What Exactly is a Stone Fruit?

Fruits such as apricots, nectarines, cherries, plums, pluots, mangoes, and peaches are all examples of stone fruit. Also called drupes, stone fruits, as the name implies have a pit or “stone’ in the center of its flesh. Inside the stone is the fruit’s actual seed. Raspberries, blackberries, and mulberries are also botanically stone fruits. In the case of berries, the stones are so tiny the entire fruit can be consumed.

Stone fruits, naturally sweet, are fairly low in calories. Depending on the fruit, most stone fruits have between 75 and 100 calories per serving. (According to the USDA a serving of fruit is defined as 1 cup of fresh fruit, ½ cup dried or 1 cup of fruit juice.)

Most stone fruits are at their peak during the summer, but options are always available year-round at McCaffrey’s.

Proper storage is key to maximizing stone fruit’s juiciness and flavor.

  • Unripe stone fruits should ripen on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight.
  • Ripe stone fruits will be fine for a couple of days on the counter. However, it is a good idea to place ripe fruit in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to prevent the fruit from drying out or becoming overripe.

While a perfectly ripe peach or plum is satisfying on its own, there are endless ways to enjoy stone fruit.

  • Fire up the grill and bring out the natural sweetness of fruit. Try this Grilled Peach Salad, complete with fresh berries, for a delicious salad to start off any summer meal. Remember, halved and pitted peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines are firm, so they hold their shape even under high heat.
  • Roast cut up pitted stone fruit, like plums or apricots, on a baking sheet. Simply drizzle with some olive oil, and roast until soft, juicy, and caramelized. Toss the roasted stone fruit into a salad or stir into cottage cheese or plain yogurt.
  • Blend any ripe, stone fruit into a smoothie. Just toss 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sliced stone fruits into the blender with a little bit of water or milk. Mix in any number of ingredients, from greens to shredded carrots, from fresh ginger to cocoa powder. Or try this this creamy Mango Smoothie for a refreshing summer breakfast or snack.
  • This seasonal Peach, Tomato, and Olive Salad wakes up your palate with ripe peaches, heirloom tomatoes and baby arugula. A homemade lemon vinaigrette gives this salad a spark of citrus flavor.
  • Plums are a delicious snack on their own, but this Plum Crisp is over the top. Depending on the variety of plums you choose, you can adjust the maple syrup for sweetness. The healthy oat and walnut topping is made with almond milk and coconut oil so this easy crisp is a vegan treat.
  • Instead of loading up on sugar-filled sodas, try quenching your summer thirst with this homemade Peach Iced Tea. The sweeter the peaches, the less sugar you’ll need, so try to find ripe peaches to drop in for extra sweet flavor.
  • This Mango Salsa is a win to when served with this Grilled Shrimp. Or, for a bit more spice, this Mango Habanero Salsa packs a flavorful punch. Serve right away for a stronger flavor or make it ahead of time and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors mellow.
  • Enjoy this Fast Fruit Salad loaded with berries and mango or cool off with the Raspberry Yogurt Parfait.

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