One of my favorite qualities of spring and summer is the fruit that these two seasons bear. It’s that fresh, vine-ripened, perfectly sweet fruit that you can only really get during the balmy months of spring and summer that has my mouth watering already.
But for me, spring and summer bring more than just a sweet taste to my lips. The seasons also bring memories of 5-year old little me, sitting on the porch on warm, sunny mornings eating huge bowls of cut-up watermelon, juice dribbling down my face and arms without a single care in the world. Or memories of my whole family making the venture to one of the many local fruit orchards and picking, in between eating, blueberries until my stomach was about to burst and my hands were almost permanently stained of blue. Or when my dad, brother, and I would climb those precarious old, wooden ladders up to the top of the seemingly gigantic cherry trees, mom nervously watching below as we picked the freshest of the fresh, sun-ripened, deep red sweet cherries. Those were some of the best days of my youth.
I’ve always been a huge fruit lover. As a kid, I’d joke around with my parents about becoming a fruitarian as a way to divert their attention from insisting I eat my vegetables too. While I like my vegetables now, I’ll always have a predilection for fruit. I’ll also always hold a special excitement for the coming of the first days of fruit season, the only time when I truly can gorge myself on fruit to my hearts content. As spring is in full action and summer is just around the corner, some of the first warm-weathered fruits are about to arrive. I wanted to give you all a preview of the upcoming fruits in season in which you can look forward so that you can share in my excitement and gear up with me to chow down on nature’s vibrant candy.
- Apricots: Look for these soft, sweet orange gems in supermarkets starting in May. That’s when the California apricot season begins. If you live on the East Coast and are looking to pick your own, you can expect a hearty apricot crop to arrive beginning in early June. The seasons typically run through very early august. Nutrition plus: Apricots pack in 60% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A!
- Blueberries: These sweet baby blues can grow all year around in places like Florida and California, but for those of us on the East Coast, “real” blueberries only come during one season a year. Blueberries begin to ripen in May as the weather gets warmer and can last all the way into September. Nutrition plus: Blueberries are an exceptional source of antioxidants as well as fiber (4 grams per cup)!
- Cherries: Get ready to whip up some good ol’ grandma’s cherry pie starting in early June. Cherry season can last until August, particularly in areas such as Washington and Oregon, states known for their cherry growing regions. Nutrition plus: Cherries are a good source of fiber (3 grams per cup) and vitamin C!
- Strawberries: For those folks who live in the South, you lucky ducks get the first taste of fresh strawberries, coming in around mid-April in Florida and Texas, and early May in most other areas of the deep South. Head North and strawberries start to come in around early to mid June, depending upon the area. Nutrition plus: Just one one-cup serving of strawberries provides 150% DV of vitamin C!
While these fruits can typically be bought all year around in grocery stores, the taste of these fruits just can’t compare to any other time than when in season. Pick your own fruit for the ultimate noshing experience. Look for another post in future weeks highlighting some of my mid-late summer favorites, like watermelon and peaches. Mmm.