Happy October! The leaves are turning brown, Halloween decorations are popping up all over the neighborhood and a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies are in season at a grocery store new you!
Knowing what fresh produce items are in season when you head to the grocery store can not only save you money but also means that you’ll be enjoying fruits and veggies at their peak!
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Planning meals around in-season fresh produce is one of the easiest ways to save on groceries. Click on each of the listed items for tips on how to pick, prepare and store these seasonal fruits and veggies, along with tasty recipe ideas.
What’s in Season for October:
Apples are a fall staple. With so many varieties, this fruit can easily go sweet or savory and enjoyed as a snack, dessert, on a salad – the possibilities are endless! Check out these 40 Apple Recipes for Fall or this handy guide to apple varieties so you know which to use for snacking, cooking or baking.
Avocado lovers can rejoice – this favorite food is available year-round! Whether you’re topping toast, swapping in for a healthier dessert (hello, Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownies!) or whipping up a bowl of guacamole, you can pick up avocados in stores all year.
This favorite fruit is in season year-round making it easy to eat as a snack or add to smoothies, muffins, pancakes and turn into “nice” cream. Fun fact: the average American eats 28 pounds of bananas per year!
Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage with a mild flavor that’s delicious both raw and cooked. While bok choy is usually available year-round, it’s at its peak in colder months. Try it in a stir-fry, salad, soup, or this homemade Instant Pot Chicken Ramen!
This veggie is full of vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Fresh broccoli is available year-round and can be added to almost any meal. Chop and add to a salad or turn into a broccoli slaw, steam or roast for an easy side dish, or toss into pasta salads, stir-fry, cornbread muffins and more.
Brussels sprouts have made a serious comeback the last few years. My favorite way to prepare them in by simply tossing in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting them in the oven, which brings out their natural sweetness. If you weren’t a fan of “stinky” Brussels sprouts as a kid, try them this way!
Carrots aren’t just for Bugs Bunny! This kid-favorite veggie can simply be served with a side of ranch for dipping, roasted (bringing out a natural sweetness), steamed, or shredded and added to muffins, soups, mac n cheese, meatballs and more.
Talk about a comeback veggie! Cauliflower is taking the culinary world by storm and popping up in everything from pizza crust to fried rice. This versatile veggie can be used to make pesto, added to mashed potatoes for a lighter dish, turned into savory waffles or used to replace rice in classic casseroles.
This crunchy veggie is best known by kids as the base of Ants on a Log, but can also be used in many different ways to add flavor and texture to dishes. Chop and add to a potato salad, use as a base for soups, add crunch to salads and more.
October is the end of peak season for corn, so get it while you can! You can stock up and freeze for later or enjoy one last grilled corn on the cob before the season ends.
Cranberries are a holiday staple and ad brightness to any dish. Ripe cranberries should be slightly opaque with a scarlet or fire-engine red color. Look for firm cranberries that give slightly when squeezed. Reduce cranberries for a delicious topping for chicken or turkey, bake into this Apple & Cranberry Crisp or serve as a classic cranberry sauce.
Eggplant is a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B1, copper, manganese, Vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and Vitamin K! We love it in this Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Rollatini or as an easy weeknight pasta dish.
Did you know there are over 8,000 varieties of grapes? Whether you’re team green or red grapes or prefer one of the specialty varieties like Cotton Candy Grapes or “Witches Fingers” grapes, there’s no denying grapes make the perfect snack. Now’s the time to stock up and freeze for later. Watch how easy it is!
This little brown fruit was named after New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. Fuzzy and brown on the outside, bright green or yellow on the inside, this fruit adds color to any dish. Make these Fruity Pita Sandwiches or toss in a fruit salad for family gatherings.
Leeks have a mild, onion-like taste and are related to onions, garlic, shallots and chives. Make sure to thoroughly rinse leeks and pay fry with a paper towel before consuming. You can roast them, add them to a salad, use as a garnish for soups, add to casseroles and much more.
Both lemons and limes are in season year-round and are great for adding flavor to dishes. Juice and use for a fresh, homemade salad dressing, use season chicken, fish or veggies, or combine to add zing to these Baked Avocado Fries!
Look for fresh mangos that give slightly with squeezed gently, these ones will be ripe and ready to eat! Keep unripe mango stored on the counter until ripe. Blend into these smoothie popsicles, added to a tangy stir fry, or enjoyed in a fresh salad.
Melons, like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, are still in season! Each has a high water content, helping to keep you hyrdrated. Enjoy sliced and on a stick as a fruit popsicle, as a fruit salad, or this tasty Berry Melon Bruschetta.
Did you know Mushrooms are the only natural food source of Vitamin D? Mushrooms are so versatile, you can blend and add to tacos or burgers, used as a base for these Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms or added to easy weeknight dinners like this Asian Chicken Stir Fry.
We’re hitting the end of okra season, so grab them while you can! To avoid slimy okra when cooking, soak them in vinegar for 30 minutes before cooking.
Pears are a fall staple and come in over 3,000 varieties. When selecting pears at the store, remember to Check the Neck. Apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it yields, it’s ripe! Great for snacking, desserts, smoothies and more.
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. While they may look difficult to seed, it’s actually fairly easy to do (watch here). The arils are perfect for snacking, adding to salads or dressing up avocado toast!
With more than 600 types of potatoes sold in the US, the possibilities are endless. While potatoes sometimes get a bad rep, skin-on potatoes are full of Vitamin C, potassium and Vitamin B6. Whether you’re looking for healthy ways to top a baked potato, different ways to season roasted potatoes or just healthy potato recipes, we’ve got you covered.
No, we’re not talking about the ones you carve. Sugar pumpkins, otherwise known as pie pumpkins, are the ones at the heart of all your favorite fall pumpkin recipes. Check out this post for tons of pumpkin recipe inspiration and more about picking the perfect pumpkin.
You may not be too familiar with this root veggie, but don’t let that scare you! Like most root veggies, they’re delicious roasted. Check out this post to see how easy they are to roast + grab a few yummy recipe ideas.
California strawberries are still in season! This favorite fruit has endless possibilities beyond just snacking. Blend into muffins, make the perfect smoothie, add to a delicious fruit salsa or top off your pancakes.
Onions are a staple in our kitchen and we use them in multiple meals each week. While I still haven’t mastered cutting onions without crying, we can’t deny they’re essential to adding flavor to everything from soups and chili to meatballs and breakfast burritos.
Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but they’re in peak season (and invading your Pinterest feed) during the fall months. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, manganese and fiber. Mashed them for a tasty vegetarian quesadilla, bake them as chips, roast as part of a sheet pan dinner or add to a breakfast parfait (yes, really!).
Turnips are a member of the cabbage family and are high in Vitamins B & C. They have a slightly bitter taste so pair it up with a sweet vegetable or meat dish like sweet potatoes, onions or a glazed pork. Check out a few tasty recipe ideas here.
Winter squashes, like acorn squash, butternut squash and spaghetti squash, are all in peak season. We love to roast winter squashes to bring out their natural sweetness. You can also chop and saute for a delicious one-pot meal, or use spaghetti squash as a delicious pasta substitute.