One of the best things about summer is enjoying all the seasonal, local produce. Farmers’ markets are full of a rainbow of ripe, delicious fruits all bursting with juices and flavors. And besides just the flavors, fruits are full of all sorts of beneficial nutrients and vitamins to help with your bodily health and overall wellness.
Diet plays an important role in aging well, and maintaining quality of life as we increase in years. As we pass through the midpoint of summer and enter the latter half of the season, you may be wondering what new ways you can enjoy summer’s bounty of fruits, because even the tastiest dishes can get repetitive after too long. So here are some interesting ideas to consider trying or drawing inspiration from, either for yourself or your next gathering.
- Fruit popsicles: Nothing beats the summer heat like a tasty iced treat, and popsicles are as delicious to eat as they are easy to make. Not only does the frozen temperature of a popsicle help cool you down, making them out of fruit will bump up your fruit intake, as well as your hydration levels. By creating your own with fruit, fruit juice, and yogurt, you can avoid the overly sugary syrupy grocery store ones.
- Grilled fruit kebabs: Grilling is a popular cooking method during the summer, as it helps keep heat out of the house, and also provides an excuse to have company over and enjoy the evenings as they cool down. When you’ve got the grill going, throwing on your chicken, burgers, hot dogs and what have you, you can spice the menu up by tossing on some fruit kebabs. Chunks of pineapple, strawberries, peaches, bananas, melons, figs, mangos, and more, are all delicious with a little honey drizzled on them, and then a short time on the grill for some smoky, charred flavor.
- Fruit salsa and cinnamon chips: Instead of a hot, spicy salsa, try chopping up some fruits to make a fresh, cooling version. Depending on what you and your family and friends like, just about any fruit can make a good salsa. Some flour tortillas, covered with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, cut into triangles and baked until crispy make the perfect dessert chip to pair with fruit salsa.
- Chunky cherry sauce: Tart cherries are not only delicious, but they boast a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Whipping up a cherry sauce with some cherries, water, and sugar in the food processor or blender will give you a big batch of delicious fruit topping you can use on anything from ice cream to pork chops.
- Cold fruit soups: Soup isn’t just a dish for chilly winter and fall days. The hot, long days of summer are the perfect time to prepare and serve up batches of cold, refreshing fruit soups. Whether you whip up a strawberry gazpacho, a pineapple and mango fruit stew, there’s countless recipes out there online and in cookbooks for cold fruit soups that people of all ages can enjoy.