Summer is here again. It is that special time for fruit lovers to enjoy a world of full of luscious fruit at its delicious best. There are many great fruits from which to choose. It is also a great time to change your diet to one that is loaded with summer fruits, possessing potent antioxidants and lots of other nutrients. But what are the best in-season summer fruits to eat?
Billed as some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, berries offer a variety of tastes for choosy summer fruit lovers.
Strawberries--These are everyone's favorite. Coming into peak ripeness around early June, these guys are versatile enough to use in cakes, pies, custards, smoothies, or just right out of the bowl.
Blueberries--The king of antioxidants, blueberries offer a wide variety of nutrients but are low in calories. Blueberries run through roughly the same seasonal process as other berries, from late spring to early fall. They are high in vitamin C , dietary fiber, and manganese. They can be eaten plain, but are used in pies, smoothies, and a host of other foods. My favorites are blueberry donuts and muffins.
Blackberries--like the other berries, they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. They begin ripening in late spring and are in season until early fall, with their peak running from July to August. Blackberries are great for making jams, preserves, and pies. As with most berries, their darker pigment lends a sweeter taste. My absolute favorite blackberry food is blackberry jam with butter on a warm biscuits for breakfast. Yum!
Raspberries--Just one cup of these awesome berries will give you half the vitamin C you need for the day. Raspberries rank right up near the top in concentrated nutrition. Their colors can range from the more common red to black, purple, yellow, or gold.
This fruit is high in water content which is very helpful for your hydration in the summer . Watermelon is high in potassium and magnesium, both of which people tend to sweat out during the dehydrating, dog days of summer. It's high in fiber and tastes great, especially in the middle of the summer, around mid-July, when it is ripest.
This fruit's flavor is used in everything from pastries to candy. It is even used in medicines. Cherries begin to ripen in June. They are also loaded with phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. A cherry extract is used to help fight urinary tract infections .
Long known as the state fruit of Georgia, the peach has been the staple of summer fruits in the South for eons. It is a fun fruit, useful for pies, cakes, crisps, cobblers, crumbles, and just to give ice cream some personality. Peaches are more healthful than you would think, too. Like most summer fruit, they are packed with nutrients, but they may also aid in digestion, protect your skin, and even reduce your chances of getting certain cancers. They preserve and can well, to boot.
Like most summer fruits, plums begin ripening around the end of May and runs through early September. They are different colors from their famous dark plum color, yellow, orange, or red. The plum is dried to make prunes, which are very good for you in their own right. Prune juice is used to fight constipation and contains potassium, iron, and fiber. My absolute favorite plum dessert is for plum cobbler. I would give you the recipe, but it is highly addictive.
Word has it that pineapple is this summer's "it" fruit. It is a tropical fruit so it is not uncommon to see it throughout the summer sharing fruit trays with other fruits, used in drinks, cooked with ham, spread on pizzas, and eaten plain. It is no slouch in the nutrition department either, as it contains vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and bromelain, which is an important anti-inflammatory agent. My favorite places to put pineapples are in salads, as toppings on ice cream, and as part of the incomparable Pineapple Upside Down Cake.