According to Nutrition Australia, adults should aim to have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables or legumes a day. But how do you know what fruit and vege to eat, and when they’re in season here in Australia?
Lucky for us, environmental not-for-profit Sustainable Table has made it super easy to sort your apples from your artichokes depending on the weather outdoors with a seasonal produce guide. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s in and out for each season of the year in Australia:
Which foods are in season in Spring (September – November)?
The season of picnic weather and swooping magpies. What produce will you find in season across these months?
Spring is the season for fruit like Lady Williams apples, avocados, bananas, blueberries (at the start of November), cherries, grapefruits, honeydew, lemon, lime, lychees, mandarins, mangoes, oranges, pineapples, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon.
The vegetables you’ll see in season during Spring include artichoke, Asian greens, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, corn, eggplant, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, parsnip, peas, potato (including sweet potato), pumpkin, spinach, tomato, zucchini.
Herbs and spices
Don’t forget about these flavourful little guys! In Spring, you’re best going for basil, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.
Seasonal produce for Summer (December – February)
We’re getting into super warm territory here, now. Obviously that has an impact on which produce will thrive – so what options do we have here?
By summer, you’ll see much of the same fruit and vegetables as spring, with the addition of in-season apricots, blackberries and boysenberries, currants and figs, grapes, nectarines, passionfruit, peaches, pears, plums, and raspberries. Sadly going out of season will be avocados, lime and mandarins.
This season, veggies coming into the fold will be cucumber, capsicum, lettuce, snow peas and sugar snap peas, shallots, watercress and zucchini flowers. Leaving the party will be Asian greens, parsnip, sweet potato, pumpkin and spinach.
Herbs and spices
During this season, give Thai basil and Vietnamese mint a red hot go.
How about Autumn (March – May)?
Aussie Autumn is hardly cool, but the weather will begin to drop somewhat. Here’s what we can expect from in-season produce.
Come autumn, fruits including custard apples, guava, kiwi fruit, nashi, papaya, persimmon, pomegranate, prickly pear and quince are in season. We’ll also see the return of avocados, limes and mandarins. Unfortunately, that pushes the berries, currants, nectarines and passionfruit out.
Autumn is the perfect time to introduce Spring veggies back to your plate, including artichoke, Asian greens, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, mushrooms, potato and sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini and spinach. That means vegetables like pea varieties and zucchini flowers are on the bench.
What’s in season during Winter (June – August)?
In the cooler months, we see stone fruit and berries become a thing of the past. But what’s in season?
In-season fruit come wintertime becomes slightly more limited. We’re left with a wide range of apples, oranges, mandarins and pears, but we lose the likes of guava, papaya, pomegranate, and prickly pear.
In winter, your plate will be beaming with in-season veggies like broad beans, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, radish and turnip. You probably won’t want to go for out-of-season vegetables like artichoke, corn and zucchini.
Herbs and spices
Your options here also become slightly more limited in Winter. Ginger, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley and rosemary are your winners this season.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.