Springtime brings light jackets, naps in the park, and sunshine (without a becoming a full on sweaty mess). The balmy weather also helps naturally produce an abundance of fruits and vegetables at their optimal growing time, so select produce is fresher and often cheaper. Think: plump, red strawberries and avocados as big as your hand. Here are 23 fruits and veggies in season this spring, so you can stock up to keep your tastebuds and your wallet happy. 

1. Apples

apple, juice, sweet
Kristine Mahan

What's better than apples being in their prime during spring? Baking apple pie inside of an apple, of course! These versatile fruits pair well with everything from peanut butter to cheese (and make A+ baking dishes). My personal favorite is Granny Smith, but I'm a sucker for anything sour. 

2. Apricots

pasture, vegetable, juice, apple, loquat
Elizabeth Layman

I always envision apricots as dried up, prune-looking aliens, but the actual fruit is delicious as well. Tenderly orange and hairy as a peach, apricots go great with chocolate and coconut flakes. These fruits are stepping up their grandparent game and will be a surprising addition to your fruit bowl. 

3. Asparagus

vegetable, asparagus
Kristine Mahan

I once ate asparagus and pancakes for a week straight, so I'm triggered at the sight of them. Times are tough in college, especially when you're lazy with unusual cravings. I sauté asparagus on medium heat with a dose of olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. They also tasted incredible wrapped in puff pastry, as most things do. 

4. Avocado

avocado seed, avocado pit, avocado
Jocelyn Hsu

Hackneyed, over-cooked, basic, and goddamn enchanting, avocados make me so confused about how I feel about them. I eat them like kiwis, cutting them width-wise and spooning out the meat. But since avocado toast can be kind of dull (don't hate), try this tuna-stuffed avocado recipe instead (it only takes 10 minutes to make).

5. Bananas

banana, vegetable
Jocelyn Hsu

B-A-N-A-N-A-S is already playing in your head, isn't it? These potassium and magnesium powerhouses are in full bloom, and the ripe, yellow skins perfect for the staghorn fern you planted outside. Although I can only eat raw bananas when they're coated in peanut butter, I'm a massive fan of baked banana bread (with walnuts and chocolate chips!).

6. Broccoli

broccoli, cabbage, vegetable, cauliflower
Kristine Mahan

D.R.A.M. probably loves spring since his favorite veggie is in season. Although I wouldn't recommend smoking these emerald florets, I would try this cheesy broccoli tots recipe. Anything tastes better with cheese sprinkled on top, and broccoli is no exception. 

7. Cabbage

cabbage, salad, lettuce, purple lettuce, rinsing, leaves, sink, Kitchen
Julia Gilman

My only experience with cabbage involves red cabbage from a jar with pork sirloin roast. I wish that pickled mess hadn't ruined my tastebuds, especially since I found these recipes that prove how underrated cabbage is. Cabbage is also the foundation for sauerkraut, and as a half-German girl, I'm almost forced to like it. 

8. Carrots

carrot, vegetable, pasture, farmer's market
Caroline Ingalls

As a child, I used to grow carrots in the sandy soil by my garage — they were gnarly, underdeveloped, and generally tasteless, so I only buy carrots from Publix now. Containing rich antioxidants and a photogenic color, carrots are spring's poster child. If you're feeling extra creative, try this recipe for carrot fries

9. Celery

vegetable, celery
Abigail Manger

I'm having strong "ants-on-a-log" flashbacks with this veggie. I hated celery growing up since it was so stringy, watery, and had little flecks of dirt along the neck. I only eat celery in beef minestrone soup now, although this Waldorf Salad recipe looks bangin' as well. 

10. Collard Greens

greens, Vegetables, buying, store, Market, farmer's market, root, turnip
Caroline Ingalls

Who knew rappers would popularize green veggies so much?! ScHoolboy Q preached about Collard Greens in his flagship song, the hypnotizing vocals of Kendrick Lamar adding to the medley. Musical (and other) connotations aside, read why kale should be ditched for collard greens, the most underrated vegetable of them all. 

11. Garlic

garlic, vegetable, condiment, relish, pasture, elephant garlic
Kristine Mahan

Garlic is sublime on nearly anything: pizza, avocados, chicken, tortellini — you name it. Regular garlic powder (not garlic salt) is the most used spice in my kitchen, the Himalaya Salt and fancy curry powder sad and neglected. Fresh garlic is even better, all the juices and meat exquisite in pesto, Brussels sprouts, and mashed cauliflower

12. Greens (Cooking)

sea lettuce, herb, sea beet, kale, salad, lettuce, vegetable
Caroline Ingalls

I had to research the exact definition of "cooking greens," after all, I'm in college and consider a lone strawberry to be healthy. Greens include broccoli rabe, collards, and kale, and they apparently taste divine for breakfast. 

13. Lettuce

cabbage, salad, vegetable, lettuce, lettuce head, basket
Caroline Ingalls

This veggie doesn't need an introduction. Its spongy leaves and endless varieties leave each salad unique. In a bind for dinner? Try these Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

14. Mushrooms

Kamila Gabitova

Hamilton's Pharmacopoeia, anyone? Kidding. Although Hamilton eats mushrooms for his trippy VICE shenanigans, cooking mushrooms adds a rubbery hint to any dish. And cream spinach mushroom risotto sounds like an Italian daydream — yes, please. 

15. Onions

onion, sliced onions, raw onion, knife, cutting board
Jocelyn Hsu

White onions might be translucent and potent, but they're the essential base for a myriad of dishes, including soups, curry, and gyros. While I prefer the sweeter cousin, red onions, white onions more than make up for their drab appearance. Next time you're at a gals (or guys) snack-night, whip up this DIY Caramelized Onion Hummus.

16. Peas

pea, vegetable, legume, pasture, snap pea, snow pea
Spoon University

Cold peas from a can got me through the last finals week. If cold peas aren't your jam, try this fresh crostini with peas and avocado spread recipe. And since wasting those fibrous pea pods is a shame, bookmark this page for pea pod soup. 

17. Pineapple

tropical, Fruit, pineapple, juice
Sam Jesner

Grilled pineapple is the quintessential spring and summer backyard dish. High in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, pineapples are pretty, popping, and healthy. But beware, this Hawaiian treat can make your mouth sting a bit. 

18. Radishes

radish, vegetable, pasture
Caroline Ingalls

Crunchy and radiant, radishes are twisted bulbs that go great in a summer salad. I don't have much experience with this veggie, although I dig the radish photography on the Internet.  Radishes have a zing to them, so here are a few tips to cut the heat for sensitive tongues. 

19. Rhubarb

vegetable, lettuce, pasture, spinach, salad, herb, basil, cabbage
Camille Balhorn

Rhubarb is technically a vegetable with a purplish stalk, but it's prepared like a fruit. J.K. Rowling wrote, "Three helpings of rhubarb crumble and custard later and the waistband on Harry's jean's was feeling uncomfortably tight..." Channel your inner Harry Potter and try this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

20. Spinach

spinach, vegetable, salad, lettuce, basil, relish, herb
Kristine Mahan

In my opinion, cooked (or sauteed) spinach tastes like wilted trash, while fresh spinach is a spring garden. High in iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, and a whole slew of nutrients, spinach tastes bitter but refreshing simultaneously. If you want an unconventional lunch, go for this spinach and artichoke grilled cheese. 

21. Strawberries

Mackenzie Patel

*Peep my sister's puppy, Barley, in the background.*

Strawberries are my favorite fruit, the intense sweetness and speckled texture preferable to the mushiness of blueberries or sourness of blackberries. Strawberries beg to be included in desserts including strawberry ice cream pie and strawberry shortcake. 

22. Swiss Chard

kale, lettuce, vegetable, swiss chard, fresh vegetables, local produce, farmer's market
Sam Jesner

If your first thought was "WTF is Swiss Chard," then we have something in common. Another "green," Swiss Chard is a superfood similar to spinach and beets, and their stalks are colorful as heck. If you're apprehensive about something this healthy tasting decent, try chard with lemon and garlic. 

23. Turnips 

vegetable, turnips, farmer's market, fresh vegetables, local produce
Sam Jesner

Turnip the beet! Sorry, any vegetable that is inherently punny is good by me, even if my grandmother had to disguise turnips in mashed potatoes as a child. Their color is crushed and vivid, their texture rough and seasoned. Following the carrot trend, here is a recipe for turnip fries (I didn't even know that was possible, tbh). 

Spring Has Properly *Sprung*

Sangria, rooftop, Skyline, refreshing, Thirsty, ice, Summer, rooftop bar, Spain, Madrid
Amy Dong

I’m an impulsive person, but even more so when there’s ripe, decadent, and inexpensive fruits and veggies in the produce aisle. I collect asparagus and avocados like college boys, the “4 for $5” deals too attractive to resist. Hopefully these Spoon recipes will inspire a cookout (or just a regular degular dinner will do as well). Just like this produce, I'm here for spring – it only happens once a year, after all.