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Fruits and Vegetables to Try Each Season

Get the Best Taste and Price on Fruits and Vegetables

-- By Becky Hand, Meg Galvin, and Stepfanie Romine, authors of 'The Spark Solution'
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When it comes to fruits and vegetables, most of us stick with what we know: carrots, cucumbers and celery at lunchtime; corn, peas and green beans for dinner; bananas, apples and oranges for breakfast or snacks. To keep healthy eating fun and exciting, venture beyond your usual produce picks. After all, if you're going to be eating at least five servings a day on The Spark Solution plan, you'll want to have plenty of options to keep your mealtime enthusiasm from waning.
 
These days, the produce section is packed full of specialty items from around the globe. Some are pricey and, honestly, lackluster in flavor, but others are a great deal and packed with great taste. Knowing what to buy fresh each season (asparagus in spring) and what to avoid (strawberries in winter) will not only ensure you're getting the best taste and price!
 
To help you get started, we've compiled a list of what is at its peak freshness during each of the four seasons. This list is not comprehensive; it's meant to help you branch out and explore the market. You can venture beyond this list, choosing what's on sale and looks good at your market.
 
Spring
  1. apricots
  2. artichokes
  3. asparagus
  4. garlic scapes
  5. leeks
  6. lettuce
  7. mushrooms
  8. new potatoes
  9. peas
  10. plums
  11. radishes
  12. rhubarb
  13. salad greens
  14. spinach
  15. strawberries
 Summer
  1. bell eppers
  2. berries (all varieties: blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries)
  3. cantaloupe
  4. cherries
  5. corn
  6. cucumbers
  7. eggplant
  8. green beans
  9. figs
  10. kohlrabi
  11. okra
  12. peaches
  13. plums
  14. tomatoes
  15. summer squash (including zucchini)
  16. watermelon
 Fall
  1. acorn squash
  2.  apples
  3. beets
  4. broccoli
  5. Brussels sprouts
  6. butternut squash
  7. cauliflower
  8. chili peppers
  9. collard greens
  10. cranberries
  11. grapes
  12. jicama
  13. kale
  14. pears
  15. pumpkins
  16. Russet potatoes
  17. rutabagas
  18. sweet potatoes
  19. Swiss chard
  20. turnips
 Winter
  1. apples
  2. beets
  3. Brussels sprouts
  4. cabbage
  5. carrots
  6. citrus (try blood oranges, clementines and grapefruit)
  7. parsnips
  8. pomegranates
  9. potatoes
  10. rutabagas
  11. sweet potatoes
  12. Swiss chard
  13. turnips
 Year-round
  1. avocados
  2. beets
  3. bok choy
  4. broccoli
  5. cabbage
  6. carrots
  7. cauliflower
  8. celery
  9. chard
  10. collards
  11. fennel
  12. garlic
  13. green onions
  14. jicama
  15. kale
  16. radishes
  17. spinach
 
 Like this story? It's from "The Spark Solution: A Complete Two-Week Program to Fast-Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health," the new book from the experts at SparkPeople.
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Member Comments

  • Thanks. I think this information will be a great help to me because I need to improve my intake of vegetables and fruits. Especially helpful to know are the best times to buy each kind of fruit or vegetable. - 12/27/2013 10:31:05 PM
  • I enjoy a lot of these year round but it is true that they just don't taste as good during their off season times....and probably don't have the same nutritional value since they are typically trucked from far away. It is really noticeable with tomatoes....the pink anemic winter tomato is just not appetizing to me! - 5/8/2013 8:56:19 AM
  • Great! Some of these produce I would eat year round, not realizing peak and non-peak times. Will definately refer to this since I've printed this out to carry with me to the market. - 5/7/2013 8:22:07 AM