Welcome to the Empire BlueCross BlueShield blog.

Here you’ll find helpful information about low-income health care and tips to improve your overall health and wellness.

Fresh fruit finds on a budget

It’s a common myth that fresh fruit and veggies are expensive. The great news is they don’t have to be! Here are some easy ways to save money:

  1. Check for sales. Most grocery stores send out weekly ads. This is good way to plan ahead and stock up.
  2. Freeze it. Buy fresh produce on sale, and then freeze it. Most fruits are good up to 12 months. You can also check the frozen section at the store for sales. Just make sure there isn’t extra sugar. The ingredients label should only list the fruit names.
  3. Go local. Farmers’ markets are a great place to find fruit that is in season. Some markets even accept WIC and food assistance vouchers. Where should you go? Find a market near you: www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets.
  4. Stay with the season. Try to buy fruit that is in season. This can vary depending on where you live.

See what’s in season near you this summer:

Area Summer fruits
Northwest (Washington)Apricots
Cherries
Figs
Grapes
Nectarines
Pears
Plums
Strawberries
Southwest (California, Colorado, Nevada, Texas)Cantaloupes
Figs
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Pomegranates
Midwest (Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin) Cherries
Grapes
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Strawberries
South (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia) Figs
Oranges
Peaches
Plums
Northeast (District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York) Cherries
Grapes
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Strawberries
All regions Apples
Blueberries
Raspberries
Watermelon

Fruit Pops — the best way to beat the heat!

Get a serving of fruit and keep cool with this easy recipe. Plus, kids love to help. Use this to try different combos and find your favorite flavor.

                        Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blueberries (or your favorite fruit)
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 pinch salt

How to:

  1. Blend all of the ingredients together.
  2. Pour into a plastic cup, cover with foil and put a pop stick through the middle.
  3. Put in the freezer for at least five hours.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, put the cup in a little hot water for five seconds. This will make it easier to pull out.

How much fruit do you need? That depends on your age, sex and how active you are. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov/fruit to see how much you need.

Why should you eat fruit? Fruit has many health benefits for everyone in your family. See what fruit can do at www.choosemyplate.gov/fruits-nutrients-health.