In addition to the warm weather and extended hours of daylight, stone fruits are another thing that the summer season has blessed us. Let's learn more about these special fruits!
What Are Stone Fruits?
Stone fruits have a thin skin and a "stone" in the center, which contains the seed. They're in season from early spring to early autumn and are also known as drupes. Some of the most common stone fruits include peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries. Olives and mangoes are also part of the category and various, fun hybrids such as plumcots, apriums and pluots also exist! How cool is that?!
Are Stone Fruits Healthy?
Stone fruits are a great healthy snack. They are rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as dietary fiber, potassium and antioxidants.
However, be very careful with the seeds as some of them contain a dangerous chemical called amygdalin. Poisoning can occur when the pit and seed are crushed or chewed before swallowing, releasing the amygdalin which is then converted by the body to cyanide. Yikes!
How Do You Store Stone Fruits?
Most stone fruits can be kept in the fridge once they are fully ripe. If you buy or pick any of these fruits before they are fully ripe, leave them out on the counter or in a paper bag to ripen before refrigerating unwashed in a breathable bag (except for cherries which do not continue ripening after being harvested).
How Do I Know If Stone Fruits Are Ready to Eat?
A stone fruit is ripe when the flesh starts to become slightly softened when gently squeezed and there is no more green skin. They should be plump and feel hefty for their size. Wrinkled skin signifies older fruit that should be consumed immediately.
How To Enjoy Stone Fruits?
You can eat stone fruits on their own, turn them into a fruit salad or smoothie, or pair them with cheese. You can peel the skin before cooking and baking, but it’s not necessary. If you find the skins difficult to remove, drop the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, plunge in an ice bath and then they should be more easy to disrobe.
Let us know if you learned something new and how your stone fruit experience was this summer!