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.
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
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.