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Here are some of the best summer fruits and veggies, as well as ways to pick the best ones!

Summer is the best time of the year. The weather is warm, the pool is open, school is out and cold snacks are on the menu. And speaking of snacks, what’s better than hopping out of the pool, walking over to a cooler, and pulling out a big, juicy slice of watermelon? It’s the perfect treat, combining sweet and refreshing, all in the palm of your hand. But watermelon isn’t the only fresh summer snack in season during the warmer part of the year. Fruits and veggies are everywhere, ripe and ready to bite into. Let’s go over some of our favorites to snack on during the summer, as well as how you can pick the best ones for your pool party, barbecue or afternoon on the back patio.


Apples are a classic. Sliced, eaten whole, dipped in yogurt, covered in caramel, baked into a pie. It doesn’t matter. They’re always tasty and refreshing. Toss in that extra fun fact that an apple can give you just as much or more energy than a cup of coffee, and it’s no wonder people say that one a day keeps the doctor away. Picking the best apple is tough, though, mostly because there are so many different types. Your preference may vary based on flavors that typically appeal to you as well as whether or not you will be eating them raw or cooked into a confection. We can, however, say a firm apple with no bruising is a good apple. Bright, strong colors and pleasant smells are also a good sign.


Ah, the avocado. One of the most delectable fruits on the menu. And yes, it is a fruit despite straying away from the traditional sweetness you get with the most recognized fruits. They go well on just about everything. They’re so tasty, we don’t even think twice when they ask us if we still want guac, even when it’s extra. But how do you pick the best one? It depends on when you want to eat it. The right avocado should have no dents, but it should be a bit soft. It will also be darker in color, but be wary of mushy avocados that have overripened. Perfectly ripe avocadoes can make your breakfast, your sandwich or your street tacos devoured on the sunny shores of a California beach absolutely delish.


Blackberries can be divisive. On the one hand, they can be extremely sweet and refreshing, especially right out of the fridge or freezer on a hot day. On the other hand, they can mar your smile given their knack of lodging seeds in your teeth, requiring floss for removal. For this article, we’re looking out for those who believe the former and want to enjoy a delicious bowl of blackberries on a summer day. If you’re at the local farmer’s market or grocery store looking at blackberries, choose the ones that are plump, large and tender. Be careful, however, as blackberries tend to get mushy and moldy quickly.


There are those who love cantaloupe and those who hate it. It typically depends on your feelings on melons as a whole, but for cantaloupe lovers, there’s little satisfaction like biting into juicy, ripe, sweet cantaloupe straight out of the refrigerator, salt optional. To make sure your cantaloupe will be as tasty as it can be, pick one that feels full but has a bit of give. A hard cantaloupe will be flavorless, while one that’s too mushy can be soupy and watery with unpleasant taste.


The carrot is an interesting vegetable. Crack open an American refrigerator, and you’ll probably find some. They have a long shelf life, and they’re extremely versatile. In fact, just as a quick side note, we’re sure you’ve tried them with ranch, but give them a shot with hummus. It’s a delicious and refreshing treat! For the best results, choose carrots that are firm, smooth, straight and vibrant in color. Stay away from cracked or slimy carrots.


“Refreshing” seems to be the word of the day, but few veggies encapsulate that word as well as a cucumber. And it makes sense. They’re 96% water! The rest is a crunchy disk that makes the perfect vessel for dip while also providing a great source of vitamins and fiber. A good cucumber should have few, if any, blemishes or soft spots; its skin should be an even dark green.


Notoriously difficult to slice, everyone who has enjoyed fresh mango knows the juice is worth the squeeze. They’re just as tasty dried, or even with some chili powder, but for those looking for a fresh mango, give it a squeeze. If it gives just slightly, it’s ready to slice up and enjoy! Hard mangos aren’t yet ripe, while extremely soft mangos are overripened. Color-wise, mangos start green and turn yellow, orange, red and purple as they ripen. Again, base your decision on when you’d like to enjoy your mango.


Peaches and mangos seem like best friends, but they are a bit different. You can munch straight into a peach, sort of like an apple, albeit with a very large hard seed at the core. You can also slice it up, and if you’re feeling dangerous, throw those slices and some cinnamon over vanilla ice cream. Just like many other fruits, peaches are ready when they’re a bit soft. They should also be dark yellow and have little to no bruising.


Raspberries are sort of cousins to blackberries. They have similar structure and seeds, but their taste varies slightly. A bit softer, they’re still sweet and delicious, especially when ripe. The best way to pick a container of raspberries is to pick firm, full berries that are bright red in color. Just like blackberries, they can mold easily, so be sure to avoid any that are mushy or hairy.


Strawberries are just a classic. They’re delicious all by themselves, or they can top yogurts and desserts, or be blended into smoothies. Also, did you know you can eat the leaves? That’s right. They’re high in antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium and iron, so even if they don’t sound appealing when you’re simply eating a strawberry, you can just toss in the whole berry if you’re blending it up! The strawberry is usually the star of a dish or a fruit salad, so it makes sense that good ones are glossy. They’re also bright red, firm and fresh-looking. As with all berries, check for mold before leaving the market!


Tomatoes are the perfect complement to any dish, or one of the best ingredients in a fresh salad. Some even eat them just like apples, and don’t worry. We’re not here to judge those people. (We are, however, here to judge those who eat onions like apples. If you’re one of those people, please brush your teeth.) Anyway, the best tomatoes are firm. Pick them up and feel their weight. They should feel dense but never too firm. Additionally, think about your timeline. A ripe tomato may not last a long time on your countertop, but by all means, never put them in the refrigerator.


Watermelon. The perfect way to bookend an article about summer treats. Everyone loves watermelon, right? Or watermelon-flavored treats, like popsicles, drinks and candy. The best part is that you can just grab a slice and take a huge bite (just don’t forget to spit out the seeds). Even if you get it all over your face, your friends next to you will probably be doing the exact same thing. If you’re looking for the perfect watermelon, it should be dark and dull because pale, slick watermelons sometimes aren’t yet ripe. An orange or tan spot may signal that a watermelon will be ripe and full of flavor, but color matters! White and yellow spots may be signs of a flavorless watermelon.

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