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What fruit is currently in season? View the spring seasonal offering

Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables as is, and keeping track of what’s in season can be even more challenging.

But the payoff is big: Seasonal produce is generally cheaper, tastier and more nutritious because it’s picked at the highest level of ripeness, says Tiffany Chung, director of education at Foodwise, a nonprofit organization based in California.

Buying local seasonal produce is also better for the environment, even if it is only a small step in creating a more sustainable diet.

What fruit is currently in season?

The seasonality of produce varies from state to state; what is in season varies from country to country.

You can check for seasonal produce in your area using this interactive seasonal food guide, which uses data from the Natural Resources Defense Council and from state departments of agriculture and college extension programs across the US.

According to Chung, the best way to see what’s in season is to visit the local farmers market, which they call “highly seasonal places.”

“You actually see the rotation of the different seasonal products and you can take that with you wherever you shop,” Chung says. Growers and sellers can also give you instructions on how to use unfamiliar seasonal products in your meals.

Chung uses a quick trick to estimate what’s in season. We sometimes forget that fruits and vegetables are plants too, she says, and that plants grow differently throughout the year as conditions change.

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Which fruits are spring fruits?

“Which fruits and vegetables are better suited to flowers or things that sprout?” Chung asks. “(In California) we have a lot of delicate vegetables that are available in the spring, we have peas, pea shoots, garlic stalks, the flowers of different onions… or broccoli flowers. We think about things that are almost ready to grow.”

That image may translate more easily to vegetables, but there is also plenty of seasonal fruit in spring. This is broadly what the USDA lists as seasonal, although it may vary by location. For more specific information, consult the Seasonal Food Guide for your region.

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries

Which fruits are summer fruits?

During the summer in North America, the heat heats up and we have a lot more sunlight around us. It’s the perfect time for a refreshing fruit smoothie to cool down. It appears that Chung produces products that require a lot of sun to grow, such as stone fruits such as plums, peaches and cherries.

The USDA notes that these fruits are seasonal in the summer, although this may vary by location. For more specific information, consult the Seasonal Food Guide for your region.

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Melon
  • Cherries
  • Honey melon
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Which fruits are autumn fruits?

Fall is a transitional season, and Chung takes advantage of fall holidays when he thinks about seasonal produce. Think apples and pumpkins for Halloween and potatoes and pumpkin for Thanksgiving.

The USDA lists these as seasonal fruits in the fall, although this may vary by location. For more specific information, consult the Seasonal Food Guide for your region.

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Pomegranates
  • Raspberries

Which fruits are winter fruits?

Root vegetables and savory vegetables thrive in the winter months because of the cold temperatures and less sunlight.

“It’s cold, things start growing underground,” Chung says.

But there are some exceptions. For example, oranges are often associated with sunshine and warm weather, but in reality they peak during the winter months.

This is what the USDA lists as seasonal in winter. This may differ from your local offer. For more specific information, consult the Seasonal Food Guide for your region.

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Pomegranates

Just curious about more? We’ve got you covered.

USA TODAY explores the questions you and others ask every day. From “What is the Healthiest Fruit?” to “Is V8 Juice Good for You?” to “How long does spring last?” – we aim to find answers to the most common questions you ask every day. Head over to our Just Curious section to see what else we can answer for you.