Palm trees. Bikinis. Ocean breeze.
Blue skies. Lots of smiles.
The smell of fresh flowers and...fish?
There are just some things you can’t get away from. Like not-so-courteous coworkers reheating smelly leftovers in the break room microwave.
And not being able to actually get away from work for a summer getaway.
Whether you’re a little short on PTO or even shorter on cash, I’ve got good news: You can bring paradise to work with you.
Sort of. I mean, it won’t be the same as lounging on the beach sipping something refreshing.
But some of the best tropical fruit is in season during the summer. I mean, who hasn’t bitten into a juicy slice of watermelon and been transported somewhere else?
Even when it smells more like a butcher shop than a beach.
Even when you’re more stressed than chill.
And even when you can’t get out of work.
You probably don’t think of bananas as a tropical fruit because you can find them in practically every grocery store year round. (That’s because banana trees actually make bananas year round - talk about never getting a vacation.) But they only grow in warm climates, like Hawaii and Florida in the U.S.
Everyone’s favorite breakfast and smoothie fruit, bananas are high in calcium, fiber, iron, manganese, potassium, protein, and vitamins B6 and C.
Unless you can wait for those bananas to ripen (I know I never can), make sure you get some nice golden yellow ones without any bruises or spots.
You can’t help but have a smile on your face when you’re eating cantaloupe, especially since that giant rind looks like a giant smile.
Plus, you’re eating something full of antioxidants (hello, betacarotene!) folate, fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. And bet you didn’t know you can get some omega 3 fatty acids from cantaloupe.
Might want to pass that on to your fish-eating coworker...
Cantaloupe is in season in mid to late summer. You’ll know it’s actually ripe and not just shipped in from who knows where if it smells like summer (you know, flowers and honey). Look for a heavy fruit without any bruises, mold, or soft spots.
I don’t know about you, but nothing says summer like spitting cherry pits out on the beach.
Cherries are in season from late May through August. You’ll know your cherries are ripe for the pickin’ (or eatin’) when they’re dark red, juicy, and firm. They’re a pretty fragile little fruit, so make sure you don’t grab any with bruises already.
Cherries are full of anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, fiber, protein, potassium, and vitamin C, but make sure you eat ‘em before they go bad. Because it happens quickly.
Permission to binge on cherries granted.
You can’t have a tropical paradise without coconuts!
Like bananas, coconuts don’t really have a season.
Coconuts are a source of calcium, niacin, phosphorous, protein, and vitamins B and C. Not to mention their unending uses!
Look for a heavy coconut that makes a lot of sloshing noise when you pick it up. That means there’s lots of juice floating around inside. You also want a coconut that’s brown and stain-free.
Another classical summer fruit because, you know, it only grows in the summer. Regardless of where it’s growing. That means early June to September here in the states.
Make sure your mangoes have nice, smooth skin, like a baby’s butt, and are a little soft when you press them, also like a baby’s butt. Don’t pay attention to any squishy or moldy mangoes, but don’t worry about any black spots. Turns out that’s just sap from the stem.
And make sure you remember that yummy fruit is full of betacarotene, fiber, and vitamins A and C. Plus potassium - did you know mangoes actually have more potassium than bananas?
Another totally tropical fruit, papaya is in season June through September. They’re full of vitamins and minerals like betacarotene, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
Papayas are also anti-inflammatory, which is why you might see people slathering the fruit on their skin.
Whether you choose to eat it or put it on your face, ripe papayas should have nice, soft skin (but not too soft...you know, mushy) without any weird dark spots or wrinkly bits.
Good luck getting that out of your head now. You’re welcome.
Peaches are a summertime must and can be found from June to September. You’ll know they’re ripe because they smell like heaven.
Seriously. I’ve walked by the peaches at the grocery store and stopped dead in my tracks because they just SMELL. SO. GOOD.
Besides smelling good, they taste good, and they’re good for you, thanks to their vitamin A, C, and E content. And they actually have a bit of protein. Who knew?
(By the way, most of these fruits have some protein in them - like bananas and coconut. Remember that next time someone brings up the age-old where-do-you-get-your-protein question.)
In addition to smelling awesome, peaches should be a little soft but, again, not mushy, and definitely not like a stone...even though they’ve got a stone in the middle.
Pineapple is another summertime favorite. And it’s definitely tropical, hailing from Hawaii, Florida, and Puerto Rico in the U.S.
Even though you can find pineapple year round, the peak season is March through July.
When it comes to picking a pineapple, go big or go home. Look for a colorful fruit that’s a little bit soft and that has dark green leaves.
Pineapple - aside from spawning countless pineapple-at-the-beach photos and quotes about crowns - is a great source of manganese and vitamin C. It also has an enzyme that aids digestion. Good to know when you might overindulge at that summer picnic…
It’s just not summertime without some watermelon, am I right? Good thing it peaks from July to September.
Did you know watermelon is actually about 90% water? It’s true. No wonder it’s so thirst quenching on a hot day.
It’s also full of antioxidants like betacarotene and lycopene, as well as magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, and C.
Watermelon should be heavy (‘cuz, you know, all that water content), and the bottom should be a little bit yellow. That’s good - means it was hanging out in the dirt getting all ripe and juicy.
P.S. Remember that what’s in season depends on where you live. Here in Florida, bananas and guava are always in season. And just because something’s available year round doesn’t mean it’s in season. Your best bet to make sure you’re getting in-season fare? The farmer’s market!
Grab this week’s freebie below to get a more complete list of summertime fruit!