Eating With the Seasons

By Jennifer Carland, RD, CDN

As seasons change, your grocery bag should too. Different fruits and vegetables are grown and ripened throughout the year, offering an array of selections from season to season. There are several benefits to consuming produce that has recently been harvested. Just ripened fruits and vegetables are at their peak nutritional value and flavor. Foods that are not naturally in season may have been transported from thousands of miles away, which can affect taste and nutritional value. Additionally, purchasing seasonal produce may be cheaper and supports the environment as well as local farmers. Below is a chart that can be used to find seasonable produce in Western New York any time of the year:

 

FRUITS IN SEASON VEGETABLES IN SEASON
Early Summer
Cherries, Strawberries Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Green Onions, Greens, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Summer Squash
Mid-Summer
Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini
Late Summer
Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Grapes, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Greens, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini
Early Fall
Apples, Blueberries, Grapes, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries

 

Beans/Legumes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Greens, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini
Late Fall
Cranberries, Pears Beans/Legumes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Mushroom, Onion, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Winter Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips
Winter
Cranberries, Pears Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Winter Squash

 

Early Spring
None in Season Mushrooms

 

Late Spring
Strawberries Asparagus, Broccoli, Fava Beans, Green Onions, Greens, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach

 

An easy way to eat with the seasons is to visit your area farmer’s market and look for local produce at the grocery store. Although variety and availability of fresh produce declines certain times or year, there is an abundance of delicious options for the warmer months, so take advantage while you can!