Every season the USDA and FDA publish lists of in-season produce. These lists are great for a weekend farmer’s market trip, or to simply be aware of what produce is in season at your local grocery store.
Why Choose In-Season Produce?
Choosing in-season produce is less expensive, fresher, more environmentally friendly and even tastier!
So, What’s In-Season?
This list is an overview of in-season produce from the USDA, your specific area may vary. The list of produce is quite long, so in this post you will learn which in-season foods pack the most nutrition punch. Support the environment, local farmers, your taste buds and fuel your body with the nutrients it craves!
Here’s the official USDA list:
- Collard Greens
- Greens (cooking)
- Swiss Chard
Pro-tip: Use the SeasonalFoodGuide.org to discover the in-season produce directly in your area!
These are my top picks for your next farmer’s market or supermarket trip based on cost and nutrient density from the USDA list! Fruits and vegetables are always a good choice, but try these picks if you are on a budget or looking for a certain nutrient boost.
High in vitamin C and K, these soluble fiber packed greens are superstars. They are also high in calcium and folate all while being low in calories. They are great stewed but I love to use the large leaves as a substitute for a wrap!
Broccoli is high in lutein, an antioxidant linked to eye and skin health. This vegetable also has magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorous. Fresh broccoli is a perfect weekday side, just steam it or roast with olive oil and enjoy.
Spinach is packed with iron, pair it with a fat source and vitamin C source (like sauteeing it in olive oil with a squeeze of lemon) to maximize iron absorption. Spinach also is high in vitamins A and K, folate, magnesium, and fiber.
All varieties of mushrooms contain important minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Button mushrooms contain selenium, which is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to keep our skin healthy.
Packed with vitamin C and folate, these berries will help your skin glow! Berries have high antioxidant levels which are evident in their bright color. Strawberries are the perfect example of how in-season produce is cheaper, look out for the large flats of strawberries. Buy these in bulk and freeze some for refreshing smoothies!
These little gems are rich in vitamins A, C, and B2 and even provide calcium, beta-carotene, and lycopene for heart health. Apricots are also rich in insoluble fiber which can act as a gentle laxative to keep things moving.
Spring is pineapple season, pick up a pineapple for an instant vacation. Pineapples are high in vitamin C, B1, B6, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Bonus, pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which aids in digestion!
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).