One of the best things about summer is the abundance of local produce available at farmer’s markets across the country. You don’t even have to get up early on Saturday morning anymore to score great seasonal fruit as there are many farmers markets available mid-week and in the evening in most cities now-a-days. And if going to the market doesn’t suit you, many grocery stores stock locally-grown summer fruits, too.
Five in-season fruits to buy now
So, what are the best fruits to buy right now? Here are 5 delicious ones with great nutritional value that can help you maintain a healthy weight and increase your energy for working out, while going easy on your wallet, too.
Watermelon is a sweet, tasty treat that is abundant this time of year, and you can usually find it really cheap at roadside stands, stores and markets during summer. According to the watermelon board at watermelon.org, 2 cups of diced watermelon has only 80 calories and is a rich source of vitamin C. Watermelon is also provides eye-healthy carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene, energizing B Vitamins and muscle-cramp-reducing potassium, making it one of the best fruits to buy in summer.
Cherries are another great summer fruit to buy now. I used to have access to a wonderful sour cherry tree and used to bake cherry pies for Father’s Day, helping me remember what time of year they begin their season. Although the pies were always very good, sweet Bing cherries and Washington Rainier cherries may be easier to eat fresh without all the added sugar of a pie. In addition to all that yummy flavor, cherries provide vitamin C, fiber and potassium.
Raspberries are another favorite garden berry to ripen up a little after spring strawberries, at least for their early first-crop. Some varieties also produce a fall crop for a nutritional and enjoyable bonus later in the year. Luckily, imports ensure that we can to enjoy these flavorful berries all year round at most grocery stores. According to the USDA, 1 cup of fresh raspberries has only 64 calories and provides a whopping 8 grams of gut-healthy fiber that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Blueberries are my dad’s favorite berry, and he would certainly remind me to mention these. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and are considered a superfood that’s an important fruit for keeping your brain healthy. According to blueberrycouncil.org, these sweet summer berries only have 80 calories per cup and are abundantly rich in nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber and manganese.
Peaches are also at the peak of their season in the summer and can be purchased by the crate for home canning or freezing. If you’re like me and enjoy the wonderful flavor of peaches but could do without the fuzzy skin, you can easily peel peaches by quickly dipping them in boiling water and then placing them immediately into cold water where the skins will slip right off. Then slice and eat. One large peach only has about 70 calories and is a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene.
In addition to these 5 great summer fruits, depending on where you live, you’ll begin to find in-season tomatoes (which are actually a fruit), ground cherries and be able to enjoy USA grown melons like cantaloupe and honeydew. So, go out and enjoy the sunshine and get yourself some great-tasting summer fruit! And if you’re looking for a simple summer fruit recipe to try, why not make some grilled fresh pineapple for your next summer cook-out.
Sugar and Spice Grilled Pineapple Recipe
1 fresh pineapple*
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey to drizzle
1. Preheat a grill to medium heat.
2. Coat a grill rack with cooking spray to help prevent sticking.
3. Slice the top and bottom off the pineapple and trim off the outer skin.
4. Cut into spears and remove the center core from the spears, if desired.
5. Sprinkle spears with brown sugar or drizzle with honey, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
6. Grill spears for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and caramelized. Serve warm.
*You can also use precut spears from your local store