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Stone Fruit Season

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Nutrition and recipes

We are entering high season for stone fruit, a fruit that has a single central pit encased by a hard shell or “stone”.  Peaches, nectarines and cherries are just a few members of this group also known as drupes.   

Peaches – Known for their fuzzy skin and juicy bite, one medium peach has about 60 calories and is a good source of vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that cancels out damage caused by free radicals in our body.  Research has also shown peach and plum extracts have been effective in attacking cancer cells.  Peaches have 2g fiber, also known as “roughage” that promotes heart and gut health.  They’re a perfect snack to wash and eat by hand at room temperature and they’re a natural addition to summer fruit salads! They can even be grilled to intensify their natural sugars and added to leafy greens or served alongside chicken or fish. 

Cherries – These seasonal treats are best enjoyed as a snack by the handful.  One cup of cherries is about 100 calories and is a good source of fiber.  It also provides vitamin C, the antioxidant nutrient that helps form skin-smoothing collagen.  Several studies have linked cherry consumption with the alleviation of inflammation, arthritic pain and gout, making them a superfood for the joints. 

Plums – There are thousands of varieties of plums; colors ranging from crimson red to dark purple and blue with flavors from tart to sweet.  One cup of sliced plums has about 80 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C.  They’re also a good source of vitamin K, a fat-soluble nutrient needed for normal blood clotting that also contributes to strengthening bones, fighting cancer and preventing heart disease. Try them as a snack or pureed into a sauce.  If you want slices to keep their shape, we recommend leaving the skin on during cooking. 

Apricots – Often golden-yellow or deep orange, apricots are a smaller relative of the peach and have a smooth, velvety skin.  Three fresh apricots provide 50 calories and a good source of vitamins A and C. Key to iron absorption and fending off infection, one study found that vitamin C is important for brain development in childhood – getting adequate amounts prevented learning defects.  Help your little ones get enough; pair dried apricots with almonds for a convenient snack that doesn’t need refrigeration.    

Published June 1, 2019

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