A toast to California peaches, plums and nectarines
(NC) – REEDLEY, Calif. – There’s nothing like a cold, fruity beverage on a hot summer day, especially when it’s made with fresh summer fruits like California peaches, plums and nectarines – and these drinks are good for you too.
The health benefits of fruits and vegetables have been well documented for many years. The trick, of course, is finding easy, delicious ways to include produce in meals, snacks, and drinks throughout the day. Pat Baird, R.D., a nutrition expert and cookbook author, says it’s easier to add fruits and vegetables to your diet than many people think, especially during the summer months.
‘The key to healthful eating is to find ways to incorporate healthy foods, like peaches, plums and nectarines, into meals and snacks throughout the day,’ Baird says. ‘Some people only eat certain fruits and vegetables whole and/or raw, for example, when they could use them in a variety of different ways, including diced on a salad or ice cream, grilled and served with chicken or beef, or sliced and served in an icy cold drink. Variety is very important, both for good nutrition and to keep meals interesting.’
During the summer, Baird says, a fun way to boost your produce consumption is to add sliced fruit to drinks – lemonade, iced tea or club soda, for example. Other suggestions include:
- Freezing pureed fruit in ice cube trays and serving with lemon-lime soda or lemonade
- Adding fresh peaches or nectarines to fruit punch or juice
- Whirring fresh plums with vanilla yogurt for a tasty smoothie
- Using fresh fruit in sangrias, daiquiris and margaritas
‘During the hot summer months we tend to take in more liquids to keep hydrated. Adding sliced peaches, plums or nectarines is a great way to help you on your way to eating more fruits and vegetables,’ she says. ‘The other great thing about these summer fruits is that they come in a wide array of colors, which means they contain various phytonutrients believed to be beneficial for good health.’
Light, refreshing and packed with flavor, this is the perfect drink for a summer barbecue or beach party. Be prepared to make extra!
- 1 fresh California peach yellow or Summerwhite
- 1 fresh California nectarine
- 1 fresh California plum
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris chilled
- Rinse fruit; remove pits from the peach, nectarine and plum and slice thinly. Place all fruit, including the raspberries, into the bottom of a large pitcher and pour chilled wine over the fruit.
- When serving, use a spoon to place a small amount of fruit into each glass. May be made ahead; keep covered and chilled in the refrigerator.