It is nearly the Fourth of July and early local peaches are appearing, along with cherries, apricots, early vegetables and, although not local yet, watermelon is in good supply, as is cantaloupe.

As this produce appears, in my kitchen they often make their way into delicious and healthful dishes and drinks.

Here are several I've concocted over the years and that my husband, Fred, has bravely sampled.

Happy July 4th!

Dixie's Palisade Peach Smoothie

Frozen or fresh Palisade peaches, rinsed, diced or sliced  (skin on)

Milk (1 percent) or soy, rice, almond, coconut milk

Vanilla, a little to enhance flavor

Sweetener: If needed, add a bit of honey, sugar, agave nectar or frozen banana slices

Place peaches (go heavy on them) in a blender and add enough milk to blend it together. Then add the touch of vanilla and sweetener, if needed.

Cantaloupe Breakfast Drink

Frozen diced cantaloupe cubes

Touch of vanilla, if using milk

Vanilla protein drink

I add cantaloupe and vanilla to my favorite vanilla protein drink (or add milk or yogurt instead of the protein drink) in a blender. Blend to a frothy, almost ice cream shake texture.

Fred's Favorite Green Tea  with Watermelon Cubes

Green ice tea

Watermelon cubes

Sweetener

To make the green ice tea, I fill the pitcher with water, add 4 or 5 green tea bags and let it brew, then squeeze the bags. It takes about 2 hours. If you prefer, make it your way.

For the watermelon cubes, cut a watermelon into cubes and freeze them. They work like ice cubes.

Pour tea into glasses, add watermelon cubes and sweetener, if needed.

Insert a straw through a fresh square of watermelon for garnish.

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