Spring is the time of year when the natural world shakes off the cold of winter, and blossoms with new life. As such, there are many fruits, vegetables, and other crops that first begin to ripen in the spring months. Those crops that ripen quickly can be picked and delivered to the market before the days start getting too warm.
Here is a spring produce guide to help you understand the seasonality of produce that should become available as the winter draws to a close:
Apples: While apples may be more traditionally associated with fall, some varieties actually come into season in the spring! Look out for early season apples like Honeycrisp and Pink Lady, which make for a sweet and crunchy snack.
Asparagus: One of the first signs of spring, asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be roasted, grilled, or pureed to make a velvety smooth soup. Its unique flavor pairs well with everything from lemon to Parmesan cheese.
Bananas: While bananas are available year-round, they're still a great choice in the spring for their natural sweetness and portability. Plus, they're packed with potassium, making them a great post-workout snack.
Broccoli: This cruciferous vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse, full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Throw it in a smoothie for a delicious and healthy snack.
Cabbage: Whether you prefer green, red, or Napa cabbage, this vegetable is a great choice for spring salads and slaws. Try it with a tangy vinaigrette and some crunchy toppings like almonds or sesame seeds.
Carrots: A classic spring vegetable, carrots are naturally sweet and packed with nutrients like beta-carotene and fiber. Try roasting them with some olive oil and herbs for a simple and delicious side dish or blend them for a healthy juice or smoothie.
Celery: While celery may not be the most exciting vegetable, it's actually incredibly versatile and can add a great crunch to everything from juices to soups. Plus, it's a good source of fiber and vitamin K.
Cherries: Cherry season is short but sweet, typically lasting from late April to early June. These juicy fruits are great for snacking or baking into pies and desserts. Plus, they’re amazing in smoothies! They add just the right tang to make the smoothie a real treat to your palate.
Collard Greens: Another nutrient-packed green, collard greens are a staple of Southern cuisine. They can be a great addition to a smoothie. While they may not be as commonly used in smoothies as spinach or kale, they offer a slightly milder flavor that pairs well with other fruits and vegetables.
Corn: Sweet corn is at its peak in the summer, but you can start to find it in late spring as well. Corn is a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups. Corn soup is a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for chilly spring days.
Cucumbers: Cool and refreshing, cucumbers are perfect for spring salads and sandwiches. Try slicing them thin and marinating them in dressing for a quick and easy snack.
Garlic: While garlic is available year-round, spring garlic (also known as green garlic) is a milder and more tender version that's perfect for roasting or sautéing. Look for it at your local farmers' market!
Grapefruit: A tart and juicy citrus fruit, grapefruit is a great choice for spring breakfasts and snacks. The tangy flavor of the grapefruit also pairs well with cool mint.
Lemons: Another versatile citrus fruit, lemons are great for everything from salad dressings to desserts. Plus, they're packed with vitamin C and antioxidants.
Lettuce: Whether you prefer romaine, arugula, or butter lettuce, spring is the perfect time to start incorporating more leafy greens into your diet. Try mixing different varieties for a more interesting salad and smoothies.
Mangoes: While mangoes may not be a traditional spring fruit, they're actually in season from March to July. Their sweet and tropical flavor is perfect for smoothies and desserts.
Mushrooms: While some varieties of mushrooms are available year-round, many come into season in the spring. Look out for morels and chanterelles, which have a delicate and earthy flavor that pairs well with pasta, eggs, and meats.
Nectarines: Similar to peaches, nectarines are a juicy and sweet stone fruit that's perfect for snacking or baking. Look for ones that are fragrant and slightly soft to the touch.
Onions: While onions are a kitchen staple year-round, spring onions (also known as scallions) are a milder and more tender version that's perfect for salads, dressings, and stir-fries.
Oranges: Another citrus fruit that's perfect for spring, oranges are sweet and juicy with a bright and refreshing flavor. Try using them in salads, smoothies, or snacking on them as is.
Pears: While pears may be more traditionally associated with fall, some varieties actually come into season in the spring as well. Try them in salads, smoothies, or baked into desserts.
Peas: Whether you prefer sugar snap peas or shelling peas, spring is the perfect time to start incorporating more of these sweet and crunchy legumes into your diet. They’re also perfect for introducing your baby to solid foods.
Pineapple: While pineapple is available year-round, it's actually in peak season in the spring and summer. Its sweet and tropical flavor is perfect for smoothies, salads, and desserts.
Potatoes: While potatoes are often thought of as a comfort food, they can actually be quite versatile and nutritious. Try them roasted with some herbs and spices for a healthier alternative to fries.
Spinach: Another leafy green that's perfect for spring salads and smoothies, spinach is a good source of iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants. Try it with some feta cheese and walnuts for a more interesting flavor.
Sweet Potatoes: While sweet potatoes may be more traditionally associated with fall and winter, they're actually available year-round and can be a great source of fiber and vitamins. Try them roasted or mashed for a healthier alternative to regular potatoes.
Tomatillos: While tomatillos may be less well-known than regular tomatoes, they're actually a versatile and delicious ingredient that's perfect for salsas and sauces. Look for ones that are firm and bright green.
Tomatoes: No spring produce guide would be complete without tomatoes! Whether you prefer cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, or heirloom varieties, they're a versatile ingredient that's perfect for salads, sandwiches, and sauces. Look for ones that are bright red and fragrant for the best flavor.
Watermelon: Last but not least, watermelon is a classic summer fruit that starts to come into season in the late spring. Its sweet and juicy flesh is perfect for hot days and backyard barbecues. Try it sliced up for a refreshing snack or blended into a smoothie for a hydrating treat.You can also check out our Fall Produce Guide and Winter Produce Guide. Resources: USDA Seasonal Produce Guide, A Guide to Buying Fruits and Vegetables