When it comes to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, Mother Nature is good to us and gives us great options, whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter. And the best thing about fruits and vegetables is that when freshly picked and in season, they’re at their peak in flavor and nutrition—which includes antioxidants and phytonutrients. With a little bit of menu planning, you can put the most nutritious foods on your plates year-round. In-season eating is easy to do when you know what fruits and vegetables grow during each season of the year.
Spring – When thinking about spring, it’s impossible to not think about the color green. And green is what you want to look for when you’re shopping in the produce department. Tender, leafy herbs and vegetables like basil, cilantro, lettuce, mint, and spinach. As well as artichokes, asparagus, green beans, and peas.
Summer – Look for light and bright produce during summer, including apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries, broccoli, corn, peppers, stone fruits, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini.
Fall – Just like summer’s leaves turn from green to deeper hues of brown, orange, and red, so too does the palette change colors for produce. Like bright orange carrots and sweet potatoes, butternut squash, dark leafy vegetables such as kale, pumpkins, and richly-colored beets.
Winter – In season winter foods include many of the same foods as fall, as well as new, flavorful options: beets, blood oranges, kale, leeks, grapefruit, parsnips, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, turnips, and winter squash. Winter produce is a source of culinary comfort.
When you choose to eat in-season, you’re making healthier food choices, as well as supporting your local farmers and community.