What's Ripe for Summer
Summer’s creeping in and, before you know it, the bounty of fresh fruit will soon be here. Start scanning the stalls at the farmers market or the produce department at your local store for the summer’s best flavors. With the sun out, there’s no better time to throw together a fresh fruit salad, create a summery fruit sorbet, or ice down a couple pieces of whole fruit.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite flavors for the summer:
Blueberries may very well be one of the world’s smallest fruits in size, but their big flavor says otherwise. Packed with tons of mighty antioxidants, blueberries can be popped as a healthy snack, added to freshly baked blueberry muffins, thrown into pancakes, baked into pies, and so much more. These tiny superfoods are a great source of fiber, vitamins C & K, magnesium, and copper. Make sure to toss some in your bag for a nutritious snack at the beach or pool.
Sure, cantaloupe is available year-round, but it’s the sweetest right smack dab in the middle of summer. With a fresh honey-like flavor, cantaloupes are easy to enjoy. All you need is a good knife to carve out a wedge, a spoon to scrape out the seeds, and you’re good to go. Not only do they make healthy and refreshing snacks, but cantaloupes are great in sorbets and granitas, juiced or in smoothies, or tossed into fruit salads.
There’s nothing better than the taste of sweet, summer cherries. And, with such a short harvesting season, you better get in while the gettin’s good. With flavors ranging from sweet to sour, popular varieties include the Bing, Rainier, and Ulster, but there are countless others out there, too. Not only are they a great source of antioxidants, but cherries are also known to help ease inflammation and they’re a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and calcium. Grab a bag and share some with a friend!
Perhaps a little tricky to get into for some, mangoes are completely worth the extra effort of cutting them open. Mangoes adore basking in the sun when they’re growing, so they do quite well in the summertime and in hot, tropical regions like Hawaii and Mexico. Like most fruits and vegetables, mangoes rank up there when it comes to fiber. They’re virtual powerhouses when it comes to vitamin C, surprisingly containing even more than an orange. Their sweet flesh is ripe for everything from smoothies, to sorbets, to fresh mango salsa, and more.
Peaches are at their best in the warm summer months. Technically in season anywhere between May and September, peaches are at their peak somewhere within July and August. Low in calories and high in antioxidants, peaches are simply a staple during the summertime. Fun fact, if peaches aren’t quite as ripe as you’d like them to be, speed up the process by storing them in a brown paper bag for a few days. And take the time to make a few of your favorite peach recipes this summer. Peach pie, peach cobbler, peach ice cream, grilled peaches… there are so many great ones out there. We guarantee you, your friends, family, and customers will be left feeling pretty darn peachy if you do.
While it appears last on our list, but perhaps first on the list of summer popularity, watermelon just very well might be THE fruit of the summer. Juicy, ripe, and sweet, watermelons can be selected visually by looking for a yellowish round mark on one side which shows where it laid in the field under the sun. Also, watermelons should be be weighty for their size. Don’t hold back in the supermarket--feel free to pick them up, check for weight, and give them a good thump. You’re looking for a nice hollow sound which means your watermelon is ready. Slice one up this summer to enjoy as a refreshing snack, add to a fruit salad, or blend into your favorite libation.