, so this is helpful when purchasing as you have a little more time to eat before risking spoilage. Watermelon is delicious alone or as part of a savory salad. It is a great source of water too, helping to keep you hydrated. Chunk cantaloupe and place on skewers with other fruit and add salty ham for an interesting appetizer. Honeydew brings a new flavor to smoothies or a cold soup by blending with a bit of cream.
When it is really hot outside, sometimes you don’t want a heavier meal or to spend time cooking in a hot kitchen. Make a summer fruit salad to have on hand for snacking, for easy breakfasts and sides to meals.
Liven up summer salads with fruit. Here are some tasty pairings.
- Spinach salad with strawberries – add goat cheese and walnuts for a more filling salad.
- Chicken or tuna salad with grapes – long-time pairing but the sweet and savory taste is fresh and satisfying.
- Orange sections added to green salad with chicken, peanuts and red peppers topped with ginger dressing is a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
- Tomato and peaches with fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic is a little different from the traditional salad and even more tasty.
Of course, it wouldn’t be summer without a little dessert.
Healthy desserts are simple when made with summer fruit. A bowl of berries becomes a sweet treat by adding a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make an old-fashioned banana split with or without ice cream. Fruit skewers are easy, portable options to take to summer dinners with friends. You can add marshmallows or dip fruit chunks in chocolate. Fruit trays with yogurt dip are quick and easy, too.
Enjoying fruits that are in season during the summer is an easy way to add healthy options to your diet.
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