August Seasonal Produce Guide

What produce should you buy in August?

Summer is almost over! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still so much produce that is in season. What is in season in August? Produce peaks at different times throughout the US so there will be some variances. But here is a general guide.

To make it easier for you to plan your meals and make a grocery list, I have created produce guides for every month letting you know what is in season along with a few recipe suggestions. Check out my other Seasonal Produce Guides for more information on how to choose, store and prepare seasonal produce every month of the year.

Why buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season?

Cost: Produce prices are subject to supply and demand. When produce is in abundance because it is in season the prices go down.

Eco-Friendly: In-season produce is more likely to be grown locally meaning it doesn’t have to travel as far to get to you reducing its carbon footprint. Stop by your local farmers market to purchase some of the freshest produce available.

Taste: In-season produce is fresher and tastes better. It is grown during its optimal conditions and because it can be grown more locally it usually has a chance to fully ripen before it is picked

Nutrition: Fully ripened produce is more nutritious because it has had time to fully develop before being picked.

What’s in season in August?

halved acorn sqush isolated on white backgrond with clipping path

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a member of the winter squash family. It has hard inedible, thin skin and firm sweet nutty flesh. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and thiamin.

Buying

Look for acorn squash that is heavy for its size with smooth dull skin and no soft spots. Coloring should be a mix of orange and green. If it is too orange the squash is overripe and will be dry and stringy. Shiny skin indicates it was picked before it was fully ripened.

Storing

Store whole acorn squash in a cool dry place and use it within two weeks of purchase. Cut squash should be refrigerated and used within four days. Cooked squash can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to 12 months.

Preparing

To make cutting acorn squash easier, pierce the skin in a few spots and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cut the squash in half and remove the fibers and seeds.

Recipes

Fresh red apples in a wooden crate
Fresh red apples in a wooden crate

Apples

There are 7,500 varieties of apples. Some varieties are deliciously eaten raw while others should be reserved for baking. Apples make wonderful baked goods but they are also delicious when served with rich meats like pork. One of my favorite way to enjoy apples all year round is by making my grandmother’s freezer applesauce. Apples are high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C.

Buying

Apples should feel firm to touch and be free of bruises. Avoid apples that are mushy or have loose stems.

Storing

Apples can be refrigerated for up to one month.

Preparing

Do not peel or slice apples until you are ready to use them. To slow browning dip sliced apples in a mixture of lemon juice and water.

Recipes

Apricot, half and piece isolated on white background

Apricots

Apricot flesh is usually firm and not very juicy. Its taste can range from sweet to tart.

Buying

Look for apricots that are golden in color and firm. Avoid apricots that are a pale greenish-yellow color, rock hard, very soft, or shriveled.

Storing

If your apricots are not quite ripe, place them in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days to speed up the ripening process. Unripe apricots can be stored at room temperature up to 5 days. Refrigerate ripe apricots in an airtight container for up to one week.

Preparing

Slice a ripe apricot around the natural seam, twist the two halves in opposite directions, and remove the pit.

Recipes

blueberries on wooden table

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of only three berries that are native to North America: blueberries, cranberries, and Concord grapes.

Buying

Look for blueberries that are firm, plump, and dark indigo. Avoid berries that are shriveled or show signs of mold.

Storing

Store blueberries in a covered container for up to ten days. Wash just before using.

Preparing

Rinse and drain blueberries well. Check for any remaining stems.

Recipes

butternut squash on a white background

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is an orange-fleshed winter squash that tastes sweet and nutty. It can be eaten raw but is commonly roasted or baked. Squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.

Buying

Butternut squash should be firm and heavy for its size and have an even creamy color. Avoid butternut squash with soft spots or dull and wrinkled skin.

Storing

Store whole butternut squash in a cool dry place and use it within two weeks of purchase. Cut squash should be refrigerated and used within four days. Cooked squash can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to 12 months.

Preparing

To make cutting butternut squash easier, pierce the skin in a few spots and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the fibers and seeds. Peel if desired.

Recipes

Fresh sweet orange melon and green mint, selective focus

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are sweet and juicy and are high in vitamin A and vitamin C. Their high water content also helps to ward off dehydration.

Buying

Cantaloupe should have a sweet smell, yellow-tinged skin, a thick texture rind, and no stem. Avoid cantaloupe that has an overly sweet smell and soft spots.

Storing

Whole cantaloupes can be stored on the counter for up to four days. Cut cantaloupe should be refrigerated and can be stored for up to two days.

Preparing

The surface of a cantaloupe can contain Salmonella. Before consumption, you should wash and scrub the cantaloupe thoroughly. Cut off the stem end about 3/4 inch from the end. Place the melon cut end down on a cutting surface. Cut the melon in half and gently scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut as desired.

Recipes

An ear of corn isolated on a white background

Corn

There are six major types of corn: dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. Sweet corn is the variety that is sold in stores for cooking.

Buying

Look for corn ears with green husks, fresh silk, and tight rows of kernels. Avoid husks with brown spots and dry, yellowed stems. Do not buy corn ears that have kernels with gaps between them and have brittle silks.

Storing

Refrigerate corn in its husk for 1-2 days. If corn is unhusked, put the ears in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

Preparing

Keep the ears in their husks until just before cooking.

Recipes

Cucumber slices isolated over white background.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are 95% water. Cucumbers can be categorized into three different groups: slicing, pickling, and seedless/burpless. Slicing cucumbers are grown to eat fresh. Pickling cucumbers are meant to be preserved in a brine of salt and vinegar. They are uniform in length and diameter for even pickling. Seedless cucumbers are sweeter, have thinner skin, and have fewer seeds making them easier to digest. Because of their thinner skin they are more prone to damage and bruising so they are often wrapped in plastic when sold at grocery stores.

Buying

Look for cucumbers that are firm, blemish-free, and dark green in color. Cucumbers should also be heavy for their size.

Storing

Refrigerate cucumbers in a plastic bag for up to one week.

Preparing

Wash cucumbers just before using.

Recipes

eggplant or aubergine vegetable on white background

Eggplant

Eggplants are spongy and absorbent. There are many varieties of eggplants that range in size and color. Eggplants with deep purple skin are most common, but they can also be red, green, or even black. Eggplant is a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B1, copper, manganese, Vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and Vitamin K.

Buying

Eggplant should have smooth, shiny skin that is uniform in color and be heavy for its size. To test for ripeness, lightly press a finger against the skin. If it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. Choose smaller eggplants as they tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin, and have fewer seeds. Avoid eggplants that are wrinkled or have blemishes, bruises, or tan patches.

Storing

Eggplant can be refrigerated for up to four days. Eggplants bruise easily, so handle them with care. Cooked eggplant can be refrigerated for up to three days

Preparing

To reduce bitterness, sprinkle cut eggplant liberally with salt and let it sit for an hour. Drain and prep as desired. Skin is edible but may be removed.

Recipes

Figs with leaves on a white background.
Figs with leaves on a white background.

Figs

Figs have a unique, sweet taste, soft and chewy texture flesh with slightly crunchy, edible seeds. Their growing season is very short and the delicate fruit is difficult to transport. Figs are high in fiber.

Buying

Figs should be clean and dry, with smooth and unbroken skin. They should be soft and yielding to the touch, but not mushy. If a fig is firm, it is not ripe.

Storing

Store fresh figs in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator and use them within two days.

Preparing

Fig should be rinsed, dried, and have their stems removed before eating.

Recipes

Green beans isolated on a white background.

Green Beans

There are more than 130 varieties of green beans that differ in taste, color, and size. Green beans are high in vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid, and fiber.

Buying

Green beans should be brightly colored and snap easily when bent. Select beans of similar size and shape for more uniform cooking time.

Storing

Green beans can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Preparing

Wash green beans in cold water before cutting and cooking. To retain sweetness and crispness, trim both ends but keep beans whole. Older, stringy beans should be cut lengthwise.

Recipes

kiwi on white wood background. tinting. selective focus

Kiwi

Kiwis, also known as Chinese gooseberries, are native to China. They were first grown commercially in New Zealand, where they picked up the name “Kiwifruit.” Kiwis have more vitamin C than oranges. There are three varieties of kiwis:

  • Fuzzy kiwis: The most common variety is about the size of a large egg with a fuzzy brown exterior and bright green fruit.
  • Kiwi berries: These are the size of a grape, with a fuzzless, smooth skin and the same bright green interior.
  • Golden kiwi: These have golden flesh that’s sweet and a bit tropical tasting.

Buying

Look for kiwis that are firm but yield to gentle pressure and are blemish-free. Avoid kiwis that are hard, moldy, spotted, or shriveled.

Storing

Ripen kiwis at room temperature. Speed up the ripening process by placing kiwis in a paper bag with an apple or banana. The additional ethylene gas produced by the apple or banana will speed up the ripening process. To slow down ripening, store kiwi in the fridge.

Preparing

Rinse well before eating. Peel and chop kiwis or slice them in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. If desired the skin is edible, too.

Recipes

Fresh organic kohlrabi on rustic kitchen table with garden vegetables over wooden background

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi can be either green or purple and can be eaten raw or cooked. The word kohlrabi is German for “cabbage turnip” (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rübe for turnip. The flavor is a cross between broccoli, radish, and cabbage. It is in the brassica family—like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Buying

Look for kohlrabi that is firm, blemish-free, and about 3-5 inches in diameter. Avoid kohlrabi that is larger than 5 inches in diameter because it can be woody.

Storing

Before refrigerating, cut off the leaves, wrap them in a damp paper towel, and place in a plastic bag. The leaves can be refrigerated for three to four days. The bulb can be refrigerated for a month or more.

Preparing

Wash just before use and use a vegetable peeler to peel away the tough outer skin. The greens can also be sauteed or steamed like mustard greens. Kohlrabi can be added to soup, made into fritters, roasted, sauteed, or steamed.

Recipes

green lettuce on a white background

Lettuce

Lettuce is most often used raw in salads and sandwiches but it can also be grilled. Lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, and iron. It has a high water content making a great choice as temperatures continue to rise.

Buying

Look for fresh crisp leaves that are tightly bunched. Avoid lettuce with wilted or brown leaves.

Storing

Lettuce should be loosely covered and can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Preparing

Rinse lettuce under cold water. Use a salad spinner or pat the leaves dry to remove excess moisture. Slice, chop or tear as needed.

Recipes

Mango with slices on a white background.

Mangoes

Mangoes are sweet, juicy, and are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamins C, and beta-carotene. They are also one of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world, with a majority of them coming from India. Mangos are stone fruits, meaning they have one hard seed surrounded by fruit.

Buying

Mangos should yield to gentle pressure and be without blemishes or dark spots. They should also have a sweet fragrant aroma. Color has little to do with ripeness and can vary depending on the type of mango.

Storing

Mangoes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Place mangos in a paper bag to speed ripening. Freeze chopped and peeled fruit in a plastic bag with the air squeezed out for up to 3 months.

Preparing

Mangos contain a large, flat pit. To cut a mango, insert the knife into the mango’s flesh until you reach the pit. Slice horizontally against the pit, then continue along the other three sides. To remove the flesh from the skin, score the flesh by cutting just until you reach the skin. Turn the skin inside out and use a paring knife to remove the flesh from the skin.

Recipes

okra pods on a light wood surface

Okra

Okra is a green, finger-shaped vegetable that is very popular in southern cooking. Okra can be grilled, sauteed, fried, pickled, or stewed. It is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. 

Buying

Okra should be dry, firm, and without blemishes. Okra should also be fuzzy like a peach. Avoid okra that is soft, wet, or moldy.

Storing

Okra pods can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Preparing

Wash and remove the stem. Slice as desired. Cook okra with vinegar or acidic food to prevent it from becoming slimy.

Recipes

fresh peaches on wooden table

Peaches

The peach is closely related to the almond. The inside of a peach stone tastes remarkably similar to an almond. Peach stones are often used to make a cheap version of marzipan, known as persipan.

Peaches are divided into two types clingstones and freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not. Both types can have either white or yellow flesh. Peaches with white flesh are typically very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness.

Buying

Look for peaches that are firm but yield to gentle pressure. Avoid peaches with blemishes, bruises, and any hint of green (green is an indicator that the peach was picked too early and will not ripen.)

Storing

Store ripe peaches at room temperature for up to 2 days. Keep peaches separated and do not allow them to touch. Peaches stored too closely together will ripen more quickly and encourage spoiling. Ripen peaches in a brown paper bag and watch them closely as they can ripen within 24 hours.

For long-term storage, here is more information on how to freeze peaches.

Preparing

Wash peaches just before use. If cooking peaches, remove the skin as it can become tough when cooked. To remove the skin, cut an X through the skin of each peach. Drop peaches into boiling water for 1 minute and then plunge into ice water. The skin should peel easily. Once peeled, eat or cook immediately.

Recipes

red, green, and yellow bell peppers on a white background

Peppers

Peppers come in many different colors including green, yellow, orange, red, brown, white, light purple, and dark purple. The bell pepper is the only member of the genus Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin, a chemical that can cause a strong burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C.

Buying

Bell peppers should be firm with glossy skin. Avoid peppers that are shriveled or have soft spots.

Storing

Bell peppers can be refrigerated for up to five days.

Preparing

Wash peppers and remove the stem and seeds. It is easier to cut peppers if you keep the interior of the pepper facing up and the more slippery skin side down on the cutting board.

Recipes

Sweet plums on wooden background

Plums

There are over 2000 varieties of plums that come in a range of colors. Plums can be red, purple, blue-black, green, yellow, or amber. A plum’s flavor can range from tart to sweet. The skin in particular tends to be tart and surrounds sweeter juicy flesh.

Buying

Look for plums that are heavy for their size, smooth, and without blemishes. Avoid plums that are shriveled or have spots and discoloration. Ripe plums will be slightly soft. You can ripen firm plums in a paper bag at room temperature but you should avoid plums that are excessively hard as they were harvested prematurely and will never ripen properly.

Storing

Plums should be ripened at room temperature until they begin to soften. Ripe plums can be refrigerated for up to four days. Before eating allow plums to return to room temperature for maximum juiciness and sweetness.

Preparing

Wash before eating. Cut along the seam and twist open to remove the pit.

Recipes

Ripe raspberry with leaf on wood background

Raspberries

There are over 200 varieties of raspberries bearing fruits that are black, purple, red, orange, or yellow.

Buying

Look for raspberries that are plump, dry, and firm. Avoid raspberries that are soft, shriveled, or moldy.

Storing

Refrigerate unwashed raspberries in a single layer in a moisture-proof container lined with a paper towel for up to 3 days.

Preparing

Gently wash and pat dry just before using.

Recipes

Strawberries with leaves. Isolated on a white background.

Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Strawberries are frequently eaten fresh, as part of a mixed fruit salad, topping a dessert like a fruit tart or cake, or in a savory salad. They can also be cooked into jams and compotes or baked into cakes and loaves of bread.

Buying

Look for brightly colored plump strawberries with fresh green caps. Avoid strawberries that are wilted, moldy, bruised, or have white or green parts.

Storing

Strawberries can be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before consuming them. They taste sweeter when at room temperature.

Preparing

Just before eating or cooking strawberries, swish in a bowl of cold water to clean. Do not soak the strawberries. Hull (remove the leaves and green caps) and slice strawberries as desired.

Recipes

three yellow zucchini squash on white cutting board

Summer Squash

Summer squash sometimes called yellow squash unlike winter squash has thin edible skin. They can be eaten raw or cooked and have a mild sweet flavor.

Buying

Look for smaller squash that is firm and blemish-free. Larger squash can be woody. Avoid squash that is soft and shriveled.

Storing

Squash can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Preparing

Wash and trim the ends. Peeling is not necessary.

Recipes

Raw Organic Rainbow Swiss Chard on a Background

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is less bitter when it is raw rather than when it is cooked. Swiss chard is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

Buying

Swiss Chard should have dark green leaves and brightly colored stems, Avoid swiss chard that is dried out and brown.

Storing

Swiss chard can be kept in the refrigerato9r for up to five days.

Preparing

Swiss chard can be eaten raw or cooked. Before using chard, cut the leaves away from the stems and wash leaves in cold water. Rinse stems and trim off any blemishes. Swiss chard stems are tougher than the leaves and require a longer cooking time of an additional five minutes.

Recipes

Fresh cherry tomatoes on old wooden table

Tomatoes

Nothing beats the flavor of a fresh tomato. I spend all winter avoiding tomatoes at the grocery store waiting for them to be in season and available at the farmers market. There are approximately 7,500 tomato varieties. Yellow and orange tomatoes are usually less acidic than red tomatoes. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, vitamin C potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Buying

Tomatoes should be bright in color with smooth skin. Avoid tomatoes that are too soft or bruised.

Storing

Tomatoes should not be refrigerated. They should be stored at room temperature and consumed within a few days. Unripe tomatoes will continue to ripen at room temperature.

Preparing

Remove the core of a tomato by cutting around the stem end with a small serrated knife. Remove the skin by scoring the bottom of each tomato with an X, place the tomato in boiling water for 10-30 seconds, then dip it quickly in cold water. The skins will peel right off.

Recipes

watermelon wedges on a cutting board

Watermelon

Watermelon has sweet, juicy flesh and is usually deep red to pink in color, with numerous black seeds, although seedless varieties do exist. The fruit is often eaten raw while the rind is usually pickled. The seeds have a nutty flavor and can be dried and roasted, or ground into flour. Watermelon is 91% water.

Buying

Look for watermelons that are symmetrical in shape, heavy for their size, and dull not shiny. Watermelons should have dried stems and yellowish undersides. Watermelons develop a large, creamy yellow spot (or field spot) on the rind during the growing process. That yellow spot means the watermelon had time to ripen in the sun and is ready to eat.

Avoid watermelons that have bruises, cuts, dents, and are light for their size.

Storing

Store whole watermelons at room temperature. Refrigerate cut watermelon in an airtight container and use it within 4 days.

Preparing

Wash, rinse, and dry a watermelon before cutting it.

Recipes

Zucchini stacked on a wood surface

Zucchini

Zucchini is considered a summer squash. Meaning its prime season is May to August. Summer squash has thin, soft skin and soft edible seeds, whereas winter squash has hard skin and seeds. Zucchini can grow really big! The biggest one ever recorded was 7 feet 10 inches. Most zucchinis would grow to be as big as a baseball bat but they are usually picked when they are much smaller because as they grow they become tough and fibrous.

Buying

Look for zucchini that are no longer than six inches and one to two inches in diameter. Zucchini should have firm, shiny, and slightly prickly skin, be free of cuts and blemishes and have at least one inch of stem attached. Avoid longer and bigger zucchini they tend to be tough and fibrous. Also, avoid zucchini that are soft or have cuts and blemishes.

Storing

Store zucchini, unwashed, in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If zucchini starts to wilt, use immediately. Cooked zucchini should be covered, refrigerated, and used within two days. To freeze zucchini, slice into rounds, blanch for two minutes, plunge into cold water, drain, and seal in airtight containers or baggies. Frozen zucchini may be kept up to one year.

Preparing

Wash zucchini just before preparation. Peeling is not necessary.

Recipes

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August Produce

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Holly

    Hi Erica – We are huge fans of the summer harvest. Love all of these recipes. PINNED! Thank you for including my fig jam. My heart is full of gratitude. Hugs, Holly

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