Turn fruit into the perfect summer treat

Bright sunshine, warm nights, and beautiful greenery are all part of what makes summer one of the best seasons of the year, but that’s not all that comes with the rising temperatures.

As local farmer’s markets open at the beginning of the season and local produce starts hitting grocery store shelves, you’re going to have your pick of all of the best, freshest fruit of the year! Knowing what to buy?and when to buy?is just one aspect of getting the most out of the season. We’ve also put together three creative spins on fruit-based treats that you can try out right in your home’s kitchen.

KNOW YOUR SUMMER FRUIT BEFORE HITTING THE KITCHEN
First things first, what’s actually in season in your area? To get the freshest fruit from close to home, eating along with the seasons is your best bet. Keep an eye on the following list as you start planning out the menu for your summer parties and potlucks:

MAY  JUNE

Late spring and early summer are filled with some of the best fruit of the year during these months, keep an eye out for the following in-season options:

Apricots
Cantaloupe
Strawberries and Blueberries
Cherries
Mangoes
Watermelon
Kiwi
Peaches

JULY  AUGUST As summer hits its mid-point and begins its march towards fall, you’ll keep many of the early summer fruits, along with some new choices hitting your local farmer’s market:

Blackberries
Raspberries
Apples
Figs

1. TAKE YOUR FRUIT TO THE FREEZER

There’s really nothing better than an ice-cold dessert on a hot, humid day. So, why not get the soothing coolness you crave with all the benefits of healthy summertime fruit?

One of the best ways to make use of the bounty of a summer fruit harvest is to transform whole fruit into a freezer dessert that everyone is going to love. Popsicles, slushies, and frozen yogurt can all be made from a few simple ingredients that you can pick up at your local farmer’s market?and these recipes are sure to become a family favorite:

Watermelon Ice Pops
Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
Banana Ice Cream

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2. ADULTS ONLY: FRUIT WITH A LITTLE KICK

Kids, summer, and fruity treats go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t have their own fun with all of the flavors of the season!

When you want a bit of kick with your fruit, it just takes some fresh fruit, everyday ingredients, and your favorite spirit to get an adult-only dessert that cools you down and gives you a relaxing summer evening. Curious about the best recipes? Check out some classics here:

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt: With added rum, this decadent treat is sure to satisfy anyone after a long day in the hot sun.
Tequila-Soaked Watermelons: It’s as simple? and ingenious? as it sounds! Get a margarita on the go with the delicious summer lightness of watermelon. If you love the flavor of these, you’ll also need to check out Bobby Flay’s famous watermelon-tequila cocktails!

Strawberry-Lemon Mojitos: Nothing says summer like a refreshing mojito on your back porch, but we love this new twist on a classic that gives you a smooth, fruity drink with a bit of extra sweetness from the berries.

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3. SPIN-OFF FROM THE CLASSICS

Summertime is the season where meals are less structured, lighter, and varied with the fresh produce available at the market?so, what better time to play around with some of the classic dishes?

Pizza and smores are two things that are a staple in many families’ summer meal rotation, and we have a couple of spin-offs that can make your dish the highlight of the party:

Fruit Pizza: Fruit plus pizza may not seem like they add up?but hear us out! For a creative dessert that you feel good about serving, swap traditional pizza toppings with fruit to create a light, fresh option. This summer berry pizza is sure to be a hit, while this sugar cookie crust pizza is perfect for a summer party!

Berry Smores: Summer isn’t summer without smores, so, why not add some fruit to the party?  Chocolate and marshmallows are the perfect complements to fresh berries, and this raspberry smore recipe is just right for jazzing-up your next campfire.

Summer is the perfect time of year to explore new flavors and new recipes.

Using the fresh fruit of the season can help you get the most out of your meals. Whether you stick with the recipes or get creative with the kids trying new fruit concoctions.