POPSUGAR Food

From Apples to Zucchini: Your Seasonal Produce Guide

Jan 2 2014 - 5:30am

We like to eat seasonally [1], but with the vast abundance of fruits and vegetables available, it can be a little tricky to keep track of what's available when. While one could always just take a stroll through the market to find out what's in season, we'll be turning to this comprehensive glossary in order to plan our menus ahead of time.

Rather browse by season? Check out our guides for each:
Winter [2]
Spring [3]
Summer [4]
Fall [5]

Source: Shutterstock [6]

Apples

Apple harvest season runs from August through November with some varietals like Gravensteins coming to markets as early as the end of July. The rest of the year, these fruits are available thanks to cold storage.

Source: Shutterstock [7]

Apricots

Apricots [8] have a short season that runs from May though July, with some prized varieties (like Blenheims) only available for a few weeks in late June/early July.

Source: Flickr user Paul and Jill [9]

Artichokes

Artichokes [10] are at their peak from March until June, with petite baby artichokes [11] available for a slightly truncated season: March through May.

Source: Shutterstock [12]

Arugula

Arugula (known to the Brits as rocket) is typically available year-round.

Source: Shutterstock [13]

Asian Pears

Asian pears [14] are harvested in the months of July through November (and are therefore at their peak then), but are available through cold-storage preservation until April.

Source: Flickr user See-ming Lee 李思明 SML [15]

Asparagus

Asparagus [16] is at its snappiest in the Spring, typically from March till May.

Source: Shutterstock [17]

Avocados

Creamy avocados [18] are available year-round (at least in California).

Source: Shutterstock [19]

Beets

Beets [20] are typically available year-round.

Source: Flickr user Ed Yourdon [21]

Bell Peppers

Sweet bell peppers are available as early as May and as late as December, and are at their peak during the Summer months.

Source: Shutterstock [22]

Blackberries

Blackberries [23] are available as early as May and as late as October.

Source: Shutterstock [24]

Blood Oranges

Depending on the variety, blood oranges [25] are at their peak anywhere from December to May.

Source: Shutterstock [26]

Blueberries

Blueberry season typically runs from May through August.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Bok Choy

Bok choy [27] is at the peak of its seasonality in Winter, though it's available year-round.

Source: Shutterstock [28]

Broccoli

Broccoli is available year-round but is at its peak during the chilly Fall and Winter months.

Source: Shutterstock [29]

Broccoli Rabe/Broccolini

Whether you call it broccoli rabe [30], broccoli raab, broccolini, or broccoletti, its season runs year-round, and is at its peak in the Winter months.

Source: Shutterstock [31]

Brussels Sprouts

The peak season for brussels sprouts [32] is September to February.

Source: Shutterstock [33]

Butternut Squash

Winter squashes like butternut squash [34] are typically harvested October through December, and are available as late as early April thanks to their hearty nature.

Source: Shutterstock [35]

Cabbage

Cabbage [36] is available year-round, with its seasonal peak in the colder months.

Source: Shutterstock [37]

Cardoons

Cardoons [38], an Italian staple, are available in Winter, Spring, and early Summer.

Source: Thinkstock [39]

Carrots

Carrots [40] are available year-round and are at their sweetest during the Winter months.

Source: Shutterstock [41]

Cauliflower

Cauliflower [42] is typically available all months, but its peak is in Summer (July and August).

Source: Shutterstock [43]

Celeriac

Celeriac [44]'s peak season runs April through December.

Source: Flickr user Skånska Matupplevelser [45]

Celery

Celery is typically available year-round.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Earthy chanterelle mushrooms have a season dictated largely by rainfall — they're a foraged rather than cultivated food — and while available intermittently throughout the year, are most common during the rainy seasons of Fall and Winter.

Source: Shutterstock [46]

Cherimoyas

The exotic cherimoya [47] can be found from January to May in a good year.

Source: Shutterstock [48]

Cherries

Sweet cherries [49] are typically available from April through July.

Source: Shutterstock [50]

Chervil

Chervil [51] is available year-round but is at its peak in Spring.

Source: Shutterstock [52]

Chestnuts

As one might guess from their cultural ties to the holiday season, chestnuts [53] are typically available during blustery Fall and Winter months: roughly October through January.

Photo: Camilla Salem

Collard Greens

Collard greens [54] are typically at markets in all months with the exception of May.

Source: Shutterstock [55]

Corn

Sweet corn [56] is in season from the beginning of June through the early Fall months.

Source: Shutterstock [57]

Cranberries

Cranberry harvest typically runs from September through October, and they are available fresh through December.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Cucumbers

Cucumbers [58] are at their peak growing time from early Summer to mid-Fall (June through November).

Source: Shutterstock [59]

Daikon Radish

Daikon radishes [60] are available year-round and are sweetest and mildest during the cold-weather months.

Source: Shutterstock [61]

Eggplant

Look for squat and sturdy globe eggplants [62] and slender Japanese varieties [63] from July through October.

Source: Shutterstock [64]

Endive

Endive [65] is available from September to May, but its peak season begins in November.

Source: Flickr user Walt Hubis [66]

Escarole

Escarole [67] is abundant in the Fall and Winter months.

Source: Flickr user wickenden [68]

Fava Beans

Fava bean [69] harvest signifies the transition from Spring to Summer, as fava beans are typically available April through July.

Source: Shutterstock [70]

Fennel

Fennel [71] is available year-round, with its peak in the Fall months.

Source: Shutterstock [72]

Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead fern [73] season typically only lasts for a few short weeks in May.

Source: Flickr userGlennFleishman [74]

Figs

Figs [75] are typically at markets from late June through early December.

Source: Shutterstock [76]

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes [77] — the flowering stalks of still-developing garlic bulbs — are typically available for a few weeks sometime between late May and early July.

Source: Shutterstock [78]

Ginger

Ginger's harvest season runs August through November, and it is available through cold storage all the way into February. During the rest of the year, try substituting ginger juice [79] 1:1.

Source: Shutterstock [80]

Gooseberries

Gooseberries [81] are in season from May to August and are at their peak during the month of July.

Source: Shutterstock [82]

Grapefruit

Zingy grapefruit [83] can be found at farmers markets from September through April.

Source: Shutterstock [84]

Grapes

Juicy grapes are typically available from July through December.

Source: Shutterstock [85]

Guava

Guava [86] has a long, luxurious season that kicks off in November and lasts until April.

Source: Flickr user greggman [87]

Honeydew Melon

Honeydew melon [88]'s season runs from June to November.

Source: Shutterstock [89]

Jujube Dates

Jujube dates, which are eaten fresh rather than dried, are at farmers markets in September and October.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Kale

While kale [90] is generally available year-round, the peak of its season is in Fall and Winter.

Source: Shutterstock [91]

Kiwi

Kiwi (actually a large berry) is typically available September through April, with its peak season running through early Winter.

Source: Shutterstock [92]

Kohlrabi

While kohlrabi [93] is available year-round, it really peaks in the colder months: October, November, and December.

Source: Flickr userorchidgalore [94]

Kumquats

Tiny kumquats [95]' peak season runs from January through April, with harvest sometimes starting as early as October.

Source: Shutterstock [96]

Leeks

Leeks [97] are generally available year-round, with their peak during the Spring season.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Lemons

Lemons are available year-round, with their peak availability in the cooler months.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Limes

Limes are typically at market from October through April.

Source: Shutterstock [98]

Long Beans

Peak long bean [99] season runs from late Summer to early Fall. However, in California and Mexico, they grow year-round.

Source: Shutterstock [100]

Mangoes

While mangoes [101] don't typically grow in the US, their peak season runs from April through June in the equatorial climes where they're harvested.

Source: Shutterstock [102]

Morel Mushrooms

The prized morel mushroom [103] is typically foraged (and therefore available fresh) during the Spring months; throughout the rest of the year, try dried morels.

Source: Shutterstock [104]

Mushrooms

Cultivated mushrooms like cremini (pictured), button, shiitake, and portobello are available year-round.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Mustard Greens

Bitter mustard greens [105] are at farmers markets from October to March.

Source: Flickr user timsackton [106]

Nectarines

Nectarine season mirrors that of its furry cousin, the peach. They can be ready as early as May and available until late September, but their season is at its peak in July and August.

Source: Shutterstock [107]

Nettles

Stinging nettles [108] are available in markets January through July.

Photo: Sara Yoo

Nopales

Look for nopales [109], the edible leaves of the prickly pear cactus, through Summer and Fall.

Source: Flickr user Gary Soup [110]

Okra

Okra [111] season typically runs June through November.

Source: Shutterstock [112]

Onions

Onions [113] are available year-round.

Source: Shutterstock [114]

Oranges

Oranges, like most citrus, are at their peak in the Winter months, though they are available year-round in California.

Source: Shutterstock [115]

Padron Peppers

Diminutive padron peppers [116] are typically in season from mid-June all the way through September.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Parsnips

Parsnips [117]' peak season runs October through April.

Source: Flickr user *clairity* [118]

Peaches

Velvety peaches [119] can be ready as early as May and available until late September, but their season is at its peak in July and August.

Source: Shutterstock [120]

Pears

Juicy pears are at their peak from August till November.

Source: Shutterstock [121]

Peas

English peas [122] — also known as shell peas and garden peas — enjoy a short-lived season during late Spring and early Summer and are at their best in May.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Pea Shoots

Tender pea shoots and tendrils [123] are typically available January through May.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Persimmons

Both hachiya and fuyu persimmons [124] are in season between November and February.

Source: Shutterstock [125]

Plums

Plum [126] season runs from May through September, though it varies slightly from year to year.

Source: Shutterstock [127]

Pomegranates

Depending on the harvest, pomegranate [128] season typically runs from October through February.

Source: Shutterstock [129]

Pomelos

Pomelos, grapefruits' larger cousins, are available from November through April.

Source: Shutterstock [130]

Potatoes

Because they're a kitchen staple, it's easy to assume that potato season runs year-round. Rather, they're typically harvested from July till early September (and are a real treat as "new potatoes"); the rest of the year, they're available via cold storage.

Source: Shutterstock [131]

Pumpkin

Pumpkins are available as early as late September and as late as early April, with their peak falling in the Fall and Winter months.

Source: Shutterstock [132]

Purslane

Purslane [133] is typically available from April through December.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Radicchio

Bitter radicchio is available year-round and is at its peak during the cooler Winter and early Spring months.

Source: Shutterstock [134]

Radishes

Although radishes [135] are available year-round, it's during Spring and Summer months when one can truly appreciate them for their crisp texture and spicy, juicy bite.

Source: Shutterstock [136]

Ramps

Ramps [137], wild onions, have a limited season of about six weeks beginning in April.

Source: Flickr user kthread [138]

Raspberries

Raspberries have, thankfully, a long season that runs from May through early November, with their peak in the Summer months.

Source: Shutterstock [139]

Rhubarb

Actually a vegetable rather than a fruit, rhubarb [140] is at its peak from April to June, though it is often available slightly later into the Summer season.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Satsumas

Satsumas and their close cousins Mandarin oranges and clementines are typically available November through April.

Source: Shutterstock [141]

Scallions

Scallions, or green onions, are in season all year long.

Source: Shutterstock [142]

Shallots

Delicately flavored shallots are in season year-round.

Source: Shutterstock [143]

Sour Cherries

Sour cherries [144] have a tragically short season and are generally only available for a few weeks in June and July.

Source: Shutterstock [145]

Spinach

Spinach is in season year-round.

Source: Shutterstock [146]

Spring Onions

Spring onions [147] are simply young onions that have been pulled before they develop into conventional onions, and they are available — you guessed it — throughout the Spring season.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Strawberries

Strawberries [148] are at their sweetest from April to July, though they are available at farmers markets as early as March and as late as October.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Summer Squash

Summer squash (a category which includes pattypan, crookneck, zucchini, yellow, and other heirloom varieties) is typically available from June through late October.

Source: Shutterstock [149]

Sunchokes

Sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) are typically available during the cooler months of September through April.

Source: Shutterstock [150]

Sweet Limes

Sweet limes [151], otherwise known as the hardy lime or the Palestine sweet lime, are harvested in the Winter and early Spring.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes [152] are typically available September through March, with their peak season ending in December.

Source: Shutterstock [153]

Tangerines

Tangerines [154] are in season roughly from late October through January.

Source: Thinkstock [155]

Tayberries

A cross between the Aurora blackberry and a European raspberry variety, tayberry [156] season runs from July through mid-August.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Tomatillos

Tomatillos [157] are in season from May to November, peaking in August.

Source: Flickr user Maggie Hoffman [158]

Tomatoes

From rainbow-hued heirloom varietals [159] to juicy Early Girls [160] to the tiniest grape and cherry versions, tomato season is surprisingly long. Smaller varieties can come to harvest as early as April (but more typically around June) and last till November; larger tomatoes are available through the peak Summer and mid-Fall months.

Source: Shutterstock [161]

Turnips

Turnip [162] season runs from September through April.

Source: Flickr user ghirson [163]

Quince

Quince [164] has a supershort but sweet season, lasting from October to December.

Source: Flickr user jespahjoy [165]

Watermelon

Watermelon season peaks in the Summer and lasts from June through October.

Source: Shutterstock [166]

Zucchini

Zucchini [167] (and its delectable squash blossoms) is available May through September.

Source: Flickr user ljcybergal [168]


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