June is a great time of year for the united states. Between the June fruits in season and the June vegetables in season, summertime produce explodes! From restaurants to supermarkets the options for family dinner exponentially increase with colorful varieties of a plethora of summer produce.
The list goes on and one, and we will get into that! To keep it brief, right now, ill stick to the families of produce that begin to pop up during this time. When it comes to the June fruits in season, we have a pretty sizeable list of different berries, melons, cherries, peaches, and of course tomatoes! The main event of June though, are the brambles!
Brambles are a prickly vine or shrub that bears fruit, for example a blackberry is a bramble. The list doesn’t stop there by any means. The June fruits in season will also showcase many other brambles like boysenberries, blackberries, and the vast types of raspberries. This is only half the battle though; we still got the June vegetables in season to talk about!
Summertime produce would only be half as awesome without the vegetables! This is quite the time for all the veggie lovers in the U.S. because the varieties are bountiful during this time. You will find all the different varieties of herbs from sage to cilantro, brassicas, okra, edamame, asparagus, and so much more. Oh, and let’s not forget the most memorable of all squash!
As you can see, we have a lot to talk about in the summer produce category. The June fruits and vegetables in season will shed some light on why your recipes taste way better at certain times of the year. It will also keep you aware of how to save more money when buying vegetables at the store! Let’s get right to it!
June Fruits and Vegetables in Season
This will shed some insight on what summer produce is in season, what its supposed to look like, what to look for, and what to stay away from.
June Fruits in Season
Blackberries are in the bramble family. These plump and deep purple summertime produce fruits are often just referred to as “brambles”, especially in the UK and other countries. In cooking, they are used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Blackberries are extremely perishable. Knowing this, its wise to only buy what you need or what you know you will eat in a few days. Buy these as local as you can, and ask your source about their pesticide use. Avoid any moisture on your blackberries all together. Be sure to look through the pack to make sure there is no mold as well, white is the most common.
Blueberries have been cultivated in North America for thousands of years! These summer produce treats have been used for their sustenance and their medicinal properties over the years. Blueberries were originally found in the wild and pollinated in such a way to make them more stable for cultivation purposes.
These berries have a sour and sweet flavor, making them a versatile June fruit in season. When buying blueberries, look for plump smooth skin. Don’t buy any berries that appear shriveled or damaged, as they are past their prime. If you see any greenish or red ones, they are not ripe yet!
This is a bramble that has flown under the radar since its discovery. This bramble was actually developed by cross pollination in the 1920’s. It’s a cross between a blackberry, a raspberry, and a logan berry. It tastes and loos just like you think it would. They are a deep reddish purple and taste like a cross of the berries listed above.
Boysenberries go bad fast. Knowing this, it’s wise to only buy what you need, freeze them and pull as needed, or buy what you know you will eat in a few days. Buy these as local as you can and ask your source what their pesticide practices are. Stay away from any white or blue mold, discoloration that differs from the color scheme listed above, and any moisture upon buying.
Everyone knows what a cantaloupe is, but it is not to be confused with the other summer produce, honeydew. Cantaloupe has a ridged, crater-like surface with an orange interior. When looking for a perfect cantaloupe, pick one with no soft spots or mushy areas. Also look at the blossom end for any mold that may be hiding there, white or red mold are the most common. A ripe cantaloupe should have a pleasant aroma coming from the blossom end.
Cherries are mostly sweet, even the cherries characterized as sour. Cherries have multiple different varieties all with similar, yet slightly different characteristics. These delicious June fruits in season are often eaten in pies and other sweets but can also be eaten raw or in savory dishes.
When looking to purchase summer produce like cherries, the rules are straight forward. Buy cherries that have the stem attached and look for smooth shiny skin. Don’t buy cherries with bruised or ruptured skin.
Cucumbers are mostly water, about 96% to be exact. Oddly enough, that statistic is accurate for how many varieties of cucumbers the common home cook doesn’t know about. These misunderstood June fruits in season come in all shapes and sizes brandishing different colors as well. The most common variety is the garden cucumber.
This is the typical dark green shiny skinned fruits with an elongated shape. Due to their uses in common kitchens these fruits are often thought of as vegetables.
These little treats resemble little orange tomatillos. These fruits are sweet and sour and grow in a papery husk separated by a sticky substance. These are mostly used in desserts, but savory applications are not abnormal.
Buy ground cherries with intention of eating them in the next few days. Keep them in the husk until eating them. Be sure to give them a wash before implementing them in your recipes. With that being said, don’t buy ground cherries that aren’t in the husk. You also need to avoid all discoloration and off-putting smells.
Nectarines are a variety of peach. Due to the lack of fuzz on their skin, they are often considered an entirely different species. Other than their hairless appearance, they still sport the typical peach color scheme. The reddish to yellowish mix will no doubt spark some resemblance to anyone.
Buying a nectarine can be a little objective. You want to buy a nectarine that is firm but has a little give. This is peak ripeness. When in doubt, buy a firmer nectarine. Avoid dark mushy areas or discoloration and be sure to check the top and bottom ends for any mold that could be hiding.
Native to northwest china, these stone fruits have migrated a long way over the years. Being a stone fruit, peaches have the common characteristics of stone fruits and unique ones as well. Peaches are broken down into 3 separate categories depending on how their flesh interacts with the fruit. There is a clingstone (stone harder to remove), freestone (stone easy to remove), and semi-freestone (moderate stone removal) peaches.
Due to modern cultivation practices (including pesticides), it is always a smart idea to buy peaches from local smaller farms. There are hundreds of different varieties of peaches varying in color, flavor, and size. You will find peaches in all colors from red to white. All of which, vary in sweetness and acidity levels.
So how do you end up buying peaches with all of these characteristics? Regardless of the differences in varieties, all peaches should be bought with a firm flesh with just a bit of give. No matter what, avoid dark brown or black discoloration with soft or mushy areas. Check the top and bottom for the tricky mold that can hide there.
There are many types of raspberries as well. Many of which can be found in the wild making them a peak June fruits in season candidate. Luckily, these raspberries all have similar attributes that make identifying quality quite simple.
Raspberries should be evenly colored in their iconic red hue. It is important that the berries are all intact before buying because damaged berries will go bad very quickly. Check throughout the packaging for any mold or moisture that will hide between berries.
Strawberries may be the most popular of all the berries. These plump deep red berries offer a sweet flavor with a pleasantly grainy texture all the while emitting a delicious aroma. Strawberries should have a blemish free glossy skin, and their red color should go all the way up to their stem.
Try not to buy strawberries that have a whiteish discoloration around the stem. The flesh of the strawberry could still be edible, but I wouldn’t purchase them because they wouldn’t be as good as they could be. Definitely avoid soft mushy areas with dark brown to black discoloration.
Tomatillos are their own class. So unique, there really isn’t anything else like them. These June fruits in season offer a tangy citrus flavor with a hint of herbaceous flesh. Like their flavor counterpart, the ground cherry, tomatillos grow in a papery green husk separated by a waxy substance.
Always buy your tomatillos in the husk! In addition, you want to make sure the skin underneath is unbroken and doesn’t have any soft or mushy areas. Your tomatillo should be firm. Look at any exposed areas, top, and bottom for any mold that could be hiding.
Tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Heirloom varieties will sport colors from red to purple, green, yellow, and more. So instead of relying on colors alone, look for tomatoes that are plump, heavy, and fragrant. Scaring is somewhat normal on some heirloom varieties, but don’t pick tomatoes with broken skin.
When buying tomatoes, avoid all of these signs of going bad. Pick firm and heavy tomatoes. Don’t buy any tomatoes with bruises or soft and mushy areas. You also want to smell your tomatoes. If they have a pleasant smell, then your solid. Avoid any blue or white mold on the tomatoes as well.
Watermelons have a few different varieties, but they mostly have the same characteristics. You want to buy the darker green melons, as they are going into the ripe stage. Lighter melons are a gamble. Your watermelon should feel heavy if it doesn’t move on to another. Lastly, use the thump test. Tap the watermelon on its underbelly, if it sounds hollow then its good.
June Vegetables in Season
Arugula, like most greens is a perishable product. Plan to use this peppery green within a few days of purchase. Look for crisp greens with no discoloration. You may come across some dark mushy areas or may see some brown liquid accumulating on the bag, that means stay away.
Asparagus is in its prime during this month. You will see varieties of green, purple, and white. Look for asparagus with no bumps and bruises on the stalk or head. Look for the thinner stalks to, as these are the most tender.
Avoid any discoloration on the stalks. Yellow, dark brown or black is a sign of rot. Also steer clear of asparagus that seems shriveled, wilted or limp. If you follow these rules, asparagus my end up being your favorite June vegetables in season.
Basil comes in many different varieties ranging in a multitude of different shapes, sizes, colors and hues. You may see basil that is purple, light green, dark green, red, or a combination of colors. Varieties include Thai Basil, Holy Basil, Opal Basil, Lemon Basil, and a lot more. Although there are many different varieties the requirements, they need to meet are generally the same.
When buying basil, you want to buy the freshest possible due to the short shelf life. You want to stay away from any brown or black leaves that are slimy in texture. You want to avoid any moisture at all.
Beets are often misunderstood in the hearts of the common folk of the world. It seems that the canned/ pickled beet products have ruined peoples taste for a good beet. The beets available during this time are known as golden beets. They have orange skin with a bright yellow interior and offer an earthy sweet flavor.
Candy stripe beets are also an in-season vegetable during the month of May. These beets have a pinkish red skin with a white center spiraled with a pink stripe. They are very popular during when in season because of their unique appearance.
These beets can come with or without greens. The greens are edible but should be cleaned well. Stay away from any discoloration or mushy spots in the greens or bulb. The bulbs should be firm and the greens crisp.
Black Eye Peas
Black eye peas are legumes and are considered a fresh shell bean. Obviously one of the more famous “southern peas” or “field peas” so I wanted to give it its own section. When buying these in season vegetables, look for plump shells with little or no blemishes. The shells should be crisp, when you give a little pinch you should feel fat peas inside.
Younger black eye peas with be in a moist shell. This is totally fine, that means they are fresh and cook quickly. They will also have a grassier earthy taste. Older shells will be drier and take longer to cook. You will feel the beans move around a bit in the pods.
Broccoli is readily available year-round; buy during this time you will see that a lot of different brassicas are developing. They can be unbelievably delicious if you pick the right ones. This summer produce is best bought with a little moisture on it. That’s why supermarkets spray water on them from time to time, or they should.
Avoid any dried-up broccoli with discoloration on the stalk or the florets. You want to steer clear of slimy areas, or any mushy areas. Smell your broccoli! If it doesn’t smell like the earth, then it sucks!
For some reason, a lot of people don’t like cabbage. They are the ones missing out! Cabbage will come in a bunch of different colors and shapes, but also density as well. So, we won’t be using weight as our factor.
Look for cabbages that have tight and firm leaves that form the “head”. Some varieties like “Savoy” or “Nappa” tend to be looser, but that’s ok! When unsure about a particular type of cabbage try looing at the outer leaves for any discoloration or bumps and bruises. This will give you a good indicator if it is good or not.
Carrots are a great summertime produce selection. These are available year-round, mostly, but you will start so see heirloom varieties more often during this time. Carrots come in every color, literally. So just avoid any dark mushy areas on the vegetable. If the greens on top are healthy, then the carrots will be a bit healthy as well.
Chili peppers are in June vegetables in season that come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. Whit the different varieties comes varying heat intensities. Its best practice to do a little research on any peppers you do not know or have not heard of. This way you do not bite into a pepper that could hurt you.
When buying chili peppers the requirements are all the same. All peppers should have a shiny or glossy skin and a firm texture to them. Stay away from any peppers where the skin is broken, or the inside is exposed. Avoid any dark brown or black mushy spots all together.
Chives are in the allium family and are broken down into two subcategories. There are European chives and Chinese chives. Either way, you’re looking for green tubes with no yellowing or dark brown areas. Be sure you buy chives that are dry you don’t want any moisture on your chives.
Collard greens are a staple in the southern region of the USA and rightfully so. These versatile greens can be consumed both cooked and raw. These greens fall into the brassica family and brandish an army green to dark green color. When buying this ingredient, be sure to pick bundles with no discoloration at all, the early signs of bad greens are yellowish spots throughout.
Corn is my favorite June Vegetable in season because its one of the best summertime product selections! You can literally do anything you want with corn! Best thing to do is peel the husk back just a tiny bit. You want ears that have kernels going all the way up.
Look for any red, white, or blue discoloration in your ears of corn. That is mold, so stay away. You also want to see if the kernels are developed too! Sometimes the corn gets harvested too early. You can test this by gently squeezing the cob all the way down to feel for “bald spots”.
Edamame are pretty much ripe soybeans. These delicious snacks are harvested before they dry out in their pods. These June vegetables in season should be firm, bright green, and crisp. Avoid any extra moisture, slimy areas, or discoloration.
Eggplant, a type of summertime produce in the squash family, has a multitude of colors and sizes. You will see this summer produce in purple, white, green, or orange hues. Each of which a different variety and a different flavor.
Looking for the best eggplant is simple though. You want to look for smooth, shiny, unblemished skin. This is a good sign of a heathy eggplant. Be sure to give it a couple gentle squeezes to see if it has a “spongy” feel.
Mature garlic heads should have a papery skin. The most important part of looking for garlic, is making sure all the cloves are covered by this outer skin. Ideally, garlic should be firm and free of bruises and mold. Avoid garlic that appears shriveled or has visible mold.
Also known as the common bean, they are generally classified as the pole bean. Named after their vibrant or dark green color, these beans have earned their name by being consumed by almost everybody around! Most are used to the canned or jarred versions of this ingredient, but you can get them fresh this time of year.
Green Beans should have a color that matches their name, with no discoloration. A perfectly ripe green bean should snap when bent with a fresh crispness. Their pod should not be dried out. This would insinuate that they are past their prime
Lima beans are usually sold fresh or canned. You may see them shelled or still in the pod. When buying fresh, you want to make sure these beans don’t fall outside their natural color scheme. Predominantly lima beans are a lighter army green color, with light brown edges.
Added moisture is a bad sign when it comes to lima beans. Stay away from slimy textures or mushy areas on the shell or bean itself. You want to buy lima beans with plump and bumpy pods.
The varieties of lettuces explode during this time. Rather than telling you what these different summertime produce varietals would look like, its better to explain what to avoid. Do not buy overly moist lettuce. A bit of moisture is ok, but to much moisture will cause most summer produce lettuce to go bad quickly. Also, stay away from this June vegetable in season that has any mushy brown or black areas, wilted, or discolored in any way.
These are your cantaloupe, honeydew, santa claus, and muskmelon. Just to name a few, there are more. You are looking for a blemish free exterior when picking a ripe melon, and you definitely want to check the root ends for any mold that can be lurking there.
Don’t wash the exterior of your melon until you are about to cut into it. Stay away from mushy areas in the melon, they are usually dark brown or black. To check for a perfect melon, give it a thump to see if it is hollow.
A local favorite in the southern regions of the U.S. Okra has pseudo star shaped pods with a springy fibrous texture that range in size. Although okra can be found in various lengths, the sweet spot is 4-6 inches in length. Once the okra gets bigger than that, it can become quite fibrous.
Be sure to stay away from okra that has a slimy texture on the outside. These June vegetables in season should be firm, green, and crisp. Avoid any extra moisture, slimy areas, or discoloration.
Buy fragrant and dry oregano. Stay away from moisture and yellowish-brown areas.
There may be the most species of potatoes than any other summertime produce ever! With that being said, you cannot decide how to buy a potato based off color alone. Pick potatoes free of any mold (the most common is blue, white, or red) or mushy areas. You also want to avoid potatoes that have bruised or broken skin.
Buy your parley with crisp and robust green leaves. Stay away from any discolored or slimy areas hiding in the leaves.
Peas are a type of legume that vary in size, color, and variety. You could come across white, purple, yellow, or the most common green pea. What you are looking for when purchasing these delicious are plump pods with a bright green hue. Avoid mushy and slimy pods with any discoloration.
Buy fragrant and dark green rosemary with “pine” smell. Make sure the leaves are hard with no discoloration. Stay away from rosemary with dark brown or black leaves, mushy areas, or white fuzz.
This is another category of summertime produce that comes in many different shapes and sizes. A few examples of these June vegetables in season are the crookneck squash or zucchini. Similar to other June produce, summer squash I best when in smaller sizes where it yields a more concentrated flavor.
The outside of summer squash is everything when buying this summer produce. Look for shiny outer skin with no dark brown mushy areas or discoloration, also be on the look out for white, red or blue mold that could be hiding around the stem areas.