There’s no shortage of ripe fruit and veg during the summertime. Just go on a walk in a local park, and you’re sure to see at least a couple of apple or cherry trees that are at least blossoming, if not fruiting! Here I wanted to share with you some seasonal summer fruit choices.

Red ice lollies in white bowl on blue surface

While foraging might not be your cup of tea, there are a lot of different ways that you can get your hands on fresh produce. However you do that, here’s the fresh fruit to look out for in the summer.

Chillies

While these are an unconventional choice as far as fruit go, they technically do fit the bill! Use them in anything that you would typically do with fruit, and you’re sure to have a delicious, if odd, meal. A great example is jams and chutneys: chili jam was a staple when I was growing up!

For slightly sweeter things, you might have to experiment a little. For example, if you’re going to do a chili crumble, then you might have to pair the chilies with another fruit in the base layer. Tropical fruits make a great choice, so perhaps you could opt for mango or passionfruit! Unconventional, but sure to be delicious.

Raspberries

Raspberries might be my favourite fruit out there. The plant bears fruit spectacularly, and it’s beautiful to watch them ripen on the vine. They make a stunning jam, though they could also be used for a number of different recipes.

Personally, I love to use them in different sauces, marinades, and dressings. The super sweet and tart flavor goes well with saltier dishes. For example, a raspberry sauce could work particularly well alongside pork or similar salty meat. Think about the brilliant combination of bacon and maple syrup: sweet and salty.

Tomatoes

I would be doing a disservice to the humble tomato if I didn’t include it on a list of amazing summertime fruit. My whole family takes pleasure in growing tomatoes throughout the year, so when the summertime comes I have a frankly ridiculous surplus of them.

My favourite thing to do with tomatoes is a classic, simple Italian pasta dish. There’s something so incredibly elegant about well-cooked basic veg, paired with fresh herbs, and then simmered over the barest heat for hours. I love to serve it on top of steaming hot pasta, or, alternatively, alongside some freshly baked focaccia for dunking.

The secret to a great Italian pasta sauce is to cook it over very low heat for an incredibly long time. If you do that, you can make batches of the stuff in enormous cauldron-like pots, and then freeze it for a chilly night. When slow cooking like that, use a heavy-based pot and don’t be afraid to go heavy on the onions and garlic: they’ll slowly release amazing flavor into the rest of the sauce.

Summer is, without a doubt, my favourite time to be harvesting. There are a huge number of different fresh fruits and veggies on offer, and for the home cook who loves what they do: it’s a fantastic variety of choices!

Have you tried growing your own food? Lets grow cook shares lots of tips.

Planning for a healthy summer

If you want healthy food for a relaxing summer where you don’t put on the pounds I have some great summer recipes to help. Be sure to get out the BBQ and put rubs on meats, marinate tofu or get that charcoal in to ensure that you have a great time.

Whatever you do be sure to plan ahead because we all know that when the weather is nice no shops have BBQ foods in anymore and the whole of the supermarket is full of people with trolleys of bread rolls and beer. If the weather is a bit questionable there are plenty of cool summer meals to make in the air fryer to avoid putting the oven on or settling for a Mexican salad or Greek salad again!

A healthy summer means a little planning ahead to ensure you can stay on plan and still have tasty summer foods. That way you can always save calories or syns for favourites, mine are low syn chocolate or Jaffa Cake gin!

If you hate meal planning then check out my summer meal plan or for cooler days my late summer/autumn plan.

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