Happy Memorial Day!
This holiday always reminds me that summer’s right around the corner. Also? Some of my favorite fruits are in season—bring on all the berries and melons!
When I went to the store recently, I loaded up on a bunch of the juicy produce I haven’t had in months, like grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon. AKA, I’m going to be extra hydrated and happy this week.
I do my best to buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. Like most people, I have a general idea, but I don’t know a lot off the top of my head. Instead, I tend to choose produce based on what’s on sale or what I need for a specific recipe. As of late, I’ve been trying to make more use of what’s in season, specifically. While the price may reflect this, there are other benefits as well.
Why buy in season?
- Cheaper. When fruits and veggies are in season, they’re producing way more fruit, so farmers can harvest a much larger amount, which helps drive down the cost.
- More nutrients. Produce that’s in season often goes from farm to table much faster than when it’s being stored for longer or has to be shipped from farther away.
- Taste better. When you buy in-season produce, the fresh foods have had time to naturally ripen, allowing the true flavors to shine and not be dulled by extended storage or an artificial ripening process.
Regarding that last one…have you ever experienced completely flavorless fruits or vegetables before? It’s such a bizarre and tragic situation. Sometimes you’re just craving something, but if you’re buying it out of season, there’s a good chance you’re not getting the best version of it.
For a quick guide to which fruits and veggies are in season, I put together an infographic based on each season. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, this should hopefully help you know what to look for when meal planning or just winging it at the store.
The information below was taken from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The specific months for each item may slightly differ based on the source you’re referencing.
When in doubt, stock up on items that are basically in season all year long, like apples and bananas. Those are two items I get almost every single time I get groceries. Since we’re in the heart of spring and headed towards summer, I’m excited to mix things up though!
By the way, keep in mind that different factors can affect when fruits and vegetables are in season in your area. Living in southern California, I know we have better access to certain items. You can do a quick search online to get a better idea of what’s in season near you.
Happy produce picking, and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!