Experts Say It's Better to Eat by the Season
Eating seasonally means better-tasting and more nutritious fruits and vegetables
Stone Fruits of Summer
Then there are those fruits knows as stone fruits. These fruits include
those from the fruit trees within the genus of Prunus. Peaches, plums,
cherries, apricots are just a few and are at their best in the summer. To
select these fruits at their peak, Whole Foods Market, a national
retail supermarket that specializes in organic produce, offers these tips:
- Look for peaches with skins that have a background color of yellow or warm
cream. Avoid rock-hard peaches and choose those that yield slightly to pressure
along the "seam." These peaches will soften in a few days if kept at
room temperature. Avoid dark-colored, mushy, or bruised peaches.
- Plums should be plump and well-colored for their variety. The fruit is
ready to eat when it yields to gentle pressure. Plums ripen well off the tree
at room temperature.
- Cherries should be glossy, plump, hard, and dark-colored for their variety.
Pack loosely to minimize bruising.
- Apricots should be plump and orange-colored and should yield to gentle
pressure. Avoid those that have shriveled skin or bruises or those tinged with
Stone fruits are delicious as is, or prepared in cobblers and crisps, pies
and tarts, or preserves. For simple preparation, poaching is an easy and quick
method to preserve ripe fruit; eat alone or serve over ice cream or frozen
yogurt, or on pancakes. Grilled fruits are also a good addition to a meal.
Fruits cook quickly on the grill, usually taking only a few minutes to soften
slightly. Eat as is or serve over ice cream.
By adding a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet, you'll not
only be livening up your meals with tasty ingredients, but also boost your
nutrient quotient. Cucumbers, for example, may be 95% water (which makes them a
good natural diuretic), but they're rich in vitamin E; tomatoes are packed with
vitamins A and C, potassium, and phosphorus; and
sweet corn is a good source of vitamin C as well.
Fruits are no less nutritious, apricots, for example, are a good source of
beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, and potassium; blueberries and blackberries are
rich in fiber; melons provide much needed vitamin C; and peaches are a good
source of vitamins A and C themselves.