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Fabulous Summer Fruits

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Fabulous Summer Fruits

As the temperatures rise and you spend your days trying to cool down by the pool, don't forget about the bounty of summer produce arriving at your local farmers' market and grocery store!

Along with fabulous flavor, summer fruits serve up a potpourri of great nutrition. Most of summer's fruits are bursting with antioxidants and phytochemicals, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good rule of thumb for fruits and vegetables is, in general, the brighter the color, the more nutrients.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Summer Fruits

Check out these seasonal fruits and some great healthy recipes to help incorporate them into your summer menu. Learn how to choose, store, and use these sensational summer fruits all summer long!

Blueberries

These gorgeous little berries are on many folks' radar these days. Not only do they taste great, but they are really good for you. Rich in healthy antioxidants, they are embraced as a superfood by conscious eaters.

These berries, which look like small marbles with a mini crown, are in season from midsummer through early fall. Dried blueberries are available year round, have a concentrated flavor, and are a great portable snack.

Buying & Storing: Look for plump, uniform berries. Avoid baskets with green or wizened berries, or blue stains (a sign of squished fruit). A shiny white bloom on the berries is completely normal and actually a sign of freshness. Blueberries don't have much of an aroma, so a taste test is a good idea to confirm full flavor.

Refrigerate berries in covered containers; the open containers they are often sold in aren't always ideal for storing. Wash berries with cool water in a colander just before using.

Mango Banana Spinach Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup banana
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl place the spinach, mango, and banana.
  2. Top with blueberries, goji berries, cocoa nibs and flaxseeds.
  3. Enjoy your hydrating fruit bowl!

Strawberries

When you taste a ripe early-summer strawberry, it's like discovering a whole new species of berry. Strawberries come in many sizes; you can find long-stemmed berries for dipping or small ones perfect for eating whole.

Fraises des bois are miniature, wild, woodland strawberries, less than an inch long, and are extraordinarily sugary and floral.

Buying & Storing: Ripe strawberries have a uniform deep red color. White or green tops indicate unripe fruit (strawberries don't ripen once picked). Look for plump berries with fresh, green leafy caps.

Avoid baskets with moldy or soft berries, or red stains (a sign of squished fruit). If your fruit is very delicate, spread it out on a plate and keep it covered with a paper towel or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Antioxidant Acai Bowls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 frozen, unsweetened Sambazon Acai Packs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place all frozen ingredients into a high-speed blender and top with liquid of choice.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into 2 bowls and top with fruit and other whole-food ingredients – some of our favorites include bananas, mangos, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and dried mulberries. Add 1 tbsp of coconut flakes, chia seeds, or pumpkin seeds for an added crunch.

Raspberries

Like little baubles, raspberries add finesse and elegance to the simplest of dishes. Whether nibbled by the handful or enjoyed with a dollop of cream, ripe summer raspberries are always a pleasure.

Buying & storing: Raspberries should be firm, without bruises or mold. Check cartons' sides and bottoms for juice stains, a sign of poor handling. Ideally, raspberries should be eaten directly after picking and not be chilled.

If you can't eat them immediately, refrigerate raspberries in covered containers — the open containers they're often sold in aren't ideal for storing. Wash with cool water in a colander just before using.

Creamy Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup banana
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 - 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  1. For the bottom layer: Add milk and raspberries to a blender and blend until smooth. Fold in the white chia seeds. Place this mixture into the bottom of a clear glass jar or dish. Put into the refrigerator to set overnight.
  2. For the top layer: in a clean blender container place the almond milk, banana and vanilla extract. Blend until the banana is mixed in and put in a separate bowl. Fold in the black chia seeds. Let it set in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. To assemble the middle layer, blend the almond milk, banana, and blueberry together until thick and creamy. Pour on top of the bottom layer in a large glass.
  4. Stir the top layer and pour on top of the middle fruit layer to complete the layering.
  5. Top the pudding with pomegranate seeds.

Peaches

The perfect summer peach embodies everything good about eating local foods in season. When you get really, really great peaches, their fleshy, juicy sweetness is nearly impossible to resist.

Luckily, it's now getting even easier to find different varieties, such as yellow, white-fleshed, or doughnut-shaped ones.

Buying & Storing: Select peaches that are free of bruises or marks and that give to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. Those that are just shy of ripeness can be left on the counter in a paper bag to ripen for a day or two.

Avoid any that have a green under-color on their blushing skins, as well as those that are rock-hard; they'll never ripen properly. Store ripe fruit in the crisper in the refrigerator.

All-Day Energy Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 peach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Slice the apple, peach, strawberries, and banana.
  2. Combine all the fruit in a big serving bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the chia seeds on top.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Blackberries

A good blackberry, which looks like a plump cluster of inky bubbles, is sweet, with a pleasant pucker. This family of berries encompasses over 100 varieties, such as marionberries, loganberries, boysenberries and olallieberries.

Blackberries run the gamut from pinky-sized minis to thumb-sized fat ones. Eat berries at their peak, July and August, for best flavor.

Buying & Storing: Look for berries that are dark, plump and free of mold or damage. Avoid those that have either the stem caps or a reddish cast — signs they were picked too early.

Check cartons' sides and bottoms for juice stains, a sign of poor handling. As with all berries, try to use them within a day of purchase (or picking).

Refrigerate berries in covered containers and wash with cool water in a colander just before using. If you have a bumper crop, freeze them: Spread berries out on a paper towel-lined pan, freeze until firm, then transfer to sealed plastic bags and store for up to six months.

Thawed berries are perfect for sauces, smoothies and in baked recipes.

Super Fruit Smoothie Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup of fresh papaya or mango
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green (Regular or Decaf)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water

Instructions:

  1. Blend the ingredients on high for 30 seconds or to a consistency you like.
  2. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

Gooseberries

These little known berries are rising in popularity throughout the country. They're mostly available from specialty growers and farmers' markets.

While they might look similar to grapes they are actually berries filled with tiny seeds. They have a juicy texture and a flavor that ranges from sweet to sour. Gooseberries are in season from May through August, peaking in July.

Buying & Storing: Ripe gooseberries are red, with a sweet flavor and plump texture. Green gooseberries are less ripe, but they can still be enjoyed for their sour flavor - they can even replace Granny Smith apples in your favorite pie.

Store gooseberries in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. Do not wash until you're ready to use them or eat them.

Gooseberry Tea

Boost your metabolic health every morning with a cup of tea containing the same berries that have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to slow aging and turn back the hands of time on wrinkles and gray hair.

Perfect for people who are tired of bitter, sour, or “earthy” supplements that are expensive and difficult to consume. Amla Green brings the power of the world’s most powerful whole-food antioxidant, gooseberries, as a tasty and smooth morning or afternoon tea, so that you can actually enjoy the taste of true health.

Summer Time Tea Mocktail

Yields 18 servings

Ingredients:

  • 14 cups water, divided
  • 6 scoops Amla Green
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate
  • Optional: Fresh mint leaves and lemon or lime slices

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat; add tea. Cover and steep for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the concentrates, and remaining water. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with mint and lemon or lime if desired.

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.

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