THE FRUITS OF SUMMER

Amidst the parching summer heat, deliciously seasonal sweet fruits are a real blessing that soothe our dehydration. My favourite fruits are all plentiful during the summer months, and, not being a veggie-lover, I truly make the most of storing up my much-needed vitamins from fruit instead.

Naturally, seasonal fruits depend on the region one lives in, as well as crop availability. In some areas, seasons start earlier and harvest times are different. In others, crops depend on temperature, therefore since fruits are better fresh, one’s diet depends on a where one lives. For example, in Malta, citrus fruits are abundant almost all year round. However, their cultivation is not possible in very cold climates, as in countries like Iceland or Finland.

During the summer months, even Malta – which is usually rich in fruits and vegetables both – is even more fruitful (excuse the pun) when it comes to fresh ripe fruit. Of course, most kinds of fruit are available all year round in supermarkets and other shops, as they’re imported from other countries and climes. However, whether or not the fruit in this case is actually fresh is another question entirely.

Here are some of my favourites which are bountiful and at their freshest during summer:

Peaches

These are my Achilles’ heel. Their sweet juicy meat is so refreshing that I actually find it hard to stop eating more than two or three of them at one serving. Their delicate aroma and velvety smoothness are tantamount to seduction. Peaches ripen in summer since heat is very important for the crop to mature. They bruise easily and are best stored in temperatures of high humidity. Peaches are a very good source of dietary fibre, being a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium.

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Apricots

These are available all year round in the dried and canned variety. However, to truly taste their inherent goodness without all the added sugars and chemicals, fresh apricots are obviously better than preserved ones. Having a faint tartness and a smooth feel, apricots can be said to be a cross between peaches and plums. Fresh apricots supply plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and moreover, they’re also rich in antioxidants while containing very few calories.

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Grapes

Commercial grapes can be classified as either table or wine grapes; in this case, I’m obviously referring to table grapes. These are amazing as a refreshing snack in-between meals, especially when one wants to eat something light which won’t ruin one’s appetite. They offer a healthy combination of fibre and antioxidants, which is thought to aid colon cancer prevention. Whether you prefer red or white grapes, seedless grapes or grape juice, this tasty fruit is also believed to reduce blood pressure, alleviate certain allergies, and help with constipation.

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Melons

There are many different kinds and varieties of melons. Some are considered berries, while others are even considered to be vegetables. The type of melon which we Maltese usually consume is known as the honeydew melon. This type is characterised by its slightly oval shape, yellow or greenish peel and pale green sweet watery flesh. Having only 60 calories per half a cup, most of which are found in their natural sugar, honeydew melons are low in carbohydrates and fats, and very rich in fibre and potassium. They’re also a good source of Vitamin C, copper and several B Vitamins.

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There are several other fruits which I like to indulge in during the summer months, most notably watermelons and strawberries, which are also freshly available in spring.

 

What are your favourite summer fruits?

Let us know in the comment section below.