Fruits in Season

Healthy Recipes and Nutrition, Nutrition
on August 19, 2011
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Buying fruits in season not only ensures you and your family the freshest, most nutritious local produce, it’s also cheaper! In addition, buying in season supports your local farmer and is the most sustainable way to shop for fruits. Don't have access to farmers' markets year round? No problem. Your local grocery store will also carry local, seasonal favorites, or find other sources at Local Harvest. Know what’s ripe when with this handy guide to the fruits available each season.

Winter months are typically lean growing times. Surprisingly, there are plenty of fresh fruits to be had during the chilly season. From January to February, look for citrus fruits packed with vitamin C, like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, tangelos and lemons. Even the papaya makes its debut during this time of the year.

Spring brings forth a wave of new fruit. Pineapples, mangoes and rhubarb become available in early spring, so don’t miss these favorites when they’re fresh. As the warmer weather approaches, additional treats make their appearance at farm stands and grocery stores alike. You will find that loads of ripe, red cherries and even tangy apricots are accessible toward the latter portion of spring and heading into early summer.

Just when you need a change, summer arrives with a plentiful yield. Summer is often looked at as the time when fruits are at their peak of flavor. Long stretches of time ripening in the sun bring out the natural sugar in fruit. Irresistible strawberries, blueberries, peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe are finally at hand. The late summer ushers in another wave of flavor. Snatch up kiwi, raspberries and plums before they’re gone. This is the time to purchase as much as you can eat. Bought too much? Never fear. Any remaining fruit can be frozen, canned and even made into preserves to be enjoyed during the cooler weather when you need a splash of summer’s sweetness.

Fall in love with the late year’s harvest. Enjoy piles of juicy grapes. Sample the exotic splendor of pomegranates and persimmons. Stock up on tangy cranberries and crispy, sweet apples in autumn. And the cycle completes with citrus making a comeback at this time of year.