“You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.”Will Rogers
Summer’s high temperatures bring the best season to buy fruit. Pineapple, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and especially the more exotic fruits like papaya, kiwi, and mango. All these delicious fruits thrive in the warm temperatures of Summer. These flavors are my favorite.
Outdoor markets are safer in 2020 than most grocery stores. Farmer’s Markets have implemented so many safety precautions, so I recommend shopping as local as possible. Frozen fruits and veggies are amazing too. Our freezer is mostly full of bags of frozen fruits. Some I freeze myself when I notice it won’t be eaten in time. One week my family loves bananas and eats them fast, the next week they sit on the counter until I freeze them for frozen banana ice cream. Frozen grapes in your drinks is such a fun way to stay cool. If you are ordering your groceries for curbside pickup, frozen produce is such a good addition. Frozen mango straight out of the bag is one of my favorite things ever. Smoothies blended with a handful of frozen berries, a teaspoon of honey, and a splash of oat milk is a great breakfast.
Pineapple is surprisingly easy to grow, even at home. Pineapples can be kept as a house plant or can be planted outside. As the saying goes, “takes one pineapple to grow one,” is the rule to growing a pineapple. Cutting off the pineapple’s crown, or leafy top is all that is needed to start a pineapple plant. Hang the crown, so it hangs upside down and let dry like this for two days. Then, dig a hole and plant like any other plant.
Picking a ripe pineapple is a little more difficult than planting one. Typically, the rind will be dark green, yellow, orange, or red. Also, the fruit will smell a bit sweet and will be softer when gently squeezed at the sides. The catch, a pineapple will not ripen anymore one picked. Store at home in the refrigerator, pineapples will keep whole from 4-6 weeks.
I wouldn’t be a real South Carolina mom blogger if I didn’t mention peaches in the summer. Local roadside peach stands pop up all over Georgia and South Carolina at the end of the summer. Peaches taste better as they age, they get sweeter and juicier as they ripen. A gentle squeeze will tell you what stage they’re at. Gently press or squeeze the shoulder and tip (where the stem was) – if it just starts to give, it’s ripe and ready to eat. If the peach is still firm, it’s great if you like crunchy peaches. Crunchy peaches hold up better in salads. Juicier peaches bake well or taste amazing in a homemade ice cream.
Technically South Carolina grows more peaches than the Peach State Georgia. But y’all a Georgia peach is just as sweet as a South Carolina peach.
Watermelon is the ultimate dieter’s food. Peak season is between June and September and can grow in any warm climate all over the world. Choosing a ripe watermelon is simple. Tap the melon lightly, the sound should be hollow and should be heavier than expected. The yellow side of a watermelon is the “earth” side, where the melon rested on the ground.
An interesting fact about watermelon is the fruit is actually a vegetable. What is more interesting, is the watermelon is a close relative to the cucumber and squash family. The seeds are also edible, and no matter what your uncles told you, they will not sprout inside the body when eaten
Also known as a “muskmelon,” with a weblike rind smells very sweet and tastes like candy when ripe. Ripe cantaloupe can be detected using a unique method. By shaking it! A ripe cantaloupe will rattle when shaken. Also, it’s the color will be an orange shade with no green at all. At home, if a cantaloupe needs to ripen more, just leave it out at room temperature until ripe. When ripened, store in the fridge.
When ripe, a honeydew is literally like a candied melon. Sweet, soft flesh that melts in the mouth. Not only can the ripe honeydew be smelled through its rind, but the rind will be soft and almost the same color as the flesh. Ripen at home the same as cantaloupe, at room temperature.
Tropical fruits are great sources of antioxidants, Omega 3’s, Vitamins, and more. Papaya, mango, and kiwi are all rich in Vitamins and can be eaten skin, seeds, and all. Ripe fruits will be very soft to the touch, but not too soft or bruised.
Papaya will be a vibrant yellow/orange when ripe. Similarly, mango will not have any green left on the skin when ready to enjoy.
Most nutritionists and moms everywhere encourage kids to explore different fruits and incorporate them into a regular diet to benefit from the many health benefits these fruits have to offer.
More Summer Fruits