If you spend as much time with produce and perishables as we do, you learn what fresh foods are best to eat year round. So as we enter summer, here’s a quick guide to thinking, shopping, and buying early summer fruits.
We pride ourselves on having fresh, quality produce all year long. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t excited about seasonal harvests, and opportunities for people all across the South Sound region to enjoy excellent summer fruits. So here’s our quick guide to summer fruit snacking!
Don’t Ignore Out of Season
At Tacoma Boys, you will find many produce items all year round, and we take great care to make sure that the products you receive are fresh and sourced correctly, from places all over the world. If you’re worried about international sourcing, please know that we have trusted global partners, making the summer fruits you enjoy when they are out of season in the United States.
If you’re looking for oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits, those items are available year round in our stores. And at Tacoma Boys, we try very hard to let you know when the available produce is local, so read our written labels! And if you have a question or concern, just ask for one of our managers at either Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce.
Is It Ápricot or Āpricot?
However it is that you pronounce it, apricots are in season this June, and they are delicious. And if you’re unfamiliar with just how to use this fruit, here are some great uses for this surprisingly health forward item, that is usually just found dried.
Have you ever canned preserves? Well, apricot preserves and jams are a great way to enjoy this fruit. And all you really need are apricots, lemons, sugar and canning supplies! But if jams aren’t your jam, don’t give up on this fruit shopping. Blend your apricots with some orange juice, and then freeze them in ice trays for a terrific frozen treat. If you’d rather enjoy them immediately, consider adding apricots to your healthy smoothies, as they are low in calories, high in antioxidants, and they are terrific sources of vitamins A and C, while also being tied to better digestive health. You can also bake, broil, or saute slices in butter and cinnamon for a unique treat. But for many, apricots are delicious by themselves, and can be sliced all the way around and pitted, similar to how peaches and nectarines are cut, sliced, and enjoyed.
When in the PNW, Rainier Cherries!!
No fruit has better captivated the South Sound region in summertime than Rainier cherries. Perhaps it’s the name, or this fun cherry’s origins on the campus of Washington State University, or maybe it’s just the sweet taste that makes this fruit a seasonal must-have. Of course, we all love eating them right off of the stems, but they make for excellent desserts like crumbles, turnovers, and cobblers. You could even addthem to parfaits, ice cream, smoothies or cocktails!
Generally speaking, sweet cherries are available throughout the summer months. If you’re interested in sour pie cherries, they can be found in our freezers at all three locations, along with pie cherries that can come either frozen or in a can.
A Berry Good Season
If we listed the berries that start popping up in early summer, this would be a really long article. So, instead, here are a few highlights to be looking for in our produce stands: Raspberries are delicate, so when you’re picking produce inspect what you expect. And once you’re home with them, if they start fading then freeze them for year round goodness. Strawberries make it all the way into summer too! And blueberries are always available during the summer. Also be on the lookout for blackberries and marionberries too.
Honeydew You Have Melons
We have several kinds of melons at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. So first, we’ve made a beginner’s guide for picking melons that you can see here. But for the sake of repetition, see them, smell them, shake them, and savor them.
The uses for melons in the early summer are almost endless. But a fresh melon salad is a terrific seasonal side or stand alone dish. All you need for a quick salad is 3 to 4 cups of watermelon and cantaloupe, set to the side. Then blend ⅛ of a cup of simple syrup, ¼ cup of mint (packed), and ¼ cup of lemon juice together and pour it over the melons. For an added punch, add a teaspoon of amaretto or vanilla to the mixture. And voila, melon salad!
But Wait, There’s More
We aren’t intentionally leaving any fruits out, but again, we are trying to be as brief as possible with this guide. So to round out our list of fruits to see as summer rolls in, here’s to several kinds of apples, as well as nectarines, peaches, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, grapes, pears, plums and rhubarb.
Summer is an incredible season to get your fruity foodie on,