Travis Rathbone; Food Styling: Liza Jernow; Prop Styling: Megan Hedgpeth

How to turn two favorites into easy tasty treats.

Beth Lipton
June 19, 2015

Ahh, Summer. It’s the ideal time of year for fruit. Farmers markets are bursting with refreshing watermelon and juicy plums, two seasonal faves. Both are perfectly delicious on their own as a snack or mixed into a salad with other fruit, of course. But there’s so much more you can do with these nutrient-packed bites. Check out our tips on selecting the most luscious kinds and making them last, along with creative recipe ideas.

Watermelon

Choose: Symmetrical ones that have dark green skin and feel heavy for their size.

Store: Whole watermelon in the fridge for up to a week. Once cut, the fruit should be tightly wrapped and refrigerated; try to use it within a day.

Why it’s great: It’s rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may fight cancer. Plus, watermelon is about 92 percent water, so eating it is a yummy way to stay hydrated on hot summer days.

Just avoid: Ones with a green or white spot on the bottom—it means the watermelon may not be ripe. The spot should be creamy yellow.

Try this: Blend cut-up watermelon; strain to remove seeds. Add a bit of lime juice and tequila or vodka. Serve chilled.

RELATED: 12 Summer Fruit and Veggie Recipes

Photo: Travis Rathbone; Food Styling: Liza Jernow; Prop Styling: Megan Hedgpeth

Plums

Choose: Firm fruit that gives slightly to gentle pressure.

Store: In a plastic bag in the fridge for up to four days. Keep underripe plums in a bowl at room temperature until they soften.

Why they’re great: Plums provide vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin K, which is important for bone density and healthy blood clotting.

Just avoid: Any that have cracks or blemishes, or those with mushy parts.

Try this: Thinly slice some plums and layer them on sourdough bread with brie and grainy mustard, then toast in the toaster oven. Serve open-faced.

Want more summer fruit ideas? We’re running a series filled with fun and tempting suggestions for getting the most out of Your farmers market hauls. Check it out at health.com/summer-fruit.

RELATED: 12 Delicious Fruit Salads and Salsa Recipes

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