September, the perfect blend of fall and summer, offers a delightful variety of fruits and vegetables to inspire in the kitchen. Discover what’s in season in September, tips for picking your produce, and suggestions on how to cook it.
Summer is always such a hard season to say goodbye to for avid cooks, so much color and flavor come with that heat! But with its end, begins fall, another deliciously vibrant season that brings warm spices, apples, and pumpkins into the picture.
September is the best of those two months all in one. We get to enjoy the last of the tomatoes, juicy berries, and sweet summer corn. But, we also get the first of the pears, persimmons, and all the gorgeous varieties of winter squash.
This guide is like a walk through a farmer’s market. I’m sharing tips on what’s best this month and useful info on using and picking each piece of produce. Get your autumn soup recipes out and make your favorite summer salads while you can, September is a beautiful blend of summer and fall, and full of delicious inspiration.
There are well over 7000 types of apples out there! Check out local apple growers for far more options than your grocery store. Varieties can range from very sweet and tender, to crisp or very tart. Choose unbruised, firm fruit, and store them in the fridge for the longest shelf life.
YUMMY ADDICTION APPLE RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME APPLE RECIPES:
- Apple Cider Chicken Skillet by Well Plated
- Healthy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal by Foolproof Living
- Healthy Apple Crisp by Erin Lives Whole
When purchased fresh, beets stay good for weeks. Purple, pink and white striped, and golden beets are most common, and all hold up well to roasting, pickling, steaming, or even eating raw. Choose bunches with greens still attached that look vibrant, then trim them off as soon as you get home for the best shelf life.
YUMMY ADDICTION BEET RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME BEET RECIPES:
- Balsamic Roasted Beets by Joy Food Sunshine
- Chocolate Beet Snack Cake by Simple Bites
- Beet Hummus by The Forked Spoon
These juicy dark berries love the last heat of summer. Don’t be fooled by size, from large to small, all blackberries can be sweet and it’s more important to choose berries that look juicy and shiny. Store them in an airtight container, dry, and they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
At the moment, there is only one recipe with blackberries on the blog – this delicious lime white chocolate mousse. Usually, we have blackberries on their own at home or top oatmeal or cereal with them. I’ll definitely try to add more recipes with these cute berries in the future!
MORE AWESOME BLACKBERRY RECIPES:
- Thai Blackberry Basil Chicken by Creme de la Crumb
- Blackberry Slab Pie Bars by The View from Great Island
- Fresh Blackberry Ice Cream by Baked by an Introvert
Shaved raw in a salad, fried, or roasted; brussels sprouts are delicious and nutritious. Brussels sprouts are a great fall veggie, full of fiber and flavor. You can buy them either loose or on the stalk. Look for firm sprouts with vibrant green color without holes or black spots.
YUMMY ADDICTION BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPES:
- Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts by Well Plated
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad by Two Peas & Their Pod
- Brussels Sprouts Gratin by The Chunky Chef
There are many varieties of carrots out there, and they’re at their best (and sweetest) in spring and fall. Bunches that have healthy greens still attached are the tastiest and freshest. To keep them good for as long as possible, trim the greens off after purchasing.
YUMMY ADDICTION CARROT RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME CARROT RECIPES:
- Creamy Carrot Soup by Natasha’s Kitchen
- Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes by Chocolate Covered Katie
- Creamy Carrot Orecchiette Pasta by Feasting at Home
Cauliflower is a vegetable that’s become increasingly popular as cooks have discovered how versatile and tasty it can be. Cauliflower rice or pizza crust anyone? For white, purple, and yellow varieties choose heads that are very firm with tightly closed florets and no black spots.
Check out my spicy Thai coconut cauliflower soup which is really delicious, creamy, and healthy. It’s all made in one pot and is ready in just 30 minutes!
MORE AWESOME CAULIFLOWER RECIPES:
- Garlic Butter Mashed Cauliflower by Healthy Fitness Meals
- Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese by Spend with Pennies
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup by Cookie and Kate
Both the yellow and white corn varieties you’ll see in September are sweet and delicious. Choose corn with green, damp husks and fluffy yellow silks. It should feel firm and be absent of any tiny holes. Then roast it whole or slice it off the cob for a tasty summer meal.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any fresh corn recipes on the blog (only canned) but I hope to fix that in the future! Meanwhile, check out what other food bloggers are up to.
MORE AWESOME CORN RECIPES:
- Easy Mexican Street Corn by Food with Feeling
- Fresh Corn Salad by Yellow Bliss Road
- Summer Corn Chowder by Aberdeen’s Kitchen
Cucumbers are available much of the year, but their peak season is coming to a close. Enjoy them this month in fresh salads, as a crudite, or choose small varieties for a fun home pickling project. Always choose firm, evenly green cucumbers free from soft and yellow spots.
YUMMY ADDICTION CUCUMBER RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME CUCUMBER RECIPES:
- Thai Cucumber Salad by Jo Cooks
- Strawberry Cucumber Mojito Mocktail by Mary’s Whole Life
- Smoked Salmon Cucumber Appetizer by Simply Home Cooked
This super healthy vegetable is used in cooking all around the world. Small thin varieties cook up easily and quickly, and the larger globe varieties are fabulous roasted, baked, and more. Choose firm eggplants that feel heavy for their size and have even color and healthy green stems.
YUMMY ADDICTION EGGPLANT RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME EGGPLANT RECIPES:
- Crispy Baked Eggplant by Backyard Bohemian
- Eggplant Parmigiana (Italian Eggplant Parmesan) by Inside the Rustic Kitchen
- Braised Harissa Eggplant with Chickpeas by The First Mess
Sweet, delicious figs make excellent salad additions, baked desserts, and go well with cheese. Black mission, brown turkey, or Adriatic figs are among the most popular for their sweetness, and are a great place to start. Fresh figs should be tender, but firm enough to hold their shape when sliced.
I discovered my love for figs not such a long time ago so it’s natural that I don’t have any fig recipes on the blog YET. These little gems are worth all the praise they get so recipes are definitely coming! Meanwhile, check out how my food blogger friends used figs in the kitchen!
MORE AWESOME FIG RECIPES:
- Fig and Prosciutto Salad by Tried and True Recipes
- Mascarpone Fig Tart with Pistachio Crust by Leisure Fan Club
- Honey Fig Goat Cheese Flatbread by Hunger Thirst Play
Choose bunches that have healthy, flexible green stems that aren’t dried out, with juicy firm grapes attached. You may find varieties in colors like green, red, purple, and more. Ask your local grower for recommendations on sweetness and uses. They make a great snack, but are also great roasted!
My family adores grapes but usually we enjoy them straight out of the bag (or straight from the vine), not in recipes. I need to pull myself together and cook something with these sweet berries ASAP because you can really do so much with them. Check out what other food bloggers came up with!
MORE AWESOME GRAPE RECIPES:
- Kale, Grape, and Farro Salad with Feta by Cooking Classy
- Roasted Grape Mascarpone Tart by Emma Duckworth Bakes
- Roasted Chicken, Grapes, and Rosemary by Reluctant Entertainer
These are another veggie you’ll likely find a lot of the year, but they’re at their best through October. Choose long firm pods – they should not bend, but rather feel as if they’ll snap. They’re very versatile, so try roasting them, sauteing them, or blanching them for a salad topping.
YUMMY ADDICTION GREEN BEAN RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME GREEN BEAN RECIPES:
- Green Bean Casserole with Bacon by Yellow Bliss Road
- Sweet And Sour Chickpeas And Green Beans by Earth of Maria
- 30-Minute Sesame Chicken Green Bean Stir Fry by Ambitious Kitchen
Big, fragrant melons are delicious at the end of summer. From watermelon to cantaloupe, be sure to choose a melon that feels heavy for its size. Uncut, melons will keep for 10 days on the counter or for several weeks in the fridge. Once cut, consume in a few days.
YUMMY ADDICTION MELON RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME MELON RECIPES:
- Watermelon Smoothie by I Heart Naptime
- Spiced Cantaloupe Tea Loaf by Jo Cooks
- Watermelon Skewers With Prosciutto by Recipes From a Pantry
Fresh, seasonal peaches have that sun-ripened flavor that’s irresistible in salads or as a snack. If you’re after cobbler or baking peaches, ask the grower if they sell overripe peaches for less! For snacking raw, choose fruits that have some give when gently squeezed, but aren’t mushy.
YUMMY ADDICTION PEACH RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME PEACH RECIPES:
- Peach Baked Oatmeal by Eating Bird Food
- Peach Bread by A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
- Peach & Basil Flatbread Pizza by My Life Cookbook
Pears are a long-lasting fruit that keep well refrigerated. Buy them with a slight tenderness for immediate eating, or buy them slightly firm and store for weeks. Place them near an apple or banana on the counter to ripen them quickly. All pear varieties are sweet and have edible skins that are full of healthy fiber.
YUMMY ADDICTION PEAR RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME PEAR RECIPES:
- Cinnamon Walnut Pear Crisp by Ambitious Kitchen
- Baked Pears with Honey, Pecans, & Cinnamon by Easy Peasy Creative Ideas
- Arugula Pear Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts by Family Style Food
From the sweetest red peppers to the grassy, sharp green ones, all bell peppers can be eaten raw, roasted, sauteed, or baked. Choose firm peppers with taut skin and green stems. For more tender peppers (and less bitterness) try peeling them with a vegetable peeler first.
YUMMY ADDICTION PEPPER RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME PEPPER RECIPES:
- Italian Stuffed Peppers by Little Sunny Kitchen
- Chicken Fajitas by Downshiftology
- Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta by Vegan Heaven
The two persimmons you’re likely to encounter are Fuyu and Hachiya. The Fuyu are short and squat, and can be eaten as soon as they’re orange and firmly tender, like a tomato. Hachiya persimmons are larger and acorn-shaped and should only be eaten when very soft. Both can be eaten raw, but the Hachiya is great for baking.
YUMMY ADDICTION PERSIMMON RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME PERSIMMON RECIPES:
- Arugula Persimmon Salad by Real and Vibrant
- Soft and Moist Persimmon Cookies by Two Peas and Their Pod
- Persimmon Ginger Chicken by Abbey’s Kitchen
With over 2000 varieties of plums in the world, odds are good you’ll find some sweet fresh ones this time of year. Like all stone fruit, they’re best when ripe, so wait until they’re tender to the touch to eat. You can slow down ripening by storing them in the fridge.
I have only one plum recipe on the blog but it’s a GOOD one. This healthy plum cake is made with whole wheat flour, almond flour, and also has lemon cashew icing (no confectioners’ sugar) on top. It tastes amazing – you won’t even tell the difference from the usual plum cake!
MORE AWESOME PLUM RECIPES:
- Vanilla Almond Plum Crumble by The View from Great Island
- Plum Nectarine Salad by A Daily Something
- Asian Plum Sauce by Sweet and Savory Meals
From little to large, white to dark purple, potatoes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a very inexpensive, and incredibly versatile, vegetable they’re easy to add to your menu. Roasted, baked, boiled, steamed, fried – they’re all great! Store potatoes in a cool, dark place for the best shelf life.
YUMMY ADDICTION POTATO RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME POTATO RECIPES:
- Crispy Garlic Butter Potatoes by Sprinkles & Sprouts
- Classic French-Style Potato Salad by Pardon Your French
- Skinny Crockpot Potato Soup by Carlsbad Cravings
Pumpkins may be known for jack-o-lanterns, but they’re great for eating. Naturally sweet and rich in antioxidants, they make great additions to soups, salads, and sides. You can cook and eat pumpkin much like you would butternut squash, or go for sugar pumpkins and make your own puree.
YUMMY ADDICTION PUMPKIN RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME PUMPKIN RECIPES:
- Butter Chicken Pumpkin Curry by A Saucy Kitchen
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread by Kristine’s Kitchen
- Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup by Just a Taste
This peppery vegetable is a great addition to end-of-summer salads or roasted with the other root vegetables of fall. There are dozens of varieties with different levels of spice, so try them to find your favorite. Choose bunches with vibrant color on both the radish and greens.
YUMMY ADDICTION RADISH RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME RADISH RECIPES:
- Garlic Roasted Radishes by The Real Food Dietitians
- Radish Chips by Kimspired DIY
- Radish Salad with Radish Top Pesto by Love & Lemons
If you see these red beauties, or the unique golden ones, at your market, enjoy them before autumn fully sets in. Raspberries are very delicate, and best enjoyed right away. If storing, wait to wash them and place them in a refrigerated container that allows plenty of breathing room.
YUMMY ADDICTION RASPBERRY RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME RASPBERRY RECIPES:
- Small Batch Raspberry Cheesecake Bars by The Loopy Whisk
- Easy Raspberry Galette by The View from Great Island
- Raspberry Lemon Pound Cake by The Seaside Baker
Sweet potatoes, often mislabeled as yams, come in a variety of colors. The orange ones that appear on holiday tables are familiar, but they come in various shades of purple and white too. Different varieties have different levels of sugar, but most are great for roasting or mashing. Choose them just like you would a potato.
YUMMY ADDICTION SWEET POTATO RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME SWEET POTATO RECIPES:
- Vegan Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Joyful Healthy Eats
- Healthy Sweet Potato Pie by Amy’s Healthy Baking
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole by Eating Bird Food
At local markets, you’ll find dozens of heirloom and baby tomato varieties you’ve likely never seen before. Talk to the grower and discover which ones are sweetest and which ones will make your pasta sauce sing. Tomatoes store best on the counter, as the fridge will affect the texture.
YUMMY ADDICTION TOMATO RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME TOMATO RECIPES:
- Parmesan Zucchini and Tomato Gratin by Delicious Meets Healthy
- Baked Tomatoes with Mozzarella & Parmesan by The Cookie Rookie
- Simple Tomato Panzanella Salad by The Mediterranean Dish
The many varieties of winter squash like butternut, honey nut, delicata, acorn, and spaghetti are available in September. Winter squashes are sweet and delicious in soups or roasted simply as a side or topping to a salad. They should be heavy for their size and will keep for months in a dark, dry, cool place.
YUMMY ADDICTION WINTER SQUASH RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME WINTER SQUASH RECIPES:
- Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese by The Simple Veganista
- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna by Savory Experiments
- Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup by Omnivore’s Cookbook
Zucchini, and all its fellow summer squashes, will be around for just a few more short weeks. Zucchini cooks very quickly and does well sauteed, roasted, grilled, or even eaten raw. Choose squash that has no soft spots and even color all over.
YUMMY ADDICTION ZUCCHINI RECIPES:
MORE AWESOME ZUCCHINI RECIPES: