Summer is the perfect time for flip-flops, shorts and outdoor adventures! Coincidentally, summer is also the best time to change your eating habits.

Many fruits, such as watermelon, cherries, mangoes and peaches signal the change from winter-based comfort foods to light and fresh summer favorites.

Days spent outside —whether submerged in water or sweating on land — can cause issues such as dehydration, exhaustion and in some cases vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

In-season fruits contain nutrients at their peak during the summer as well as help the body look and feel ideal during the blazing heat.

Try making the recipe below this summer to incorporate the best of summer fare and to recharge and rehydrate after a long day of fun.

Local grocery stores and supermarkets can help you to try and substitute different fruits in this tasty summer fruit salad!

Easy Summer Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1 fresh pineapple (peeled, cored, cubed)

½ cantaloupe (peeled, seeded, cubed)

1 cup watermelon (peeled. seeded, cubed)

2 fresh peaches (pitted, chopped, skin optional)

2 plums (pitted, chopped)

2 bananas (sliced)

2 mandarin oranges (peeled, sectioned)

2 kiwis (peeled, chopped)

2 apricots (pitted, chopped)

10 fresh cherries (pitted, halved)

15 seedless grapes

10 strawberries (chopped)

Directions:

Prepare the fruit as indicated above and add all to a large bowl, except bananas. Stir together and chill covered for one hour before serving. Add sliced bananas right before serving to guests.

Zesty Citrus Salad

Ingredients:

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

3 cups fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon grated orange zest

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 cups cubed fresh pineapple

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

3 sliced fresh kiwi (peeled)

3 bananas, sliced

2 oranges, peeled and sectioned

1 cup seedless grapes

2 cups blueberries

Directions:

Bring orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest and lemon zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.

Layer the fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, grapes and blueberries.

Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at carey.stites@smchh.org.

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