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The Best Summer Produce: Fruits and Vegetables in Season

Learn about some of the best fruits and vegetables to enjoy in the summer.

When summertime rolls around, long sunny, and warm days await. With this change of seasons comes new crops of tasty produce, fruits, and vegetables available at your local grocery store and starter kits to grow them yourself at your local garden center. 

Fresh organic vegetables in wicker basket

Fresh fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins and nutrients your body needs, but to enjoy them properly, you should always shop for items that are in season.

Produce always tastes its best and is at its freshest when you buy it during its growing season.

Summer Fruits and Vegetables 

Here are some of the best summer fruits and vegetables you can enjoy during the warmer months. 


Watermelon

Watermelon slices are a staple of summer, and the melons often ripen in the middle of summer.

Most farmers and gardeners plant them in the spring, and a few months later, you’ll get a bunch of medium to large-sized melons.

Before eating a watermelon, check if it’s ripe by knocking on it like a door. If it sounds hollow, it should be ripe enough to eat!

I love to eat watermelon by itself, but you can also make it into a salad to serve as a side dish or even turn it into a drink. 


Cherries

In the summertime, you can find a variety of cherries at the grocery store, and most are on the sweeter side.

These little round fruits make a tasty snack, but always make sure to bite with care, as all cherries have pits in the middle.

My favorite way to use cherries is in a delicious homemade pie.


Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an easy plant to grow in the summertime if you want to start a garden.

You can also find plenty of fresh ones at your grocery store during the summer.

You’ll find a variety of types, including Cherry and grape, Roma, San Marzano, Campari, and more! 

Tomatoes serve as great bases for sauces and soups and can add an earthy sweetness to salads. I love making Caprese salads with them.


Summer Squash

Summer squash is a large category that covers zucchini and a few other squashes.

You can use them for multiple meals, including squash noodles, squash fritters, and even fancier-looking dishes like ratatouille.

You can also eat the flowers from squash plants, which taste delicious when you bread and fry them.


Peaches

Peaches are one of the sweetest fruits, in my opinion, as long as they’re ripe.

These fuzzy fruits work well in a variety of desserts, including peach cobbler, mixed fruit pies, and even simply grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream. 

Check out some different varieties of peaches to try!


Okra

Okra looks like a cross between a string bean and pepper, and it has plenty of health benefits.

One serving has 716 IU of vitamin A and 23 mg of vitamin C. I like to lightly roast okra in the oven, as it brings out its earthy flavors.


Cucumber

Cucumbers are great vegetables that have a mild flavor and a high water content, making them great for hydration.

They taste best in salads, whether that be a regular salad or a cucumber and tomato salad.

I like to put some cucumber slices in my water sometimes to make a refreshing drink.


Eggplant

You can find eggplant in a list of varieties, but you’re probably most familiar with the large dark purple ones.

Eggplant is okay to eat both raw and cooked, but it doesn’t taste that great if it’s raw.

One of my favorite things to do with eggplant is make eggplant parmesan with fried eggplant rounds, tomato sauce, and cheese.


Corn

I would say that corn is another summer staple, as many people serve it with barbecue-type food on the grill.

You can use plenty of things ranging from cornbread and chowder to salads and Mexican street corn.

I like to use corn in cold bean salads for a tasty summer side to hamburgers and hotdogs.


Green Beans

Green beans add a delicious snap to your meal and plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy.

One cup of green beans has 12.2 mg of vitamin C, which is close to a quarter of your recommended daily intake.

You can make salads with them, roast them for a simple side, or make casseroles with them. I highly recommend a green bean casserole. 


Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are one of my favorite vegetables due to their sweetness and crunch.

Yellow bell peppers have a whopping 184 mg of vitamin C per serving, which is well over your recommended daily intake.

I like to eat bell peppers raw, but you can saute them, put them in salads, and even put them in soups and stews.


Mangoes

Mangoes have a sweet, almost melon-like flavor to them.

These fruits come from India and are one of the most popular fruits eaten around the world.

They are the perfect tropical fruit for smoothies and fruit salads. I like to pair mango and coconut together in my smoothies. 


Basil

If you’re looking to add a bold flavor to your meal, basil is the perfect addition.

It has a slight peppery taste to it with some sweetness. You’ll often find basil in Italian dishes, as it is a good herb for pasta dishes and pizza.

One of my favorite ways to use basil is in a fresh tomato and basil pasta dish. 


Zucchini

You can find zucchini in both green and yellow.

They’re popular in home gardens as they spread quickly and produce many flowers.

Zucchini is one of my favorite types of squash, and I love breading them and making baked zucchini chips.


Strawberries

Strawberries typically come out in June, but some varieties can produce berries more than once and grow fruits at the end of the summer and the beginning of fall.

They are extremely sweet and make a good snack. I like to make strawberry shortcakes with fresh strawberries for a summer dessert.


Shallots

Shallots are in the onion family, but their flavor is mild compared to their onion relatives.

They make a good, mild substitute for onions in a recipe. You’ll just need to use about a three-to-one ratio, as shallots are much smaller than onions.

I like to use them in light sauces and soups. 


Berries

Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all sweet fruits that grow in the summertime.

Ensure they are ripe before picking, or they might taste a little bitter.

My favorite way to use berries is in mixed berry pies, as pie is a good dessert for a warm summer night. 


Honeydew Melons

Honeydew melons tend to have a light taste to them, and they have a high water content, contributing to summertime hydration.

You can use them in summer fruit salads and smoothies, or just eat slices of the melon on their own.

I like to mix it into a fruit salad and have it as a side to my breakfast.


Limes 

While limes may be small, they pack a punch with their citrusy and sour taste.

Lime juice is the perfect way to add some flavor to Mexican dishes, drinks, and dressings.

I like to squeeze some lime juice on tacos, as it adds a nice tang.


Cantaloupe

Cantaloup tastes slightly similar to honeydew, but the fleshy part of the fruit is a peachy orange rather than green.

Since cantaloupe is pretty mild in flavor, it works nicely on top of salads.

I like to add cantaloupe to my salad with a little feta to get a salty and sweet flavor combination. 


Summer Fruits and Vegetables 

  1. Watermelon
  2. Cherries
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Summer Squash
  5. Peaches
  6. Okra
  7. Cucumber
  8. Eggplant
  9. Corn
  10. Green Beans
  11. Bell Peppers
  12. Mangoes
  13. Basil
  14. Zucchini
  15. Strawberries
  16. Shallots
  17. Berries
  18. Honeydew Melons
  19. Limes 
  20. Cantaloupe

Final Thoughts

Fruits and vegetables are always a good idea to add to your diet to keep yourself healthy.

Take advantage of the summer crops that offer fresh summer fruits and vegetables to your meals. You can go grocery shopping for many of the items on this list, or you can grow them right in your backyard.

Once summer ends, you can enjoy the best fall produce!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.