Warm summer months are the best time to eat peaches, plums and cherries — three popular stone fruits. Stone fruits are defined by the stone (or pit) in the middle of the fruit. They grow on fruit trees and are naturally ripe and ready to eat in the mid- to late-summer months here in the Midwest.

Stones fruits are very healthy. They are oozing with vitamins and minerals, and are a wonderful source of soluble fiber. Stone fruits are rich in vitamin C, boosting our immune systems and helping our bodies efficiently fight off illness. Another benefit of vitamin C is skin health; it helps with collagen production and overall youthfulness of the skin. Soluble fiber aids blood-sugar control, heart health and gut health. It helps slow down digestion, allowing healthy bacteria to flourish in our guts. Another benefit of orange-colored stone fruits: Carotenoids in the orange pigment is an antioxidant precursor to vitamin A, well known to support healthy eyes and skin.

There are so many reasons to enjoy these delicious and healthy fruits this summer. They make a superb dessert option by themselves or with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. They are so good for you that you don't even need to have a special occasion! Try this delicious smoothie recipe with your next batch of peaches.

Peach Pie Smoothie

1 cup milk

3 cups fresh peach slices

1 cup vanilla kefir

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition information (per serving): 90 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated, 80mg sodium, 20g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 12g total sugars, 2g protein.

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.