If you’ve ever hesitated at the grocery store because you didn’t know going into fall what fruits and veggies were going to be delicious and which were going to be gross, this article is for you.
Of course, “gross” is an exaggeration, but we’ve all purchased produce that was clearly out of season. These fruits and vegetables may look beautiful, but just don’t taste their best. They might be dry or grainy. Plus, out of season produce is usually more expensive, meaning you’re paying more money for less-than-delicious produce.
But fear not! Here’s your September guide for what fruits and vegetables are in season. Use this list to plan your shopping list — and your menu — and you’ll be enjoying juicy, nutritious, perfectly ripe produce the whole month long.
You know fall is right around the corner because apples have arrived. Learn how to cook and can your own applesauce for a homemade treat you can enjoy all year long.
Blackberries are so simple. Just rinse and enjoy the juicy tartness of this late summer fruit.
Corn is one of the poster children of fall. Enjoy sweet, fresh corn in soups, salads, casseroles, and more.
Eggplant is actually a fruit, but that doesn’t stop us from using it in savory dishes. Try it as a low-carb base for mini veggie pizzas, make stuffed eggplant, baba ghanoush, eggplant parmesan, and more.
Take advantage of the final month of grape season. Use them in salads, smoothies, or just enjoy fresh, juicy grapes as a healthy snack.
Blanch green beans so they retain their tender yet crisp texture. Dip fresh green beans in pesto for a flavorful late-summer snack. They’re also delicious in casseroles, salads, soups, and pastas.
Hang on to the taste of summer a bit longer! Enjoy one last month for sweet, delicious cantaloupe. Good watermelon can usually be found through October.
You don’t have to live in the South to love okra! Find these bright green pods at the market well past Labor Day. Try okra grilled, sautéed, fried, or picked. Add it to stews or curries.
Peaches are still ripe for the picking in early September. But don’t delay! They good ones will disappear by mid-month.
Juicy pears are one of the true joys of fall. Bake them in breads, served them on salads, or eat them fresh, just like an apple.
Bell peppers are at their peak in late summer and early fall. Their mild flavor and satisfying crunch make them a popular choice for serving raw (try dipping them in hummus), but they’re also great roasted, grilled, baked, or stuffed.
Don’t say goodbye to stone fruits just yet. Sweet purple plums are still ripe and ready for your enjoyment in tarts, pies, jams, or just to be eaten raw.
Who doesn’t love a loaded baked potato? Or buttery mashed potatoes? Or crispy french fries? Potatoes are in season this month, adding to your hearty fall menu. Generally speaking, potatoes outside of the Russet variety tend to offer more nutritional value, so shop colorful when possible. Plus, since you should be eating the skin, splurge and buy your potatoes organic.
Pumpkins themselves really aren’t that flavorful. That pumpkin flavor we’ve come to crave every fall is really just a blend of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. None-the-less, pumpkin still makes an important addition to our favorite fall dishes. Roast fresh pumpkin for savory dishes, or toss it in the food processor to make your own homemade pumpkin puree.
Radishes are unique for their crunch and spice. Lightly dip radishes in a bit of salt for a savory snack or serve them with your favorite Bloody Mary mix. Radishes are also a great candidate for pickling or roasting.
September is a great month for both summer and winter squash. Summer squash, like zucchini and yellow squash, have thinner skins that you usually choose to eat. Most winter squash, like butternut, have thick skins you’ll probably want to remove.
Tomatoes are still ripe and falling off the vine. Gather as many as you can and get to making and freezing your own marina sauce. In the middle of winter, you’ll be so thankful you have that fresh taste of summer to warm you.
ALSO SEE: What’s in season in October.