I recently ran into a friend who had just gotten back from a vacation in California, and I listened enviously as she described beautiful fruit orchards full of oranges, grapefruit, avocados, and lemons. After I spent a few moments wishing that Montana had warm enough weather for fruit orchards, I remembered that we are, in fact, able to grow a variety of fruit here including apricots, cantaloupe, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, huckleberries, and pears. Every summer I look forward to finding cherries from Flathead and melons from Dixon available at the farmers markets. And few things are better than picking and eating fresh raspberries straight from the plant.  As usual, I came back to the conclusion that we’re pretty lucky to live where we do!

The Montana Meals Challenge of the Month for July, to eat two servings of fruit per day, was strategically planned for the middle of the summer, when fresh fruit is usually ripe, abundant, and delicious. While it’s fun to look for locally grown fruit, there’s also great fruit to be found in grocery stores right now. Summer is a good time to branch out from the typical fruit choices of apples, bananas, and oranges. The next time you’re at the store, consider trying a fruit that maybe you don’t normally eat – i.e. kiwis, Asian pears, nectarines, or honeydew melons. You might be surprised by how much you like it!

Fruit is wonderful by itself – as a snack, dessert, or compliment to a meal—but here are a couple of fruit recipes to provide some inspiration. Check out the “Fruitopia” board on our Pinterest page for more ideas!

Strawberry-Avocado Salsa (from Cooking Light)


  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp minced seeded jalapeno
  • 2 tsp lime juice

Combine ingredients and stir gently. Serve with cinnamon & sugar pita chips or as a topping to grilled chicken or fish.

Fruit Crumble (from The Kitchn)

fruit crumble Fruit Filling

  • 6-7 cups fruit, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Crumble topping

  • 1 c. flour
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine fruit filling ingredients (may adjust sugar and lemon juice depending on type of fruit being used). Pour fruit filling into an 8×8 glass baking dish. Combine first 5 ingredients of crumble topping. Work butter into dry ingredients using a fork or fingers until large heavy crumbs are formed. Pour crumble topping over fruit. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Happy Fruit Eating!


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