Cooking in Season: Health Benefits of In-Season Fruits and Vegetables



In-Season Fruits & Vegetables

Seasons are changing, which means the in-season produce at your local markets is changing too!


How many times have you heard that in order to maintain a healthy diet, you must eat fruits and vegetables every single day? Probably a lot!

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maintaining a healthy diet that includes fresh produce can help reduce a person’s risk of developing many types of diseases and cancer. Fruits and vegetables can also assist in promoting weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s time to find your fruit and veggie favorites.

Fruits and vegetables are an excellent addition to your daily diet. Not only does produce contain essential vitamins and nutrients, but it also tastes fantastic when it is in season and prepared correctly.

The best time to use in-season fruits and vegetables in your daily cooking because they taste the best. Here’s a handy list of different types of produce that is best to purchase at specific times of year – compiled from the websites listed below:

  • Winter (December, January, February): kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, grapefruit, tangerines, papayas
  • Spring (March, April, May): spinach, zucchini, artichokes, asparagus, pineapple, cherries, apricots
  • Summer (June, July, August): summer squash, corn, cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, cantaloupe
  • Fall (September, October, November): sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, cranberries, pears, oranges

More complete lists of seasonal produce can be found on the following websites:

Looking for new recipes that include fruits and vegetables? We’ve uncovered a few great sources for recipes that include in-season produce:

  • Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables – This website contains recipes that are organized by spring, summer, fall, winter and year-round produce.
  • Epicurious – Want to utilize an interactive map that helps you determine the freshest fruits and vegetables in your part of the country at any given time? This website provides you with such a map – as well as recipes, shopping guides, and other tips.
  • Cooking Light – The Cooking Light website provides healthy and seasonal recipes for every meal of the day!

How to Know Which Fruits and Vegetables are In-Season
It’s not difficult to realize which fruits and vegetables are only in-season at any given time. Most grocery stores carry in-season produce, and it’s typically priced really well and readily available to consumers when it’s in season. Additionally, in-season produce typically looks fresh and ripe (not like those super green bananas, mushy apples or wilting kale).

Local farmers markets are also an excellent source for the freshest and most delicious in-season fruits and vegetables. If you shop at a farmers market, be sure to ask the vendors which items they would recommend for the ultimate flavor experience.


What are your favorite ways to get your daily fruit and veggie quotient? Tell us!