Take Advantage Of Summertime Produce

Summer produce advantages

Summer is a great time for senior citizens to get fresh fruits and vegetables at a great price.  With multiple farmer’s markets, festivals and local vendors, there is an abundance of opportunities to make sure your house is stocked up with tasty items like watermelon, strawberry, corn and more.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is important as you age, because the nutrients and fiber in these foods can help reduce high blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, stave off eye and digestive problems.  Sadly, only 30 percent of people 65 and older eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables – the minimum amount recommended for good nutrition. (a serving is about 1/2 a cup or the amount you can hold in your cupped hand).

For seniors, getting the proper amount of fresh fruits and vegetables may be a bit more due to dental problems, limited access to grocery stores or just changes in their tastes for certain foods.   Assuming a family member, caregiver or delivery can keep you supplied with fruits and vegetables, removing the dental and taste issue can be fairly easy and fun!

There are so many ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into foods you may already eat. It may be as easy as adding fruit into your cereal, yogurt, or pancakes.   Try adding some vegetables to an easy back casserole or pasta dish.

To get the most out of the fruits and vegetables you eat, aim for variety. Eat many different types of fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors. This will help ensure that you get the variety of nutrients your body needs for healthy aging.

To help stir your imagination, we have included 4 simple, easy and very tasty recipes that incorporate fruits and vegetables in ways you may not have considered. Bon appetit!

Black Raspberry Cream Pie


1 purchased 9-inch graham cracker crumb pie shell

1 egg white, beaten

1 cup whipping cream

1-8 ounce cream cheese, softened

1- 10 ounce jar black raspberry spread

Fresh black raspberries, lemon peel twist, and/or mint leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush pie shell with beaten egg white. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a medium mixing bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add black raspberry spread. Beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Cover and freeze for 4 to 24 hours or until firm. Garnish with fresh black raspberries, lemon peel twist, and/or mint. Makes 8 servings.

Corn Peach Salad


4 ears fresh sweet corn

1 cup chopped fresh peaches

6 radishes, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Salt and ground black pepper


Remove husks from the ears of corn. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks; rinse. Cut kernels from cob (about 2 cups).

In a medium bowl combine corn, peaches, radishes, and mint. For dressing, add oil and vinegar; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Watermelon Gazpacho


3 cups cubed, seeded watermelon

1 ½ cups coarsely chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped, seeded cucumber

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill

Salt and ground black pepper

Snipped fresh dill or dill sprigs (optional)


In a blender or food processor combine watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, oil, and vinegar. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Stir in lime juice and the 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If desired, garnish with additional snipped fresh dill or dill sprigs.

To give this refreshing soup a kick, add a seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano chile pepper to the blender or food processor.

Strawberry Granita


1 1/3 cups water

2/3 cup sugar

4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed

1 tablespoon lemon juice


In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; set syrup aside to cool while preparing fruit.

Place strawberries in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth; if necessary add about 1/3 cup of the syrup to help puree the berries. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir strawberry puree and lemon juice into the syrup.

Pour mixture into a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover and freeze mixture about 6 hours or until mixture is completely frozen, stirring after 2 hours and then after every hour.

Just before serving, break up mixture with a fork until fluffy. Spoon mixture into dessert dishes. Makes about 5-1/2 cups.


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