We are in the dog days of summer now. Check out these healthy summer fruits and some recipes to help you incorporate more of them into your diet!
Here in the U.S., we don’t eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables to get the antioxidants we need to keep us healthy. Five-a-day might not sound like a lot, but it can be tough to get all of those servings in, especially if you eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) which focuses mostly on animal products, processed grains and fats, and refined sugar.
Summer is a great time to up the ante when it comes to fruits and veggies, though. There are lots of healthy summer fruits that are in season now and packed with the healthy vitamins and minerals you need. Check out this infographic with some of the best seasonal summer fruits, then check out the slideshow for some summer fruit recipes for each of them!
Next>> Avocados & Cucumbers
Infographic via Visual.ly
1. Avocado Recipes
- Tropical Avocado Popsicle – Avocado in a popsicle might sound a little bit strange, but you won’t be sorry!
- Avocado Corn Cups – Squash and raw corn piled into a pitted avocado makes a light summer meal.
- Avocado Toast – Who needs butter and jam when you can spread creamy avocado onto your morning toast?
- Smoky Avocado and Caramelized Onion Crostini – Tasty vegan finger food, anyone?
Related Reading: Superfood: Avocado Recipes and Benefits
2. Cucumber Recipes
- Summer Pineapple and Cucumber Gazpacho – Try this totally raw recipe. It’s a great cold soup to start out any summer meal.
- Cucumber and Hummus Boats – Who needs chips when halved, seeded cucumbers can be the vehicle for your hummus addiction?
- Tomato and Cucumber Sandwiches with Mint Chutney – Mint chutney ups the ante on this simple veggie sandwich!
- Peanut Cucumber Salad topped with Gingered Chard – Cucumber salad is light and fresh, and it pairs beautifully with rich peanuts and sauteed Swiss chard.
Next>> Summer Squash & Tomatoes
3. Summer Squash Recipes
When you’re shopping for summer squash, you may want to choose organic. It’s not as well-known as corn or soybeans, but there is genetically modified summer squash on the market. Organic produce is not allowed to be genetically modified, though, so look for that organic label if you want to opt out!
- Summer Squash Bruschetta – Squash replaces the tomatoes in this classic Italian starter.
- Lemon Pattypan Squash Pasta – You can skip the goat cheese to make this a vegan recipe, if you like. Pattypan squash is a bit harder to find, but you can most likely track it down at your local farmers market.
- Stuffed Summer Squash – Hollowed out summer squash stuffed with mushrooms and topped with guac? Don’t mind if I do!
- Roasted Yellow Squash and Onions – This recipe is simple, delicious, and pairs well with just about any main dish.
Related Reading: 7 Vegan Finger Food Recipes
4. Tomato Recipes
- Tomato Sandwich – Any Harriet the Spy fans out there? Tomato sandwiches are simple and sublime, and you can build them up so many ways!
- Roasted Tomato and Arbol Chile Salsa – This is a smoky variation on your basic salsa. Serve with chips or fresh veggies for dipping.
- Fried Green Tomatoes – Check out this vegan version of the Southern summer classic!
- Pickled Green Tomatoes – Pickled tomatoes? YES! One of my first memories is of eating pickled tomatoes with my Popi Irving on the back porch straight out of the jar.
photo by Becky Striepe
- She’s My Cherry Pie – Bake those cherries into a delicious pie to serve at your next cookout!
- Cherry Salsa - Sweet cherries pair up deliciously with spicy jalapenos, rich balsamic vinegar, and savory basil in this unusual salsa recipe.
- Cherry Fizz – Add a few frozen cherries and a squeeze of lemon or grapefruit juice to seltzer water for a lighter alternative to sugary sodapop.
- Cherry Bombs – Nutty chocolate cherry bites are as satisfying as a cookie without nearly as much refined sugar.
Related Reading: Top Fruits for Your Health
- Melon Cooler – Slice up your melon, tossing the seeds and skins into your compost bin, then throw the chunks into the blender for a refreshing summery drink.
- Melon Salad – I know, melons are the bane of most fruit salads, but in this recipe, melons are the superstar!
- Grilled Cantaloupe – Wow your guests next time you’re grilling!
- Watermelon Gazpacho – Another cold summer soup!
Next>> Strawberries & Peaches
- Sweet Pickled Strawberries – If you haven’t had pickled fruit, you are missing out!
- Strawberry Sherbert – You can make this a vegan recipe by using almond milk in place of the cow’s milk, if you like!
- Strawberry Kale Salad – Wilted raw kale salad gets a sweet kick when you slice in fresh strawberries.
- Kiwi-Strawberry Green Smoothie – Start your day with a tart and tangy burst of fruit and greens!
Related Reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Green Smoothies
- Peach Salsa with Cucumber & Mint – Don’t you love a fruit salsa?
- Grilled Peaches – There aren’t any old grilled peaches. Ginger-coconut caramel takes this simple grilled dessert to the next level.
- Pickled Peach Bellini – Add a little fresh fruit to your next cocktail recipe. If you’re not the boozin’ type, you can serve up these pickled peaches alongside a savory meal.
- Pearl Couscous Salad with Grilled Peaches – Sweet and savory, all in one delicious bowl.
Do you have any favorite summer fruit recipes? I’d love to hear yours in the comments!
photo by Becky Striepe