Summer is the blessed time of year that provides a temporary reprieve from stressful classes. Finally you can chill at home, catch up with your dog, and actually use the large kitchen that you never appreciated before living in a dorm. So while you still have kitchen utensils and some free time on your hands, take advantage of this season’s greatest gift: Summer fruit.

Although we can enjoy summer fruits year-round, choosing to eat seasonally is beneficial to you and Mother Earth. For one, eating seasonally is cheaper. Seasonal fruit is grown near where it is sold, so there aren’t any excessive shipping costs from other countries. And since the fruit is in high abundance, stores will want to get rid of their produce before it goes bad.

Also, because the produce is grown nearby, eating seasonally minimizes the need to ship fruit from other countries. You are reducing fuel expenditure, greenhouse gases, and pollution. You’re saving the world, one locally grown fruit at a time.

When you eat according to the seasons, your taste buds will thank you. You are eating the fruit at its peak age and peak picking time. Non-seasonal fruit is picked before it is ripe, then frozen and shipped half-way across the world for your consumption. There’s a reason certain foods taste best at certain times of the year. 

You have the power to fully change the way you enjoy fruit. And you can start today. Simply visit your local farmers market or grocery store and grab the seasonal produce while it is still cheap and flavorful. And then go H.A.M. on these 15 recipes, featuring the tastiest summer fruit available.

1. Raspberry Breakfast Popsicles

Summer Fruit

Photo by Lily Allen

Raspberries are the perfect fruit for sticking on your fingers and pretending you’re a wild grizzly bear. During summer, when raspberries are extra delicious, you can either immediately eat your makeshift bear-y claws or invest them in this refreshing recipe.

2. Chia Seed Blueberry Pie

Summer Fruit

Photo by Kristine Mahan

Blueberries are filled with fiber, offering an easy and delicious way to decrease risk of heart disease and increase digestive capabilities. This pie is a healthier alternative to any store bought cake.

3. Fresh Strawberry Salad

Summer Fruit

Photo by Keikichi Littleton

For me, juicy strawberries have always been indicative of summer. But only in the past few years have I discovered the beauty of combining sweet and savory by adding strawberries to salads.

4. Refreshing Mint Watermelon Smoothie

Summer Fruit

Photo by Kathleen Lee

This simple, hydrating smoothie will help you recover after a long day at the beach. But honestly, that sunburn was probably worth it. Take advantage of summer by absorbing the sun’s heat and cooling off with seasonal fruits before hibernation aka fall quarter.

5. Honeydew Mojito

Summer Fruit

Photo by Christin Urso

During summer, honeydew is extra juicy and sweet. Pair it with rum, and you’ll have no problem convincing anyone that honeydew was the original forbidden fruit.

6. Ricotta Crostinis With Figs and Honey

Summer Fruit

Photo by Julia Maguire

Figs contain many vitamins and minerals, but they also make great hors d’oeuvres.

This snack contains a ton of savory goodness. The addition of the sweet figs helps balance the flavor of the snack. And the high potassium levels in figs helps to balance your blood by regulating blood pressure.

7. Apricot, Goat Cheese and Almond Bites

Summer Fruit

Photo by Aarthi Chezian

This low-carb appetizer is filled with tons of iron and fiber. The iron in the apricots is an important mineral as it helps prevent against anemia. Plus, when you have high levels of iron, you can donate blood, which proves once again that eating seasonally can help save the world.

8. Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Summer Fruit

Photo by Katie Huang

Although tomatoes are usually served year-round, their true deliciousness can only be tasted in the summer. In this recipe, you enhance the sweet flavor of the tomato by adding garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

9. Caramelized Nectarines With Bacon

Summer Fruit

Photo by Analiese Trimber

In the bacon-renaissance of the past few years, bacon has been used to garnish everything—donuts, gum, even toothpaste. So while this beloved meat is still in style, trade in your maple bacon doughnut for this homemade dessert.

10. 4-Ingredient Cherry Dump Cake

Summer Fruit

Photo by Cecilia Leng

Natural cherries like Rainiers and Tartarians have distinct, summery tastes. I’ll also admit that I have a weakness for maraschino cherries—Shirley Temples were my go-to drink before I knew what artificial sugar was. This dump cake is quick to make, and it is also much more gratifying than a sugary drink named after a 1930’s child star.

11. Wine-Infused Grapes

Summer Fruit

Photo by Bonnie Ziyue Wang

This is the adult version of your favorite summertime Popsicle. Just remember to keep these away from dogs and underage children.

12. Healthy Zucchini Chips

Summer Fruit

Photo by Kirby Barth

Despite their vegetable-like appearance and taste, zucchinis are considered fruits. To be more specific, zucchinis are actually the swollen ovaries of the zucchini flower. Make this savory snack to celebrate your newfound knowledge of the zucchini fruit.

13. Coconut Sticky Rice With Mango

Summer Fruit

Photo by Kendra Valkema

Mango is undoubtedly one of the best fruits of the season. Their exotic flavor and juicy texture are matched only by their nutritional value. One cup of sliced mango provides you with 76% of your daily Vitamin C and 25% of your daily Vitamin A. These necessary vitamins boost your immunity and eyesight. Enjoy the beloved mango in the form of this Thai dessert recipe.

14. Baked Peach Recipe

Summer Fruit

Photo by Katie Coyle

Take advantage of your naturally ripe peaches and their seductive sweetness with this minimalist recipe.

15. 2-Ingredient Key Lime Pie Dip

Summer Fruit

Photo by Kristi Cook

Limes are filled with vitamin C, the necessary vitamin that prevents scurvy. So if you’re a brave sailor on a long voyage, make sure to suck on these green lifesavers. For everyone else, you can make this simple dip for your summer pool party. Just remember to tell everyone at the party about the benefits of eating seasonally.