4 Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables That Are Super Fresh Right Now

by Emily Duerr, RDN, LD

Last Updated: July 13, 2020

Spring has finally made way for summer and we couldn’t be more excited. With more time at home due to COVID19, the increased variety of delicious in season fruits and vegetables to mix into our daily meal routine is refreshing. We can’t wait to cool off with a juicy watermelon slice by the pool, enjoy a fresh summer salad with dinner, or throw some flavor-packed vegetables on the grill.

Summer is a great time to look for in season produce. Grocery shopping in season means that fresh produce is bought and eaten close to the time it is harvested - when the flavor and nutrients are optimal. You’ve likely gotten used to having produce available all year-round, however, you may notice strawberries in the winter aren’t as juicy and delicious as summer-time strawberries. Foods purchased out of season are picked before they’re fully ripe and may have to be shipped across the country, or even across multiple countries, affecting the flavor, nutrient profile, and cost (in season options are cheaper).

Check out some of our favorite seasonal summer choices below. Keep in mind, seasonality does vary across the country. To find out what foods are in season near you, explore this seasonal food guide.
  1. Blueberries are not only a delicious sweet treat, they’re also a nutrition powerhouse. Blueberries contain vitamin C to support a healthy immune system, heart-healthy fiber to help keep you full, and manganese to help your body use nutrients for energy. The anthocyanins that give blueberries their famous color are also being researched for their potentially positive role in cancer, heart disease, and cognitive function.
    • Buying and Storing: Look for blueberries that are plump, firm, and dry. Juice in the container may indicate bruised fruit. As far as color, look for deep purple-blue or blue-black blueberries. Store in the fridge and wait until you are ready to eat them to wash them.
    • Uses: Try throwing blueberries on top of your salad, freezing them for a refreshing snack, or starting your morning with these quinoa blueberry pancakes!

  2. Green beans, otherwise known as snap peas or string beans, contain many nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and even a little protein. Green beans are also a low FODMAP vegetable which can be beneficial for individuals managing irritable bowel syndrome.
    • Buying and Storing: When buying fresh green beans select those that are bright, crisp, and smooth. Fresh green beans should be kept refrigerated in a plastic bag for 3-5 days. Wash in cold water and remove the stems before using. If looking for frozen or canned, choose options with no salt added.
    • Uses: Some of our favorite recipes include simple sautéed green beans, tasty baked green bean fries, and this unique peaches and green bean salad!

  3. Tomatoes are a versatile vegetable (yes, we said vegetable!) that can be included in many dishes, from pasta to pizza to soup! The fruit vs. vegetable tomato controversy likely sounds familiar, and the Supreme Court has even weighed in! Botanically speaking, tomatoes are classified as a fruit as they grow from the flower of the plant. However, nutritionally and culinarily speaking, tomatoes fall more in the vegetable category due to their savory flavor and lower calorie content (vegetables typically have about 25 calories per serving while fruits have around 60 calories per serving). This nutrient-rich vegetable contains fiber, vitamins A and C, and lycopene!
    • Buying and Storing: Choose tomatoes that have a bright color and are tight and firm, not wrinkled in texture. Store at room temperature out of direct light or in a paper bag in the refrigerator crisper for 3-5 days. Rinse before cutting or eating!
    • Uses: Tomatoes can be used to top salad and pasta dishes, but can also be a stand-alone side like these grilled tomatoes. You can even make your own homemade tomato soup!

  4. Watermelon: This summertime favorite, while 92% water, is loaded with fiber, vitamins (C, A, B1, and B6), and minerals (potassium, magnesium, phosphorus). Watermelon, like tomatoes, is also a source of the antioxidant lycopene and contains the highest amount compared to other fruits and vegetables. Did you know watermelon seeds are edible? And no, a watermelon will not grow in your stomach. 1/8 cup of sprouted, shelled, and dried watermelon seeds contain about 10 grams of protein. You can also eat the rind!
    • Buying and Storing: When looking for a watermelon, select a symmetrical, heavy melon with a yellow-white underside. Store uncut at room temperature. Be sure to wash the outside of the watermelon with cool water before carving, and once cut, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
    • Uses: Mix it up with this watermelon and feta salad, cool off with a watermelon smoothie, or enjoy a slice of grilled watermelon pizza!

Anti-inflammatory food choices are a great example of food functioning as medicine. The best tip to remember is to include a variety of colors into your diet every single day to achieve optimal health.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Emily Duerr, RDN, LD

Emily Duerr, RDN, LD

Emily strongly believes in a balanced diet- choosing foods that are good for your body AND good for your soul. With this philosophy, she can help you meet your health goals without having to give up your favorite foods. In addition to a passion for nutrition, Emily loves spending time outside with her two rescue dogs.