'Tis the season to enjoy some fresh fruits and vegetables. It's the dog days of summer, and what better way to cool off than with a succulent salad or a big bowl of fruit? Health experts recommend you consume five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Although it may seem like a lot, there's plenty from which to choose. Like all seasons, summer has its own batch of offerings that are sure to tickle your taste buds. Not sure what's in season? Before you visit your local grocery store or nearby farmers market consider these possibilities. Summer is great for peppers, onions, zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant. Cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, radishes, potatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, rhubarb and sweet potatoes are all ripe for the picking. There's a rainbow of fresh vegetables you can enjoy. The more color you add to your diet, the more vitamins and nutrients you're bringing to the table. Prepare them as simple sides, tossed into casseroles or even roasted on an open grill.
Just try to avoid adding any unnecessary sauces, creams or butter that can quickly transform your veggie servings from healthy to unhealthy with the flick of a spoon. There are also plenty of fruits for you to enjoy. Summer is prime time for some of the sweetest fruits. Take your pick from blueberries, strawberries, cherries, melons, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, pineapple and grapes. Also in season are mango, kiwi, papaya, watermelon, apple, oranges, raspberries and figs. When it comes to fresh fruit, the possibilities are endless. Toss together a fruit salad, add it to your oatmeal, top off your salad or whip up a cobbler or pie. Of course, you can always enjoy it as is.