Boost performance and nutritional benefits by buying in-season produce. Here’s a refresher on why it’s important and how to make sure your investment lasts long enough for you to eat it!

What does in-season produce mean?

In-season produce includes items that are available due to the current climate. Some produce items prefer a colder, wetter climate to grow, while others prefer a warmer, dry climate. The list of in-season produce items varies not only by season but also geographic location.

Why buy in-season produce?

Purchasing in-season produce benefits the environment, local farmers and your wallet. In-season and locally grown produce does not have to be transported as far to get to your table because it usually comes from a nearby farm. This helps lower both travel emissions and prices for the consumer. When foods are in-season, they are generally richer in color, flavor and nutrients because they are picked closer to peak ripeness. This makes them a particularly great option for athletes aiming to get the most benefit from fruits and veggies.

How do you know if an item is in-season?

In general, price is a great starting point when looking for seasonal produce. When an item is in-season, there is generally a good amount of supply, making it generally more affordable. Strawberries are a good example. In winter, when strawberries are not in-season, they are often 2-3 times more expensive.

Another way to find in-season produce is to shop at your local farmers market or at a produce stand. In general, most farmers markets will primarily supply in-season produce because that’s what farmers can produce at the moment. Also, the Seasonal Food Guide lists seasonable produce by location and season.

Craving something that isn’t in-season? Frozen options are the next best choice! Frozen fruit and vegetables are picked when ripe and then flash-frozen to lock in nutrients and flavor. Buying frozen produce also cuts down on waste since it has a long shelf life and is less likely to spoil.

Summer In-Season Foods

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lemons
  • Lima Beans
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

How to Store

Fruits and vegetables play a critical role in performance, and proper storage of fresh produce is the best way to ensure it lasts long enough for you to eat it. Use this guide as a reference the next time you start to unpack your groceries.

Cool, dark place

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Winter Squash


  • Apples (in a separate bin if possible)
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Cherries
  • Collard Greens
  • Clementines
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Onions
  • Herbs (not basil)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Watermelon

Keep on the counter

  • Basil
  • Bananas
  • Persimmons
  • Tomatoes

Ripen on counter, then refrigerate

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums

Peach BBQ Sauce Recipe

This peach BBQ sauce is a summer favorite with USA Volleyball’s national teams. It pairs great with chicken or pork and can also be used as a dressing for a spinach and strawberry salad.

Makes five servings


  • Ancho Chili Powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Crushed Red Pepper: 1 teaspoon
  • Water: ¼ cup
  • Peaches (pitted, fresh or frozen): ½ - 1 cup sliced or cubed
  • Fresh Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Honey or Agave: 2 tablespoons
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tablespoon
  • Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Worcestershire Sauce: ½ tablespoon
  • Smoked Paprika: ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard Powder: ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper: ⅛ teaspoon

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more water to thin if necessary.