Clever fruit hacks for a simpler and sweeter summer

The sun is out, temperatures are up, and new fruits are hitting the shelves! Summer is prime time for enjoying fresh fruit. Not only is it cool, juicy, and refreshing, but there are so many varieties in season from June to August.

June alone means the beginning of fresh cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, peaches, kiwi, and more! (Phew, what a list!)

These fruits are delicious eaten right out of hand, of course, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. Read on for four clever fruit hacks you’ll want to keep in mind for this summer from recipes to freshness tips:

Frozen grapes – The high water content of grapes makes them incredibly refreshing when frozen, and many people like them even better than fresh ones. They also double as ice that won’t water down your drink. In particular, they’re great for keeping wine cool, or chilling wine that you forgot to put in the fridge beforehand.

Frozen blueberry bites – Just like grapes, blueberries take on a whole new life when frozen. Even better: pair them with creamy yogurt. This nutrient-packed frozen treat will curb your sweet tooth and cool you down. It’s an amazing summer snack for adults and kids alike.

Simply dip washed and dried blueberries in vanilla yogurt one at a time, and then spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Slip the pan in the freezer for an hour, and voila! If you don’t eat all of the delicious bites in one sitting, you can store them in an airtight container in the freezer for a few weeks.

Fresh apple slices – Keeping sliced apples from browning can be a struggle any season of the year, but the summer heat doesn’t make it any easier. Luckily, there’s an easy hack for keeping them fresh:

Soak freshly cut apples in cool water mixed with lemon juice (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon lemon juice) for 3-5 minutes. Then drain and rinse the apples. Easy as pie! You’ll now have apple slices that will stay fresh for hours to come.

Banana “ice cream” – Make a cool treat as good as ice cream with just one ingredient: a frozen banana! Just ensure the banana is super ripe before freezing.

Once frozen, toss it in a blender and start pulsing it until it reaches a somewhat creamy consistency. Continue blending it, but now in somewhat longer bursts, until the banana chunks disappear. You’ll be left with an incredibly smooth, sweet, and healthy frozen treat!

Of course, you can always throw in additions like chocolate chips, peanut butter, or cocoa powder to make things more interesting!