Fruit for the 4th

Strawberries are a delicious in-season fruit for the 4th! Strawberries are a delicious in-season fruit for the 4th!

Nothing can beat the intoxicating aroma, juicy sweet flavor, and health benefits of fresh summer strawberries and raspberries!

A delicious and healthy 4th!

There is something so exciting when the first crop of strawberries or raspberries hit your local farmers market. Nothing can beat their intoxicating aroma or juicy sweet flavor. And every time you bite into a piece of fruit, not only are your tastebuds instantly satisfied, you send a flood of nutrients to your body that can impact your health favorably.

Since fruit is relatively low in calories and fat, yet an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemcials, you really do gain health rewards in each bite. In fact, these compounds appear to act in synergy, which in turn protects you from developing many diseases including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. 

This year, visit your farmer's market

One of the best places you can turn to for the freshest fruits this summer is your neighborhood farmers market; and there’s no doubt about it, a visit to your local farmers market is a great way to spend a summer morning. A kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and a mélange of earthy aromas await you. Better yet, your local farmers market can serve as an inspiration for a delicious, healthy meal to be served at your 4th of July celebration.

Celebrate the 4th with this delicious Grilled Peaches with Basil recipe! Go »

A variety of in-season fruits

With so many in-season fruits this time of year to choose from, include a variety in your diet to maximize your enjoyment of their flavor and optimize their nutritional value. Some in-season fruits include:

  1. Blackberries - High in fiber, vitamins C and K, and manganese, these fresh berries are wonderful additions to cereals and salads or in puddings, fruit desserts, and other baked goods. 
  2. Raspberries - This sweet delicate fruit comes in several varieties, including yellow, red, purple and black colors. Use them on top of warm or cold cereals, desserts, or in homemade desserts. 
  3. Cherries - An excellent source of vitamin C, cherries are delicious simply eaten fresh as a snack. Also experiment with them dried, frozen, or preserved as a jam.
  4. Strawberries - There is something irresistible about strawberries. Heart-shaped, jewel-like and packed with some serious plant-powered nutritional punch, it's no wonder strawberries are one of America's favorite fruits.  Enjoy them sliced into salads, on top of yogurt, or mixed into smoothies.
  5. Peaches - These fuzzy skinned, round, yellowish-orange stone fruits are juicy and sweet, making them the perfect summertime snack. Enjoy them fresh as is, or grilled, such as in this recipe.
Sharon Palmer, R.D.

Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ is a writer and author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Over 850 of her articles have been published in national publications, including Prevention, Better Homes and Gardens and Today’s Dietitian. She is also the editor of the award-winning publication Environmental Nutrition and writes for her blog, The Plant-Powered Blog. Her specific expertise is in plant-based nutrition, including Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets. Her second book, Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes, will be in stores spring of 2014.