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Alabama’s ultimate spring and summer produce buying guide

Spring is in the air and the excitement is building around incorporating fresh produce into our seasonal recipes. There is one key element necessary in ensuring that produce is bought at its best: timing. It is important to consider the season and what is currently being harvested when deciding which fruits and vegetables to include in your next dish.

We’ve put together a guide for buying fresh produce this spring and summer using Sweet Grown Alabama’s harvest calendar.

Strawberries on white plate, white vase with flowers, clear glass with yogurt parfait
(Larisa Birta/Unsplash)

April

The best fruit to buy in April is strawberries.

As for vegetables, look for beets, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, spinach, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and turnip greens.

May

The best fruits to buy in May are blueberries and strawberries.

As for vegetables, look for beets, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumbers, green peas, kale, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, sweet onions, potatoes, radishes, spinach, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and turnip greens.

June

The best fruits to buy in June are blueberries, cantaloupe, peaches, strawberries, and watermelon.

As for vegetables, look for beets, bell pepper, butterbeans, cauliflower, collard greens, corn and sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green peas, kale, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, sweet onions, potatoes, radishes, southern peas, spinach, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and turnip greens.

Green beans in white bowl on cutting board with knife
(Gaby Yerden/Unsplash)

July

The best fruits to buy in July are blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, peaches, and watermelon.

As for vegetables, look for beets, bell pepper, butterbeans, corn and sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green peas, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, lima beans, okra, sweet onions, potatoes, radishes, southern peas, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

August

The best fruits to buy in August are cantaloupe, figs, muscadines, peaches, and watermelon.

As for vegetables, look for bell pepper, butterbeans, collard greens, corn and sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green peas, kale, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, lima beans, mustard greens, okra, sweet onions, radishes, southern peas, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and turnip greens.

The full 2023 Alabama Harvest Calendar can be found here.

Go one step beyond produce and incorporate other local ingredients to make a delicious dish. Looking for a perfect, simple recipe? Try Sweet Grown’s sweet potato casserole. See below for the full recipe.

Ingredients

3 1/2 pounds Sweet Grown Alabama sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/3 cup Sweet Grown Alabama honey

1 large Sweet Grown Alabama egg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup finely chopped Sweet Grown Alabama pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place.
  3. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly.
  5. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth.
  6. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  7. Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes.
  8. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

(Courtesy of SoulGrown, an affiliate of Yellowhammer Multimedia)

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