It’s almost back-to-school time, which always feels like the definitive end of summer, but the season actually ends on September 23rd! And we want to squeeze out all we can of these warmer weather months. One way we love doing that is by indulging in all the delicious, colorful, and healthy fruits that are still in season, as they’re fresher, more affordable and more easily accessible than in the fall and winter.
We’re always keen on following the Ayurvedic tradition of eating foods that keep your body in balance, and cooling, refreshing fruits are perfect for that during the summer. We’re also big proponents of shopping seasonally and locally when possible — because it means you’re supporting local farmers, reducing emissions, and getting better quality produce on your table. The best way to shop local? Go to a nearby farmer’s market.
We love all of the colors spread across tables at an outdoor produce market… and all that color means a whole lot of nutrients. Today, we want to highlight some of our favorite super-healthy, colorful summer fruits that you and your kids will love. We’re sure you’ve tucked into all of these already, but we want you to know just how good they are for you.
We’ve also included some recipe ideas with each just in case you need a little inspiration, but don’t feel like you need to get too fancy–all of these are delicious just as they are!
5 Super-Healthy Summer Fruits & Easy Recipe Ideas
There’s nothing like a perfectly ripe cherry to hit the spot and this flavor-packed fruit is just as healthy as it is delicious! Cherries are low in calories and have a low glycemic load–this means they can help balance your blood sugar and prevent highs and lows in energy levels. They’re a great source of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory (and give cherries their gorgeous color).
Oh, and you don’t need to rely on bananas alone for potassium — cherries are a great source of the mineral with about 260mg per cup! Potassium functions as an electrolyte, which is why it helps muscle cramps, and also plays a role in improving blood pressure control. They may also help regulate sleep patterns because they’re a source of the sleep hormone melatonin, and some early studies have linked cherry juice to better sleep!
Cherries are pretty great on their own, but we love to use them in banana nice cream as a tasty summer treat! Simply pit and freeze your ripe cherries, and blitz them in a food processor with frozen bananas and extra ingredients of your choice for a refreshing and guilt-free dessert. Try this great recipe from Eat Healthy Eat Happy.
Berries are a fruit favorite, but they can be so expensive when they’re not in season–luckily, during summer, nutritious blackberries are more reasonably priced and will stay fresher for longer, too. These low-sugar gems are rich in vitamins and minerals and have a whopping 8 grams of fiber per cup. Containing vitamins A, C, E, and B vitamins, these little berries pack a pretty big nutritional punch. They also include manganese, an important mineral for brain function, and studies have shown that regularly consuming blackberries leads to improved brain and motor function.
As you probably know, berries are best eaten in the first few days of purchasing, and once they start to get damp and wrinkly, you know they’re on the fast-track to going bad. To make the most of them, throw almost over-ripe berries in a container and freeze to use later in smoothies and sorbets. One of our favorites is this banana and berry hemp seed pudding from Minimalist Baker — it tastes like an indulgent dessert, but it’s so healthy you could eat it for breakfast! While the berries are the star of the show, chia and hemp seeds provide satiating fiber, protein, and fertility-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.
Perfectly ripe, in-season peaches are such a dream, but we know how hard it is to get your hand on a good peach. Now is the time to shop for them though, and this stone fruit is packed with antioxidants, a key player in fighting free-radicals and protecting you against aging and disease. Because they’re high in vitamin C, they’re great for your immune system, too, so stock up on peaches if you want to avoid that dreaded late-summer cold. Peaches are also great for your digestion because of their fiber content, and naturally-occurring dietary fiber is so good for your gut health.
To turn your peaches into a bit more of a substantial snack by serving chopped peach chunks over vanilla Greek yogurt. If you have a pile of rapidly ripening peaches sitting in your kitchen, put them to good use and make these delicious healthy peach muffins from Happy Food Healthy Life (your kids will love them!).
Watermelon is a staple at summer barbecues, and we love how refreshing this hydrating fruit is. It’s actually 92% water, and this high water content keeps you cool in the heat while also curbing cravings. Full of vitamins and minerals, one of watermelon’s best qualities is the fact that it contains lycopene, a phytonutrient that helps protect your cells from skin damage. The higher the concentration of lycopene, the darker the color of the fruit, so pick the ripest watermelons for the highest lycopene concentration!
You can’t go wrong with cold, crisp slices of watermelon on a hot day — and it’s almost guaranteed your kid will love them too. If you want some variety, make your watermelon a bit more grown-up by putting it in a cold summer salad. We love this Mediterranean style salad from Health Nut Nutrition–the savory feta brings out the sweetness in the watermelon making it absolutely irresistible!
We know, we know… tomatoes are usually grouped into the vegetable category, but they’re technically a fruit! These are one of our favorites to pick up at the farmers market — you just can’t match the flavor of a perfectly ripe, fresh tomato. These guys can find their way into so many summer meals, and just one medium tomato provides about 30% of your daily vitamin C! They’re also high in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health, and potassium, which is good for your heart.
If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, you probably know that it’s really important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid in your diet, because it plays a role in your baby’s brain and spinal cord development. Folic acid is the synthetic form of the naturally occurring folate — and tomatoes are naturally high in this essential vitamin!
There are so many ways to eat tomatoes in the summer — they’re delicious both raw and cooked, and because there are so many different types, you have plenty of options to switch things up. We love to slice Roma tomatoes and pop on top of avocado toast, and grape tomatoes add a yummy burst of sweetness to your lunch salads or as raw snacks. Check out this amazing Caprese salad from Bon Appetit–it’s so easy to prepare and is sure to be a crowd favorite at your next dinner party!
For more healthy recipe inspiration be sure to check out the Kitchen in the Baby2Body app! You’ll find new recipes every week that are suited to your stage and nutritional needs.