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How to select the best fruits and veggies for your bakes

Our own food experts have weighed in with tips and tricks to help you navigate the four seasons and make five-star meals.

Choose fruits & veggies with these tricks from a Domino® Sugar chef

Whether you’re baking a pie from scratch or sautéing a pan of Brussels sprouts as a side, choosing fresh fruits and vegetables is key to success. Today, growing seasons in different parts of the world mean most produce is available for much of the year, but there are still preferred times to get the best looking and tasting fruits and vegetables. Use these tips when deciding what to shop for season after season:

Eat globally, buy locally

For fresh fruits and vegetables grown close to home, you need to know what’s being harvested when. The best thing to do is research when seasons truly begin and end for your local farmers. This will help you get the freshest items at the local farmer’s market guide.

Spring

As temperatures warm, leafy greens like Swiss chard, collards and spinach spring to life. That makes this a great season for mixed salads, lettuce wraps and lighter fare. This is also when strawberries, pineapples and kiwis first make an appearance, begging to be baked into pies or simply sliced into pieces and served cold as a refreshing treat. And it’s when carrots are ready to be pulled up and made into our delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes. A few other spring favorites include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Apricots
  • Lemons

Summer

The bright sunshine and blue skies of summer keep spring’s crops around a few months longer, and usher in new varieties of fruits and vegetables as well. Bell peppers in green, red, orange and yellow grow heavy on lush green stalks, and are great for creating savory dishes. Peaches fill orchards as well, ready to be enjoyed in dishes like our Peaches and Cream Cheesecake. Some other summer crops include:

  • Blackberries
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatillos
  • Zucchini
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries

Fall

As days shorten and the air cools, fall brings root vegetables like parsnips, turnips and rutabagas. Grapes and pears are juicy and delicious this time of the year as well. Fall is when countess varieties of apples fill trees in large swaths of the country, providing the perfect ingredients for our delicious Fried Apples. Additional fall options include:

  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkins
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Broccoli
  • Figs
  • Cranberries

Winter

The last season on the calendar finds our produce sections filled with a last-chance bounty of tastes to enjoy. Winter squash in various colors, leeks bursting with savory flavor, and bright oranges ready to be juiced await. Our gourmet Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette benefits greatly from the hearty stalks of bright green Brussels Sprouts that this season brings. Some other seasonal options include:

  • Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Onions
  • Limes
  • Celery
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams

Now, you have the know-how to pick fresh fruits and vegetables no matter what the season may be. We hope you are inspired to cook up one of our great recipes or try out one of your own with the delicious crops that Mother Nature blesses us with year after year.