From avocados to apricots and mulberries to lychee, we are covering 17 different types of spring fruits grown in the US!
When spring is in the air, the fruits of spring bring along sweet aromas. They range from apricots and rhubarb to more unique fruits like mulberry and cherimoya. This list of seasonal spring fruits will give you a full description of these fruits, the peak season, and ways to use the fruit!
What is a seasonal fruit?
This question might seem like it has an easy answer. But in today’s world, seasonal fruits can be anything because produce is grown and shipped around the world.
We consider seasonal fruits as those bought in the season that they are grown nearest you. This can look like mangos in Hawaii or passionfruit in Brazil. No matter where you are in the world, buying seasonal and local produce is a great way to ensure the sustainability of the produce.
For the purposes of this article, we are covering seasonal spring fruit that grows in the United States. We hope you’ll find something to enjoy that’s grown near your home.
Apricot trees can produce fruit for up to 25 years but can you guess how long apricots have been around? Scroll to the bottom of this post for the answer!
Seasonal Spring Fruits
Description: Apricots are small, round, or oval fruits with a velvety, golden-orange skin and a juicy, sweet, and slightly tart flesh. They are closely related to peaches and have a single large seed at the center.
Prime Apricot Season in the USA: Apricots are typically in season in the USA from late spring to early summer, specifically from May to July. The peak season may vary slightly depending on the region and local climate conditions.
Best Culinary Uses for Apricots: Apricots are often eaten whole as a snack, in both fruit and green salads, or as a topping for yogurt and desserts. They are also commonly used in jams, preserves, and baked goods like pies and tarts. Dried apricots make a nutritious and tasty addition to trail mixes, and are often used in various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Watch the calorie content on those dried apricots as they are calorie dense and those pesky calories can sneak up on you.
Description: The Avocado is a unique fruit known for its creamy texture and buttery flavor. It has a dark green, pebbly skin and a large, round pit in the center. Avocado flesh varies in color, ranging from pale green to deep green or even yellow, depending on the variety. The huge pit (sometimes called a stone) in the center makes them a bit hard to cut. For helpful tips check out our how to cut avocados guide.
Prime Avocado Season in the USA: Avocado is in season in the USA primarily from late winter to early summer. Different avocado varieties may have slightly different growing seasons. Of course, we import a lot of Avocados from Mexico and South America making them available year round.
Best Culinary Uses for Avocados: It’s a popular ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and guacamole. Avocado can be mashed and spread on toast or used as a creamy base for smoothies. It’s also used in sushi rolls, as a topping for soups, or bruschetta. It is great for breakfast, desserts like avocado chocolate mouse pie, or a host of savory options for more ways to eat avocado.
Description: Okay, we feel pretty silly describing bananas. Long, yellow, creamy, and sweet. But, did you know that 96% of American families buy at least one banana every month? The vast majority of these are Cavendish bananas.
70 years ago most grocery stores only carried the Big Mike banana, but Panama wilt disease struck banana plantations across Central and South America and forced the big growers to switch to Cavendish. Today bananas are one of the world’s favorite foods, and we eat over 100 million tons of them a year, there is a wide variety of types of banana.
Prime Banana Season in the USA: Bananas are available year-round in the USA due to their tropical origin. It is a bit of a stretch to call this a Spring fruit when it is really a year-round fruit.
Best Culinary Uses for Bananas: The most common use of bananas is to peel them and eat them fresh. They are a great addition to breakfast dishes like cereal, oatmeal, and pancakes. Bananas can be used in smoothies, baked goods such as banana bread and muffins, and even grilled as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream. Don’t think of bananas as only a sweet, however, try them in a savory dish like banana thai curry, or any of these 15 banana recipes.
Description: Blueberries are small, round, and plump berries with a deep blue or purple-black skin. They are known for their sweet-tart flavor and are often described as “nature’s candy.” Their blue color comes from the pigmentation of anthocyanins, a strong antioxidant that really amps up the health benefits of blueberries.
Prime Blueberry Season in the USA: Blueberries have a prime season in the USA from late spring to early summer, typically from May to July. Some regions may have extended seasons, depending on the specific variety and local climate.
Best Culinary Uses For Blueberries: They are great as a snack eaten by the handful, but their real strength is in baking, including muffins, pies, galettes, and cobblers. They are also excellent in pancakes, waffles, smoothies, and yogurt parfaits. Blueberries can be added to salads for a burst of sweetness. They are frequently used in jams, preserves, and as a topping for desserts like ice cream or cheesecake. Don’t limit blueberries only to the realm of breakfast and sweet treats. Try a savory option like blueberry stuffed chicken or this quick and easy blueberry balsamic grilled cheese.
Description: Cherimoya, also known as the “custard apple,” is a unique tropical fruit that is native to South America but can be found in select regions of the United States. It has a distinctive appearance with green, scaly skin and creamy, white flesh.
The texture of cherimoya is often described as custard-like, smooth, and sweet, with a flavor that combines notes of pineapple, banana, and strawberry. The fruit is typically heart-shaped and can weigh anywhere from a few ounces to several pounds. In the United States, cherimoya is primarily grown in California, especially in Southern California, where the climate is suitable for its cultivation.
Prime Cherimoya Season in the USA: In the United States prime season typically begins in late winter or early spring, around January, and can extend through April. The fruit is at its best when it is fully ripe, which is when the skin gives slightly to gentle pressure, and the flesh has a fragrant aroma.
Best Culinary Uses: Cherimoya is often eaten fresh on its own with a spoon. Its tropical flavor makes it a great addition to fruit or green salads. It can also be used in smoothies, desserts, or as a topping for ice cream.
Description: Cherries are small, round, and juicy fruits that come in various varieties, with the two most common types being sweet cherries and tart cherries. Cherries are known for their vibrant red or dark purple color, and they have a delicious, slightly tangy flavor that is both sweet and refreshing.
Prime Cherry Season in the USA: Cherry season in the United States varies depending on the region. Generally, sweet cherries are in peak season from late spring to early summer, typically from May to June. Tart cherries, on the other hand, are usually harvested in July. The prime season varies from state to state, with places like Michigan and Washington being well-known for their cherry production.
Best Culinary Uses for Cherries: Sweet cherries are often eaten fresh as a snack, while tart cherries are typically used in cooking and baking, such as in pies and jams.
They can also be added to fruit salads, used in desserts, or even incorporated into savory dishes like cherry chutney for meats. Tart cherries, with their more sour flavor, are frequently used in pies, cookies, tarts, and preserves. They are also a key ingredient in cherry juice and dried cherries. Additionally, both sweet and tart cherries can be used to make beverages like cherry-infused cocktails and smoothies.
Description: Gooseberries are small, round, or oval-shaped berries that are known for their tart flavor and vibrant green to red or purple color. They are often covered in fine, hair-like fuzz and have a distinctive, tangy taste. Gooseberries are typically used in cooking and baking, as their tartness can add a delightful contrast to sweet dishes.
Prime Gooseberry Season in the USA: The prime season for gooseberries in the United States typically runs from late spring to early summer, around May through July. They are widely grown in various states, including California, Oregon, and some parts of the Midwest.
Best Culinary Uses for Gooseberries: Gooseberries are commonly used in a variety of culinary applications, such as pies, crumbles, and preserves. They are often cooked with sugar to reduce their tartness and make them more palatable in desserts. Additionally, gooseberries can be used to make sauces, jams, and even chutneys that pair well with savory dishes, especially meats.
Description: Grapefruit is a citrus fruit known for its distinctive tart and slightly bitter flavor. It comes in various varieties, including white, pink, and red, with differences in sweetness and color. The flesh can range from pale yellow to deep red or pink, while the outer skin is typically yellow or green and often has a slightly rough texture.
Prime Grapefruit Season in the USA: Grapefruits are in season in the United States during the winter months, typically from November to June. This citrus fruit thrives in warm and sunny climates, making states like Florida and Texas major producers.
Best Culinary Uses for Grapefruit: Grapefruits are versatile in the kitchen. They can be enjoyed fresh as a healthy snack, juiced for a refreshing beverage, or used in salads to add a zesty kick. The tangy-sweet flavor pairs well with other fruits and can be incorporated into both sweet (like grapefruit brulee) and savory dishes. Additionally, grapefruit is a popular ingredient in desserts, such as fruit salads, sorbets, and even as a topping for yogurt or pancakes. Looking for a healthy but decadent use? Try this grapefruit smoothie bowl.
Description: Kiwi, also known as kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry, is a small, egg-shaped fruit with brown, fuzzy skin and vibrant green or golden flesh with tiny black seeds. The fruit has a tangy and slightly sweet flavor with tropical undertones. It is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Prime Kiwi Season in the USA: Kiwis are in season in the United States during the late fall through early spring, typically from November to May. California and New Zealand are significant producers of kiwi.
Best Culinary Uses for Kiwi: While some prefer to peel a kiwi, they are really best just eaten fresh peel and all. Second best is to cut them in half and scoop out the pulp. If you want other cutting tips, we have you covered. Other than eaten on their own, Kiwi is commonly added to fruit salad and pairs well with yogurt, ice cream, and cottage cheese. Additionally, it can be used in smoothies, kiwi salsa, and desserts like tarts, pies, green popsicles, and fruit pizzas. Its vibrant color and refreshing taste make it an excellent garnish for various dishes and drinks.
Description: Lemons are bright, yellow citrus fruits known for their distinctive sour taste and refreshing aroma. They are typically small to medium-sized and have a thin, smooth skin. The flesh is divided into segments and is juicy, with a tart flavor. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, and are widely used for their culinary and non-culinary purposes. Their vibrant color and tangy flavor make them a versatile and essential ingredient in various cuisines.
Prime Lemon Season in the USA: Lemons are available year-round in the United States, but their peak season varies by region. In general, lemons are most abundant during the spring and summer months. In warmer climates, such as California and Arizona, lemon trees produce fruit nearly all year. However, the highest quality lemons are usually harvested between May and August in the USA.
Best Culinary Uses for Lemons: They can be used to add a burst of freshness and acidity to salads, seafood, and grilled meats. Lemon juice and zest are popular ingredients in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. In baking, lemons are used to make lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, and lemon cakes. Lemon juice is also a common ingredient in beverages like lemonade, kombucha, and cocktails. Additionally, lemons are known for their preserving properties, with lemon zest and juice being used in canning and pickling.
Description: Limes are small, round, and typically green citrus fruits with a zesty, tangy flavor. They are closely related to lemons and belong to the citrus genus. Limes have a thin, smooth skin and are divided into segments like lemons, containing juicy, acidic flesh. Their flavor can range from slightly sweet to intensely sour, depending on the variety. Limes are known for their aromatic oils and are used in a variety of culinary and beverage applications.
Prime Lime Season in the USA: Limes are grown in various regions of the United States, including Florida, California, and Texas. Their peak season in the USA typically falls between May and October. However, limes are available year-round due to imports from other countries, such as Mexico and South America. In the warmer states, like Florida, you may find locally grown limes for a more extended period.
Best Culinary Uses for Limes: Limes are widely used in both savory and sweet foods, as well as in various beverages. They are a key ingredient in Mexican, Thai, and Indian cuisines, adding a burst of acidity and freshness to dishes like guacamole, ceviche, and curries. Lime juice is a common component in marinades, dressings, and salsas. In desserts, limes are used to make pies, tarts, and bars, such as the popular key lime pie. Limes are also famous for their role in beverages, including limeade, margaritas, mojitos, and even smoothies where their tartness enhances the overall flavor profile.
Description: Lychee is a tropical fruit known for its sweet and fragrant taste. It has a rough, reddish-pink or brownish shell that needs to be peeled to reveal the juicy, translucent, and white flesh. The fruit is roughly the size of a golf ball and contains a single large seed in the center. Lychees have a unique and delightful flavor that combines floral, sweet, and slightly tart notes, making them a popular choice for both fresh consumption and cooking.
Prime Lychee Season in the USA: In the United States, lychee is primarily grown in Florida, Hawaii, and parts of California. The prime season for lychee in the USA typically falls between May and July. However, availability can vary depending on the specific region.
Best Culinary Uses for Lychee: It is often eaten fresh, either on its own or added to fruit salads. Lychees can be used in desserts, such as sorbets, ice creams, and fruit tarts, to impart their sweet, floral flavor. They can also be incorporated into cocktails and beverages, providing a unique twist to drinks like lychee martinis and lychee-infused iced tea. Additionally, lychees can be used to make chutneys and sauces, adding a touch of exotic sweetness to dishes like grilled meats or poultry.
Description: Mangoes are a tropical fruit known for their sweet, juicy, and fragrant flesh. They have a unique, oblong shape with a smooth, colorful skin that can vary from green to red, depending on the variety. The flesh inside is orange or yellow and has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor. Mangoes are often referred to as the “king of fruits” due to their delicious taste and versatility in various culinary applications. Mangoes do have a large flat pit at their center which can make cutting mangoes a bit of a trick.
Primary Mango Season in the USA: In the USA, mangoes are typically in season from late spring through summer. The prime growing regions for mangoes in the USA are Florida, California, and Hawaii. During the off-season, mangoes are imported from countries like Mexico, India, and Thailand.
Best Culinary Uses for Mangoes: They can be sliced and eaten as a snack, added to fruit salads, or blended into smoothies. Mangoes also enhance savory dishes like salsas, chutneys, salads, and mango stir fry. In desserts, they are commonly used in ice creams, sorbets, puddings, and pies. Additionally, mangoes are a key ingredient in tropical drinks, such as mango lassi, tropical mango juice, or mango margarita slush. and mango salsa
Description: Mulberries are small, sweet, and delicate fruits that grow on deciduous trees and shrubs. They are usually dark purple to black in color, but there are also red and white mulberry varieties. The fruit has a unique, sweet-tart flavor with a somewhat crunchy texture, and it is often compared to blackberries. Mulberries are known for their high nutritional content and are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Primary Mulberry Season In the USA: The prime season for mulberries varies by location, but it is generally from May to July. They can be found in different regions of the country, with white mulberries being more common in the southern and western states, and red and black mulberries being found in the eastern and northern regions.
Best Culinary Uses for Mulberries: They are often eaten as an easy snack, or added to cereals, yogurt, or smoothies. They are also used in baking, such as in pies, tarts, and muffins. Mulberry jams and preserves are popular, and the berries can be used to make wine or dried for later use in trail mixes and granola bars.
Description: Pineapples are tropical fruits known for their distinctive appearance with spiky, rough skin and a crown of leaves. The fruit itself has a sweet, tangy, and tropical flavor. Pineapples are cylindrical in shape, and their yellow flesh is juicy and fragrant.
Primary Pineapple Season In the USA: Pineapples are available year-round due to imports, but their prime season is typically from March to July, with peak availability in May and June. Hawaii was once a significant pineapple-growing state in the U.S. but has fallen off dramatically in the last 20 years.
Best Culinary Uses for Pineapples: Sliced, diced, crushed, or juice, pineapples are a sweet healthy snack. They are often used in cooking and baking, particularly in savory dishes like pineapple salsa, grilled pineapple, and as a topping for pizzas. In desserts, pineapple is a key ingredient in tropical favorites like piña coladas, pineapple upside-down cake, pineapple pancakes, and pineapple tarts. Canned pineapple and pineapple juice are also commonly used in a wide range of recipes, from marinades to cocktails to smoothies.
Description: Rhubarb is a unique and distinctive vegetable that is often used in desserts, though it is commonly mistaken for a fruit. It features long, thick, celery-like stalks with vibrant red or greenish hues, depending on the variety. The leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic and should never be consumed, but the stalks are known for their tart and tangy flavor.
Rhubarb’s flavor is somewhat reminiscent of a sour green apple and is frequently sweetened with sugar or other fruits in culinary applications. In the United States, rhubarb is cultivated primarily for its stalks, which are rich in nutrients like vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Prime Rhubarb Season in the USA: Rhubarb is typically in season in the United States during the spring and early summer months, starting in April or May and continuing through June. The exact timing can vary depending on the region and local climate. Rhubarb is a cool-season crop, so it flourishes in cooler temperatures and may not do well in areas with scorching summer heat. In regions with colder winters, the plants may require a period of dormancy before they produce new growth in the spring.
Best Culinary Uses for Rhubarb: I grew up in Alaska where the long sunny days of late spring and summer caused the rhubarb to grow to huge sizes. We always had about 20 pounds of chopped stalks in the freezer, and we used it!
One of the most popular culinary uses is in pies, where the tartness of rhubarb is balanced with sugar to create a delectable filling. Rhubarb compotes and jams are also popular choices, often used as toppings for desserts or accompaniments for meats. In addition to desserts, rhubarb can be used in savory recipes like chutneys and sauces, and even as an ingredient in salads.
It pairs well with strawberries, which helps to balance its sharp taste, making it a classic combination in dishes like strawberry-rhubarb pie or strawberry rhubarb crisp. Rhubarb’s tartness can also add depth to cocktails, syrups, and even homemade sodas, offering a unique twist to beverages.
Description: Strawberries are one of America’s favorite fruits both in the grocery and the home garden. They are small, red, heart-shaped berries with tiny seeds on their surface and a sweet, juicy flesh. Did you know, however, that botanically they are not considered berries while bananas are? Things that make you go huh?
Prime Strawberry Season in the USA: Strawberries have a peak season in the United States that varies depending on the region. In general, strawberry season spans from late spring through early summer. In Southern states, like Florida and Texas, strawberries can be harvested as early as February or March. In northern states, strawberry season typically starts in May or June and extends through July.
Best Culinary Uses for Strawberries: Fresh strawberries are a popular choice for snacking and can be added to fruit salads, yogurt, or oatmeal for a nutritious and delicious start to the day. They are a key ingredient in classic desserts such as strawberry shortcake, strawberry tarts, cookies, and strawberry ice cream. Strawberries can also be blended into smoothies, used to make preserves and jams, or incorporated into various baked goods like muffins, cakes, and scones.
Strawberries pair well with a variety of ingredients, making them suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. They can be combined with spinach, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette in salads, or used in sauces for savory dishes like grilled chicken or pork. The sweet-tart flavor of strawberries makes them a fantastic addition to cocktails, from strawberry daiquiris to mojitos. Whether enjoyed fresh or used in cooking, strawberries are a delightful and versatile fruit that adds a burst of flavor and color to many recipes.
Oh, and if you skipped the section above on rhubarb, the pairing of strawberries and rhubarb is one of the best flavor combinations I have ever worked with. Seriously, give it a try.
This wraps up our look at the fruits of spring. We hope you found some useful information here, and as always happy cooking from your friends at Live Eat Learn!
The oldest apricots found are 4000 years old!