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Guide To Stone Fruit by GreenBlender

Stone Fruit Guide

Stone fruits, which include peaches, plums,  green almonds, cherries and nectarines, get their name because they have a large pit (like a stone). With a season that’s typically May through early October, stone fruits are some of the most succulent summer produce you can buy, and are delicious raw or baked into desserts.

How To Choose Ripe Stone Fruit

Stone fruit is picked before it’s completely ripe to give the fruit time to ripen in transit. Give peaches, plums and nectarines a slight squeeze — they should be firm, without any big bruises or wrinkled skin. They should also smell sweet.

How To Store Stone Fruit

Nectarines and white peaches ripen the quickest, with a shelf life of one day in the fridge. Ripe plums and yellow peaches last about three to five days in the fridge. Apricots are similar to plums (three to five days in the fridge). Cherries last about five to seven days when refrigerated.

Make sure to wait to wash your stone fruit until right before you want to eat it, since washing can speed up the ripening process.

If you want to speed up the ripening process, put your peaches or plums in a paper bag on the counter for about 24 hours.

guide to stone fruit by greenblender, apricots

Health Benefits Of Stone Fruit

Cherries contain vitamin C, antioxidants and melatonin (among a variety of other nutrients). Because of their melatonin content, cherries are a great, natural way to create healthy sleep / wake cycles. Cherries also have anti-inflammatory effects, making them helpful in easing the ache from arthritis or overworked muscles from the gym.

Nectarines are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is used by the body to make vitamin A, which is vital for skin, teeth and bone health. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, potassium (an important nutrient for a healthy metabolism and carbohydrate digestion), and fiber.

Apricots are a smaller, golden fruit with soft, velvety skin. They’ve got a nice serving of vitamin C and A, as well as fiber. Catechins, which are flavonoid phytonutrients, are also present in apricots. These phytonutrients have been specifically studied for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

A cross between an apricot and a plum, apriums primarily taste like apricots, but aren’t as juicy. They have significant amounts of vitamins C and A.

Plums are a great source of vitamins A, K and C, as well as folate and fiber. Regular consumption of plums has been linked to stronger bones, better digestion, and even cognitive health.

Pluots are a hybrid consisting of about a forth of an apricot and three fourths plum. One medium pluot has about 80 calories and three grams of fiber, making it a light, satiating snack. Pluots also have a healthy serving of vitamins C and A — two natural wrinkle-fighters!

guide to stone fruit by greenblender, plums

Peaches, like most other stone fruits, are high in vitamin C, which means they’re an excellent way to improve the amount of collagen your body produces — and that equals healthier skin! A study from Texas A&M recently connected peach and plum extract with a reduced rate of cancer cells, and the fiber in peaches make them a great snack for people trying to watch their weight.

Green Almonds, which are the younger, non-processed versions of the almonds you see in grocery stores everywhere, actually have a sweet / tangy taste, and can be eaten whole. They have they same protein, fiber and healthy fat that regular almonds do, and are a great way to make your smoothie a meal replacement.

Many people don’t realize it, but mangoes are actually a stone fruit! Mangoes are a great source of fiber, folic acid, and two great vitamins for your skin: vitamins C and A.

Smoothies With Stone Fruit

Want more of these sweet, satisfying fruits in your life? Here are a few smoothies that incorporate stone fruit!

Lemon Peach Rhubarb

Rhubarb and peach are traditional summer pie ingredients, so we decided to combine them into a bright, healthy smoothie. Both rhubarb and apple are high in fiber, ginger is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, peaches are bursting with complexion-loving vitamin A, swiss chard has a nice serving of both vitamin K and magnesium, and walnuts around everything out with healthy Omega-3s and vitamin E. Get your summer barbecue dessert fix with this low calorie smoothie, skin-beautifying snack!

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Green Almond Apple

What an almond looks like if it’s picked before it reaches full maturity, green almonds have the same health benefits and a lightly floral, citrusy taste. When blending, just rinse your green almonds and toss them right in the blender – no peeling required! The rest of the ingredients in this light, green drink provide ample vitamins and minerals (fiber, vitamins K, C and A, omega-3s and antioxidants, to name a few), but very little calories or fat. Roll out your warmer weather wardrobe with confidence while sipping on this digestion-loving drink.

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Cherry Rhubarb Pie

Cherry season is short -- May through July -- so now is the time to eat as many of these healthy fruits as possible! Full of fiber, vitamin C, melatonin and antioxidants, cherries also contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help achy joints and overworked muscles. Maqui berries have more antioxidants than almost any other fruit, and the fiber in oats add depth to this light, refreshing smoothie. Very low in calories but high in fiber and vitamins K and C, rhubarb is a summer smoothie staple that helps keep your mind healthy (vitamin K is especially helpful to the brain) and your stomach satisfied.

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Sweet Potato Mango

Avocado and coconut cream give this smoothie a thick and creamy consistency, as well as an ample amount of Omega-3s and fiber. Mango, orange and lime provide tons of vitamin C, while sweet potato contains an unusually high amount of vitamin A (which, along with vitamin C, is amazing for your skin). Sweet potatoes also contain complex carbs and are low on the glycemic index, which means this smoothie is a great energizer, but won’t spike your blood sugar.

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Mango Tango

Both mangos and cherry tomatoes are full of vitamins C and A, essential vitamins for collagen production and a bright, smooth complexion. In addition to having Omega-3 fatty acids (which can help reduce skin irritation), flaxseed also contains lignans, which are “fiber-related polyphenols” (antioxidants) that have been shown in studies to help fight against cancer. Top this bright smoothie off with healthy fat, fiber and protein from almonds, potassium from a banana, and iron from swiss chard, and you have an energizing snack that will get you glowing!

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Chocolate Cherry Sundae

Cherries reduce inflammation, have been shown to support brain function, and may even reduce soreness after a long workout at the gym. Add some cacao powder, which fights cardiovascular disease; walnuts, which are full of healthy fats; banana, which delivers the potassium your body craves; collard greens, which replace much needed iron, calcium, magnesium, and a little bit of protein, and you’ve got an amazing (and amazingly tasty) pre or post workout snack.

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Watermelon Cherry Mint

Somehow we managed to combine every iconic summer flavor into one delicious drinkable.Have you ever had cherry tomatoes with actual cherries? Pair these with watermelon and it’s a pretty red hydration bomb! Pomegranate is one of nature’s biggest sources of antioxidants, with more of the cancer and inflammation fighters than red wine or green tea. Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, which helps regenerate skin and stimulate blood flow for that healthy glow.

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Cherry Limeade

With cherries in season and the heat at full throttle, there isn't a better a time to try this refreshing cherry limeade. Packed with disease fighting cherries, creamy bananas and anti-inflammatory spinach this smoothie is sure energize your whole day. Smoothie contributed by Anna Gannon.

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Coconut Nectarine Refresh

This one will do what its name says--refresh! The surprising flavor combination of nectarine and coconut is brought out by the bright orange turmeric. The anti-inflammatory root is held in high regard in many cultures as a cure-all. Sneak some protein and energy in with quinoa flakes, which are easier to digest than the whole form. Pear and orange provide even more sweet, hydrating refreshment!

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Blueberry Nectarine Refresher

Processed sugar is skin’s public enemy number one! It dulls, ages, and inflames the skin. Get a sweet fix the natural way, with fresh nectarines and blueberries. Blueberries are among the most powerful antioxidants, and nectarines are full of potassium, which helps with cell function in the body. Walnuts have more omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut! Paired with oats, this is a filling fruity treat.

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Green Tea Nectarine

What a lovely combination of flavors. The sweetness of the grapes and nectarines are tamed by the matcha and chard. Matcha contains the water soluble amino acid, L-Theanine. L-Theanine has been known to reduce stress levels and create a calm without causing drowsiness. Chard contains tons of Vitamin K, which promotes building strong bones and preventing heart disease. Drink up, this smoothie is working for you!

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Creamy Mango Morning

Full of vitamins A and C, mango is one of the best fruits you can eat for healthy, bright skin. Spinach is also high in vitamins A and C, along with fiber, magnesium and iron. In addition to being a healthy, taste-neutral filler for smoothies, zucchini is also rich in vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Cashews round out this low calorie, low sugar smoothie with healthy fats and protein, making it the perfect way to wake up -- or chase those winter doldrums away!

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Apricot Apple

This fiberful blend will get your system running smoothly! Apricots are a good source of catechins, a family of flavonoid phytonutrients. These small fruits contain four to five grams of the anti-inflammatory catechins, as well as vitamins A and C. Speaking of vitamin C, rosehip powder is an excellent source. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, and may help regulate blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure! This light drink is a fantastic nutrient-dense meal replacement, or a energy-boosting snack.

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Creamy Mango Morning

Full of vitamins A and C, mango is one of the best fruits you can eat for healthy, bright skin. Spinach is also high in vitamins A and C, along with fiber, magnesium and iron. In addition to being a healthy, taste-neutral filler for smoothies, zucchini is also rich in vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Cashews round out this low calorie, low sugar smoothie with healthy fats and protein, making it the perfect way to wake up -- or chase those winter doldrums away!

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Creamy Apricot Carrot

This vibrant orange-hued smoothie is packed full of dietary fiber. Apricots are a major source, and also deliver significant amounts of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that aids in muscle function, keeping a proper fluid balance, and normalizing blood pressure. Cashews are among the most nutritious nuts, providing many minerals and most B vitamins. Tart goji berries from Asia are tiny but dense with antioxidants and flavor!

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Carrot Cantaloup Mango

Hemp is one of the purest plant proteins out there, and is especially good for people who have a hard time digesting soy or whey. In addition to being one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world (dating back ancient Egypt and China), flaxseed is full of healthy Omega-3s, and has been shown to improve blood sugar and glycemic control. The brightness and vitamins from the carrots and mango (vitamins A and C) are great for your skin and eyes, and cantaloup is full of fiber. This is the perfect summer smoothie: bright, colorful, satisfying and slimming!

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Mango Mulberry Persimmon

Believed to be native to China, mulberries are mildly sweet and contain a high amount of vitamin C, fiber and potassium per serving. They’re also one of the only fruits that contain iron. Mangoes and persimmons are also high in fiber and vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene. Add some coconut flakes for a creamy consistency and healthy fats, and spinach for more iron and vitamin K, and you’ve got a sweet treat that will energize you and keep your skin looking like a million bucks!

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Sugar Plum

Native to South America, maqui berries have more antioxidants per serving than almost any other fruit. They’ve also been shown to have potent anti-viral properties and promote cardiovascular health. Unlike a traditional sugar plum candies (which are historically just round balls of sugar with flavoring added), this smoothie has actual fruit in it, along with soothing jicama. Hemp seeds round things out with healthy fat, protein and Omega-3s. Sweet and satisfying, this “sugar plum” is the perfect Christmas morning snack.

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Orange Plum Cobbler

Lucuma, known as the Gold of the Incas, is a powder made from a fruit native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Because of its sweet taste -- closely resembling caramel -- Lucuma is often used as a flavoring, but it’s also a scientifically studied anti-inflammatory and a good source of both iron and carotene, a rejuvenating antioxidant. Although plums are a fairly common fruit, what most people don’t realize is that they rank relatively low on the glycemic index, providing a sweetness burst without a rush of sugar. Oats are another common food, but by blending them into a smoothie, you get a rich source of fiber that has also been proven to lower cholesterol. If you’re looking for a breakfast that will keep you full and won’t spike your blood sugar, this is it.

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Ginger Plum Flower

Brighten up your skin with the spicy kick of ginger. Beets will put a flush in your cheeks, and both roots will aid in digestion. Nasturtium flowers have a high concentration of vitamin C, which you probably know by now is great for skin! The blossoms are something pretty to blend into your drink with a peppery flavor similar to watercress or arugula. Lemon, orange and plum pack in even more vitamin C. Chia seeds are filling and add skin-smoothing vitamin E.

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Shiro Plum Crumble

Shiro plums are small and sweet with a translucent, tart skin. They are easy to spot due to their bright yellow appearance. We love this smoothie because it plays perfectly between the tart flavors of the plums and the sweetness of the strawberries. Adding the gluten free oats and walnuts makes this smoothie creamy and delicious.

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Blueberry Plum Basil

Blueberries and plums make a lethal combination for free radicals floating around the body. They are both considered a powerful antioxidants and help prevent illness and chronic disease. On top of that, did we mention they taste great? Adding a bit of fresh, local basil really seals the deal and rounds this smoothie off as a lovely dream in a mason jar.

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Peachy Cream

An incredibly sweet summer fruit, peaches are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber. A natural sweetener that’s high in fiber but low in actual sugar, lucuma is a great addition to any smoothie, and flaxseed contains omega-3, fiber and protein. Add in a bit more fiber from swiss chard (plus vitamins K, A and C), and make things sweet with an orange and some coconut cream, and you’ve got a smoothie that tastes like dessert, and is fantastic for your digestion.

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Strawberry Peach Pick-Me-Up

As long as there are still fresh strawberries to be had, summer is still here. In addition to getting almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C -- a water-soluble vitamin that has to be added to our bodies daily -- from the strawberries, nectarine and pineapple, you’ll also get a bunch zinc and antioxidants from pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are quite the antioxidant powerhouses, as are maqui berries, which have more antioxidants per serving than almost any other fruit. When you add a few cooling sprigs of mint, an herb known for aiding in digestion, into the mix, you’ve got a summary drink that will keep you healthy all the way through fall.

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Hibiscus Peach

What is Broccoleaf? It looks like a leafy green but tastes like a sugar snap pea, has a full day’s serving of vitamin C, and is a great source of vitamins A and D. Basically, it’s the newest superfood no one has heard of yet. Another super healthy food you might not know too much about, Hibiscus has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties for centuries. Besides their floral, calming taste, hibiscus flowers have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and aid in digestion. Mix these two powerhouses with peach, banana and coconut water, and you’ve got a tropical smoothie that’s so cool, even the cool kids don’t know about it yet! Pro tip: soak the hibiscus flowers in the coconut water for a few minutes to help the flavors diffuse.

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Spinach and Peach Energy Shot

Mesquite is not just for barbeque sauce. It actually has a soft, caramel flavor, making it a perfect addition to smoothies, and is a great source of fiber and protein. Grapes and peaches are hydrating, soothing fruits, and when paired with energizing spinach and oats, create a smoothie that goes down easy, and keeps you going all day!

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Peach Pie

You’ll feel smooth as a Georgia peach with this pie in a glass! Cashews and quinoa provide protein in addition to a hearty comfort food vibe. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger mixed with almond milk complement and bring out the flavor of the fruits. You're sneaking in your greens with fresh mesclun. And don't forget the grapes-- an excellent source of resveratrol, a regenerative compound that helps with skin renewal.

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Green Almond Zest

With a soft, fuzzy outer shell, green almonds are what the nut looks like before its shell hardens. Tart and alkalizing, green almonds have all the health benefits that regular almonds do (protein, fiber, vitamin E and calcium), and don’t need to be peeled. Just toss them in your blender! While the leaves of rhubarb contain high amounts of oxalic acid (which isn’t safe for consumption), the stalks are completely fine, and contain vitamins C and K, fiber, and beta-carotene. Rhubarb is also one of the lowest caloric vegetables you can buy, which means it’s excellent for weight loss. This low calorie smoothie will not only give your immune system a boost, it’ll keep you satisfied ‘till lunch.

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Blackberry Peach

Native to China and one of the more famous members of the stone fruit family, peaches are a great source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Blackberry season is about the same time as peach season (late spring / summer), and these low sugar berries are bursting with vitamin C, fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Combine these warm weather fruits with the light citrus taste of tomatillos and half a lemon, along with ultra healthy flaxseed, and you have a refreshingly fruity drink that’s low in calories, fat and sugar.

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