If you've been around this blog, you know that I love and subscribe to all things seasonal - from monthly produce guides to a whole guide on how you can eat more seasonal. However, one of the most common questions I get: "What fruits and vegetables are in season year round?" So that's what this post answers (in addition to notes on whether you need to buy some of them organic, and what you can cook with these!)
The great thing about avocado is that it's almost always in season thanks to perfectly complementary growing seasons in Mexico and California, two of the largest avocado producers (from November to April, then May to August). So, they're basically in season year-round.
One quick tip for buying avocado - don't buy the prepackaged versions. They might all ripen on the same day and leave you with nothing for the rest of the week. Pick individual avocados that are at varying stages of ripeness so you have some for the whole week.
Organic Meter: 🚫
Avocado often makes it to EWG's "Clean" list and for good reason - studies often show very limited presence of pesticides on avocados, so you can skip the organic here as well and just reach for the traditional ones!
- Six unique avocado toasts from around the world: From Caprese toast to a loaded Mexican inspired avocado toast, to a fun Korean gochujang cauliflower toast, avocado toasts are one of my favorite ways of consuming avocados when they're in season.
- Avocado pickles: This is a newfound favorite, but holy moly, have you ever pickled avocados? This works best with ripe but firm avocados, and tastes amazing on almost anything you put them on - tacos, sandwiches, as a snack - you name it.
- Avocado fries: I love making avocado fries in my air-fryer or oven. My recipe is vegan, and can easily be made gluten-free and makes for the perfect crunchy snack! Make sure to drop those fries into this delicious vegan fried avocado taco with refried beans and a creamy poblano sauce!
Beets are a cool season crop, so they're great to grow in both Spring and Fall. Through succession planting and some crop cover, you can actually also grow them through the winter and summer! As a result, you'll find beets almost year round.
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Though root vegetables that have a thin skin tend to absorb pesticides, beets that are grown for eating (compared to sugar beets, grown for producing sugar) only get a mild spraying of herbicide during the growing season. Hence, it is acceptable to buy inorganic beets.
- Beet kvass: Try this healthy and nutritious Eastern European probiotic drink made with fermented beets. Great way to use up beets and boost your digestion!
- Roasted beet salad: Shown above, one of my all time favorite salads has arugula with roasted beets, goat cheese and pistachios, drizzled with a light citrus vinaigrette. This salad will convert even the most ardent salad-haters!
- Beet hummus: No vegetarian or vegan arsenal is complete without hummus, but if you get bored of traditional hummus, try this beet hummus from Love & Lemons, delish!
This member of the brassica family is generally cultivated from Fall to mid-summer, so it's actually a great crop for year-round consumption.
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Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli all have hardy outer protection that ward off most pests. Hence, it is acceptable to buy inorganic broccoli. Look for ones without brown spots!
- Simple roasted garlic broccoli: Take the florets apart, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast in the oven at 425F, evenly spaced, for 20 minutes or so. Turn them over once halfway through, and you're all set.
- Quick leftovers fried rice: If you have day-old rice, this is the best way to use that up along with a bunch of fresh (or frozen) vegetables including broccoli. The secret spice ingredient in my recipe? Turmeric! Read on to find out more.
- Vegan broccoli pesto: Simple vegan, gluten-free, broccoli pesto recipe that comes together in just 15 minutes. Variations included for nut-free and vegetarian options, and other fun substitutions! If you're wondering how to use this, check out this delicious broccoli pesto pasta.
Cabbage is yet another cool season crop that actually grows in almost all the states in the US. Though it's primarily cultivated in Fall / Spring, it is available year-round in most places in the US.
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Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli all have hardy outer protection that ward off most pests. The most common pest varieties (e.g. diamondback moths, cabbage loopers and maggots) are managed biologically. Therefore, it is okay to buy inorganic, but remove outer leaves of the cabbage!
move the outer leaves of the cabbage!
- Korean Gilgeori Toast: This is a Korean street food toast that makes for an excellent, healthy-ish breakfast sandwich. It's basically an egg omelet (or vegan egg omelet) with cabbage, carrots, spring onions and some seasoning. I also use a gochujang-mayonnaise aioli to add an extra element of creaminess.
- Atakilt Wat: This Ethiopian cabbage dish is a household staple, and super simple to make. It has cabbage, carrots and potatoes and is simply spiced with turmeric. Super hearty and vegan, and a delicious new dish to try for a quick dinner. Check out the video here too: Ethiopian Cabbage on Youtube!
- Asian Slaw: This slaw reminds me of summer - it's made with two different types of cabbage and a peanut butter and sesame dressing that's so refreshing! Perfect accompaniment to any meal (especially heavy winter ones).
Okay, this is cheating a bit since carrots technically have just two seasons. However, it's not cold stored with chemicals (e.g., apple), and California, the largest producer, has a year-round growing season.
This fan favorite vegetable is also available year-round like some of the other root vegetables on this list. There are early, mid and long season potatoes, and as a result, you end up getting a harvest and storage pretty much year-round.
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Carrots and peanuts are actually known to absorb chemicals and heavy metals from the soil (they are root crops after all!) So I tend to buy organic carrots whenever possible.
- Simple Roasted Carrots: Peel the carrots, slice off the tops (and you can save those for a delicious carrot top pesto). Slice into thin strips or keep whole, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop them in the oven at 400F for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Ethiopian Cabbage & Carrots: This Ethiopian, one pot, cabbage stew (i.e. Atakilt Wat or Atkilt Wot) is vegan, gluten-free, and comes together in 30 minutes. Flavored with turmeric, it's a great use of pantry veggies!
- Roasted Carrot Soup: There's something magical about carrot soup. I personally love roasting carrots and then blitzing them with coconut milk and ginger for a creamy, delicious soup that's simple to make. You can also check out this recipe for ideas!
California is one of the main producers of cauliflower in the US, and thanks to favorable growing conditions, you get cauliflower mostly year-round (maybe with the exception of July-August, when it's planted). One of my favorite ways to cook cauliflower is to roast the whole thing!
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Starting to sound like a broken record here, but cauliflower, like other cruciferous vegetables has hardy outer protection to ward off most pests. The most common pest varieties (e.g. diamondback moths, cabbage loopers and maggots) are often managed biologically. Therefore, it is okay to buy inorganic!
- Korean Cauliflower Tacos: If you've been around this blog, you know that I love these Korean gochujang marinated cauliflower tacos. Top them with some avocados and red onions (or even pickled avocados and pickled onions, yum). Perfect for Taco Tuesday!
- Mumbai Pav Bhaji: Okay, this is probably not what you had in mind for cauliflower, but it's such an integral part of the texture of this awesome Indian street food favorite! I love making pav bhaji at home when I need to use up a bunch of vegetables and don't have the patience to look up something specific for each one.
- Cauliflower Rice: For folks who are trying to cut out polished grains, cauliflower rice is a good way to have a filling carb without adding on calories. Check out this cauliflower rice guide from Minimalist Baker to get started with this!
Yellow and red storage onions are typically available year round. White onions are planted in the Fall and eaten in spring. Red and yellow onions are harvested at the end of the summer.
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Like leeks, onions don't need to be organic (as long as you thoroughly wash them before using). They emit a strong sulphuric smell which naturally keeps pests away, reducing the need for chemicals, so I'd say skip the organic for this one!
Check out this handy infographic for information on using different types of onions, and then go ahead and make delicious recipes!
- Sweet & Spicy Pickled Onions: I started pickling vegetables in the height of driving myself insane at home last year, and I couldn't be happier that I picked up this habit.
- Nigerian Jollof: I know this is cheating a bit because jollof features red peppers and tomatoes as much as onions, but it's really one of my favorite (and most oft-used) ways of cooking onions.
- Easy roasted onions: Roasted red onions are such an underrated side to any dish or for meal prep! Baking the onions in the oven gives it a delicious crispy texture packed with flavor! And it's ready in 30 minutes!
This fan favorite vegetable is also available year-round like some of the other root vegetables on this list. There are early, mid and long season potatoes, and as a result, you end up getting a harvest and storage pretty much year-round. In addition to these crispy garlicky smashed potatoes, there are so many ways in which you can use up potatoes.
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Surprisingly, potatoes (especially Russets) are notorious for retaining chemicals (they're often grown on heavily fumigated soil). Try to buy only organic potatoes as much as possible.
- Creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes: These are delicious, fluffy and the perfect make-ahead, no-stress side. They are super easy to prepare, even for a single serving, and so comforting you’ll want to finish the whole thing off.
- Bombay potatoes: These are cumin-spiced Indian style potatoes that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect side dish for hot naan or rice - simple dish that's super filling!
- Indian samosas: Okay, I bet you weren't expecting this here but holy smokes, they're so easy to make! Six ingredients, vegan, and pop into the oven or air fryer. Delicious!
I'm sure there are other vegetables that are in season that I'm missing out, but this is a good starting list for stuff you can buy year-round!