Summertime is made for fresh produce! Selecting fruits and vegetables in season is a great way to ensure the best flavor. Use this guide to learn all about summer vegetables and fruits, plus delicious recipes to make with them!
Whether you grow your own summer garden, shop at your local farmer's market or hit the grocery store down the street, it's helpful to know which fruits and vegetables grow during which seasons.
Vegetables and fruit have the most flavor when they're in their peak growing season. Plus, grocery stores usually have good sales on in-season produce! I love shopping locally and in-season whenever possible for the best deals on the best produce!
Fruits and vegetables are delicious served raw or cooked, added to your favorite bowl or turned into a delicious salad. Learn about all of our favorite summer produce and how to use it in recipes throughout the season!
What are summer vegetables?
Arugula - Also known as 'rocket', this leafy vegetable has a peppery and bitter flavor. It's generally used in salads, on pizza or in pasta. Arugula is a good source of folate, Vitamins K, A, C, as well as calcium and magnesium.
Beets - More technically beetroot, are often a deep reddish purple color and have an earthy taste. They're prepared in a variety of ways including boiled, roasted, steamed, raw and pickled. Beets are used in salads, both sweet and savory recipes, and as a condiment. Low in fat, beets have high amounts of folate and manganese.
Bell Peppers - Common colors of bell peppers are green, red, orange, and yellow. The taste is mild and ranges in sweetness. Botanically speaking bell peppers are a fruit, but are used in cooking as a vegetable. They go in anything from salads to soups and savory dishes to pizza. And they're sometimes eaten as a snack, dipped into hummus or avocado ranch dressing. They're an excellent source of vitamin C, and also have a moderate amount of vitamin B6.
Carrots - The orange root vegetable has an almost sweet, slightly bitter and somewhat fruity taste. Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked as a snack, as a side dish, in savory meals, and are even used in dessert recipes. They're known for their high vitamin A content, but also boast vitamins K and B6.
Corn - A summer classic, this sweet vegetable goes back tens of thousands of years. Outside of the favorite corn on the cob, it can be used in many savory recipes. Corn offers B vitamins as well as fiber, magnesium and folate.
Cucumber - This vine plant has a light and fresh flavor that resembles a melon, although a bit more bitter. Cucumbers can be enjoyed raw in salads, as a snack or mixed into recipes like fresh salsas or ceviche. Or you can make homemade pickles! While cucumbers are low in calories, they don't pack in a ton of nutrients aside from vitamin K.
Eggplant - This spongy and purple fruit is considered a vegetable in the culinary world. When cooked, eggplant has a mild yet rich taste, it mostly absorbs the flavor of whatever it's cooked with. Try it in pastas, on pizza, in baba ghanoush or as the star or the show in eggplant parmesan! Eggplant is low in fat and has small amounts of many nutrients, with decent levels of manganese.
Garlic - When eaten raw, garlic has a strong, pungent taste. However when roasted it has a rich, almost sweet flavor. Garlic is used in many forms as a seasoning, condiment and ingredient in recipes ranging from salad dressings to pasta sauces. The better question might be, what is garlic NOT used in? While garlic is usually consumed in too small of amounts to be a benefit nutritionally, it does contain vitamins B6 and C, as well as calcium, iron, and zinc.
Radishes - This crunchy root vegetable has a pungent and peppery flavor. Radishes are most commonly enjoyed raw as a topping on salads, as a garnish in bowls or on top of tacos. Low in calories, radishes are a good source of vitamin C.
Tomatoes - Fun fact, there was a Supreme Court case that legally declared tomatoes a vegetable as far as tariffs go, even though they're a fruit (a berry to be exact). Arguably the most popular Summer vegetable to grow at home, tomatoes are a little sweet, a little tangy, and a little acidic. They're eaten both raw and cooked in almost endless recipes ranging from sauces, salads, soups, savory dishes, drinks, the list goes on and on! Tomatoes are low in calories and are a decent source of vitamin C.
Zucchini - The summer squash is mild in flavor, and both the squash itself and it's blossoms are edible. Zucchini can be steamed, baked, grilled or fried and used in both savory recipes as well as in baked goods. They're a great way to get your folate and potassium with minimal calories.
Summer Vegetable Recipes
Once you know what vegetables grow in the summer months, you may ask yourself, "what recipes can I make with all of these summer vegetables?" Here are some ideas for recipes to try with each veggie!
- Arugula - Grilled Peach Salad
- Beets - Kale Beet Salad
- Bell Peppers - Tofu Scramble Burrito Bowl
- Carrots - Moroccan Roasted Carrot Chickpea Bowl
- Corn - Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Cucumber - Harissa Broccoli Bowl
- Eggplant - Eggplant Roll Ups
- Garlic - Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce
- Radishes - Elote Bowl
- Tomatoes - Greek Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- Zucchini - Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Zucchini Bowls or Roasted Summer Squash Quinoa Bowls
What are Summer Fruits
Apricots - These stone fruit have a fuzzy skin, similar to peaches, however they are more on the tart side for the flavor. In addition to being available fresh, they are also a popular dried fruit. Apricots are a good source of Vitamins A and C.
Blackberries - This juicy berry, similar to raspberries, is both tart and sweet. Not only is this fruit used to make many desserts and jams, it can also be used to make wine and cocktails! Blackberries contain significant amounts of fiber, and vitamins C and K.
Cherries - Another stone fruit, these red fruit are sweet with just a hint of tartness. They are very popular in desserts like pie or ice cream, or in drinks. Cherries have decent amounts of fiber and vitamin C.
Lemons - There are many varieties of this citrus fruit ranging in sweetness and tartness. Both the juice and zest are great for adding flavor to beverages, dressings, pastas, desserts and more. Lemons are very high in vitamin C, packing in 64% of the daily value in just 3.5 ounces!
Limes - The other popular summer citrus, limes are similar in taste to lemons but are a bit more bitter. Limes can be used in marinades, dressings, as well as many sweet and savory dishes. (And don't forget about margaritas!) While limes also pack in vitamin C, it's lower than in lemons.
Melons- Summer is a great season for all types of melons. Popular varieties include watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. More often than not they're enjoyed on their own or in salads. Each vary in nutritional value but just like most fruit they're all great sources of vitamin C.
Nectarines and peaches - Often confused for one another, peaches and nectarines are essentially the same fruit and can be used interchangeably. Nectarines have a smooth skin, while peach skin is fuzzy. The flesh of both fruits is sweet, acidic and slightly tart, depending on how ripe they are. They are popular as a snack, in salads or in desserts. While low in calories, these stone fruit do not offer significant amounts of nutrients per serving.
Passion Fruit - One of the more unique fruits on this list has been growing in popularity in the United States in recent years. Passion fruit are a perfect mix of sweet and tart. Some compare the flavor to a mix of mango, pineapple and peaches. The flesh is full of seeds and can be eaten as is. However, they are often juiced and the juice is used to flavor drinks, desserts, dressings or syrups. They are a good source of vitamins C and B, as well as fiber and iron.
Strawberries - The sweetest and juiciest strawberries are available during the summer months. In addition to being eaten plain, strawberries are used in smoothies, salads, jams, desserts, and more. In addition to offering a good amount of vitamin C, they also are a good source for manganese.
Summer Fruit Recipes
As delicious as snacking on fresh fruit is, it's fun to create recipes featuring summer fruit! And trust me, there's so much more than fruit salad! Here are some recipes to try using summer fruit!
- Apricots - Apricot Dessert Tacos
- Blackberries - Blackberry Jalapeño Guacamole
- Cherries - Cherry Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Lemon - Lemon Herb Vegan Greek Quinoa Bowl
- Limes - Cilantro Lime Quinoa
- Melon - Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
- Nectarines - Nectarine Fig Burrata Bruschetta
- Peaches - Grilled Peach Salad (pictured above)
- Passion Fruit - Passion Fruit Poppy Seed Muffins
- Strawberries - No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
Which recipe will you try first? Cheers to bright, fresh and flavorful summer produce!