Hope you're staying cool this summer. You know, despite the overwhelming hot and humidity here in the South, the one thing you won't find me complaining about is the abundance of fresh summer fruits to enjoy this time of year! Just look at this list of what all is in season in the summer:
Basically all my favorite fruits are growing at their peak right now! What a wonderful reason to make sure I make half my meals fruits and/or veggies this summer. Not only that, but they taste amazing and are very affordable. A win-win!
Now sadly, fruits sometimes get a bad rap. But thing to remember is that fruit is a food group that provides A LOT of nutrition, taste, flavor, texture, and enjoyment at meals and snacks. Fruits contain natural sugar (called fructose) as well as fiber, making it a carbohydrate-rich food that can balance out a meal or make for an easy snack (especially pre or post-workout). In addition to this, fruits contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. So go forth and eat fruit, friends! Here are 10 easy ways to enjoy fruit this summer...
1) AS A SAUCE. Puree and add a dash of cinnamon for an easy to eat snack or use to top English muffins or even meats.
2) DRIED. Keep the fresh flavors of summer going long after they're gone by oven-drying your favorites.
3) GRILLED. Slice 'em up or stick on a kebab and into the grill for a few seconds and just taste how their natural sweetness intensifies!
4) IN A SMOOTHIE. Blend up with low-fat yogurt and a liquid of your choice (my personal go-to is unsweetened soymilk) and sip through a straw! (Pst! Also check out my past post on my favorite way to save extra fresh fruits for later.)
5) IN SALSA. Give your regular salsa a new level of flavor and freshness by adding in a little diced fruit.
6) IN A YOGURT PARFAIT. Need a balanced breakfast fast? Layer low-fat yogurt, whole grain cereal or low-fat granola, and fruit for something fresh.
7) INFUSED IN WATER. If you're sick of plain water, add some fresh flavor with your favorite sliced summer fruit.
8) ON TOP OF SALAD. Give your favorite salad an extra sprinkle of fresh fruit to give it some sweetness. We promise you won't regret it!
9) ON TOP OF TOAST. Goes great with a creamy nut butter, low-fat ricotta cheese or try our simple Cashew Cream Cheese!
10) WITH WAFFLES OR PANCAKES. Whether you mix your summer fruit right into the batter or save it for a topping there's really no wrong way to do it.
And don't forget to enjoy them... AS IS! You won't find fruit sweeter any other time of year so it's perfectly fine to enjoy them just how mother nature made them.
What's your favorite way to enjoy summer fruits? Tell us in the comments below!