Healthy Eating

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20 Best Summer Fruits & Vegetables

We created a list of the most loved summer fruits and vegetables to incorporate into meals. So say goodbye to winter crops and welcome vibrant, nutritious summer produce!

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The changing of seasons results in much more than weather and time changes! It also alters and affects the growth of seasonal produce.

Say goodbye to winter crops and welcome these vibrant, nutritious summer fruits and vegetables!

Top 20 Summer Fruits and Vegetables

From the hydrating watermelon to low-carb zucchini, do not miss out on these summer season fruits and veggies!

10 Best Summer Fruits

1. Watermelons

Truly, it may not be so ironic the summer and watermelon season runs parallel. The juicy flesh of watermelon provides hydrating and cooling effects in the warm summer sun. Watermelon is also rich in lycopene, which may prevent heart disease and types of cancer.

2. Peaches

These fuzzy fruits are naturally sweet and a summertime staple. Peaches contain beneficial minerals potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. They are a great source of fiber and vitamins A, C, E, and K as well.

3. Strawberries

These seedy berries are renowned for its juicy texture and freshness. Strawberries contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body's cells against damage. Throw into smoothies or enjoy raw for a naturally sweetened treat!

4. Lemons and Limes

Lemons and limes are a sour, yet refreshing fruit. Each contains limonoids, a compound that may actually help to prevent and treat cancer. They contain fiber, folic acid, and vitamin C. Lemons also contain more vitamin C than its citrus counterpart.

5. Guavas

This tropical fruit boasts in boast in vitamins C and fiber and offers soft, sweet, and tangy elements when ripe. The flesh of guavas is enjoyed on its own or prepared into jellies and syrups.

6. Cherries

Whether eaten raw or baked into a pie, these summer fruits are packed with nutrients. Cherries have an impressive nutritional profile and contain antioxidants, soluble fiber, and beta-carotene.

7. Mangoes

Mangoes are vibrant in flavor, rich in nutrients, and a luscious treat come summertime! Learning how to cut a mango has never been so easy either! Prepare fresh mango many ways, including in a salad or sorbet.

8. Pineapples

The juicy flesh of pineapples is desirable on a warm, summer's day while offering a number of nutrients. Pineapples are a rich source of bromelain, an enzyme often used as a natural meat tenderizer. They provide some impressive health benefits, including reducing swelling and preventing muscle soreness.

9. Papayas

Offering a vibrant orange color and both slightly bitter and sweet taste, papayas will take you right to the tropics! They have quite an impressive nutritional profile, as they burst in potassium, vitamin C, and folate just to name a few.

10. Tomatoes

Whether believed as a fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are extremely nutritious and versatile. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or added into sauces, they are rich in lycopene like watermelon. Tomatoes are a significant source of vitamin C and potassium, too.

10 Best Summer Vegetables

1. Cucumbers

Keep cool as a cucumber with this low-calorie veggie. With cucumbers being highly composed of water, they provide the body hydrating properties during the summer season. Pickled or eaten raw, cucumbers are also an excellent source of fiber.

2. Bell Peppers

The vibrant colors of bell peppers are not just eye-appealing, but provide the body with ample amounts of nutrients. Bell peppers are rich in vitamins C, K, E as well as folate and potassium.

3. Carrots

Crunch on carrots and reap the nutritional benefits! Carrots get their bright color from beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Carrots are good sources of fiber, vitamin K, and potassium as well.

4. Zucchinis

This cucumber look-a-like is a summer squash packed with nutrients. Unlike cucumbers, though, zucchinis should be enjoyed cooked. Roasted, grilled, or steamed, zucchinis are low in calories and a good source of vitamins A and C.

5. Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is a multipurpose starchy vegetable and thrown into casseroles, dishes, or simply eaten from the cob. Corn is rich in fiber and potassium, two components contributed to good heart health.

6. Okra

Mostly grown in hot climates, okra is a green, finger-shaped vegetable rich in fiber, vitamin K, and folate. Okra has various culinary uses, too. Enjoy it as a side dish, mix into salads, or use as a thickener.

7. Green Beans

While green beans can be located in grocery stores year-round, they are mostly in-season throughout the summer.

8. Eggplants

Eggplants sport a deep purple exterior, supply beneficial nutrients, and provide many uses in the kitchen. Prepare this summer vegetable into low-carb pizzas, lasagna, or nutritious side with olive oil and lemon.

9. Mushrooms

There are numerous varieties of mushrooms and are mostly available throughout the summer. The edible fungi are low in calories, carbohydrate, and fat. They are also naturally cholesterol and gluten-free!

10. Shallots

Shallots are in-season during the May, June, and July months and seem like a crossbreed of red onion and garlic. They are milder and sweeter in taste and, for this reason, are often a culinary favorite.

Healthy Summer Recipes

From healthy summer meals to nutritious dessert options, do not miss out on these recipes during the warm summer season.

Summer Fruit Salad

A fresh fruit salad is hard to beat in the summer! Fruit salad recipes are abundant but here is a lively combo:

1. Simply chop up fresh peaches, strawberries, and oranges.

2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice atop and mix.

3. Enjoy right away or let chill in the fridge until served.

Bonus tips: Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream for desired creaminess. Use leftover fruit salad to top yogurt or oatmeal, too.

Mexican Corn Salad

A Mexi-corn salad is a perfect accompaniment to a summer grill out or Taco Tuesday! Pair with grilled chicken or other lean protein for a balanced healthy summer meal.

1. Grill corn on the cob then shave off the corn kernels.

2. Mix in chopped tomatoes, red peppers, shallots, and rinsed black beans.

3. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle with taco or fajita seasoning for added flavor.

Zucchini Boats

This summer vegetable recipe is a light, low-carb alternative to pizza on a hot day!

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Slice the zucchini vertically in half and place on a baking sheet.

3. Spread on tomato sauce or diced tomatoes.

4. Add desired toppings and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, oregano, and basil.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until zucchini is cooked through and cheese is melted.

Grilled Peaches and Yogurt

Who says the grill is only for BBQ meat? Try this grilled peaches and yogurt recipe as a healthy, yet a satisfying alternative to ice cream.

1. Half peaches and place on grill, flesh side down and without the pit.

2. Grill about 4 to 5 minutes until grill marks are achieved.

3. Top with Greek yogurt, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.

Reference:

Weber J. What's In Season During the Summer? PBS. 

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on May 30, 2016. Updated on August 09, 2019.

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