July and August are very similar when it comes to produce – the big difference is how plentiful some of it is this month! So here is my handy guide for what’s in season in August!
It’s still officially the time of year for cookouts, and BBQs. The produce in season for August is packed full of vegan and vegetarian-friendly ingredients so everyone has something delicious to enjoy. Be sure to look out for some July carry-overs – blackberries are now plentiful, whether you buy them at the market or go picking for your own, and so are tomatoes, whose dozens of varieties have come into their own just in time to enjoy in the summer.
So, here’s my handy guide for produce in season in August – and the best ways to use it.
What Produce Is in Season in August
August fruit in season carries over a lot from July, with one key difference – just how much of it you can get your hands on! Here’s what fruit is in season in August.
Blackberries – Plump, juicy, and tart, these fabulous berries can be found at any good farmers market, but the pros know to head back to nature and pick directly from the bush. Wild blackberries are safe to eat, just be careful of the thorns when picking! They’re so plentiful, you can pick bags and bags and freeze them to use throughout the year in iced tea, salads, ice cream, and jam.
Melon: Melons continue over from the previous month as well and more varieties come into season. Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, muskmelon, Crenshaw, and ogen melons are all at their best during August. When buying melons, it’s worth running through a checklist to pick the best. Think color – are there any dark spots, any oddities on the flesh? The weight and feel – is it firm or soft when pressed, does it feel overly heavy or light?
Stone fruits: Sweet and dainty, August is one of the last months to enjoy apricots. A fantastic alternative to nectarines and peaches in baking and cooking, apricots should have a smooth outside with a vibrant orange color. Always give your apricots a little press to check they’re firm before buying. If you do have any soft ones, they can easily be turned into jam.
Squash isn’t just for the winter – this caveat of August produce is about bringing delicious flavors into lighter meals. They’re also great for making vegetarian-friendly salads, sides, and main meals.
Summer squash: With its distinctive shape and bright yellow outsides, summer squash makes for a vibrant addition to the dinner table and is packed with goodness. Summer squash is picked when it’s not fully ripe – distinguishing it from the regular squash you’ll get in the autumn. It should still be firm and hefty. It’s easy to add them to meals – just cut them up into salads, grill, fry them, etc!
Cucumbers: Perhaps the most refreshing of the produce in season in August, cucumbers grow with wild abandon during August. They love the hot weather as much as we do! Ripe cucumbers will be a deep, earthy green color and relatively long (though some varieties remain short). This versatile veg is great for summer salads or slicing up alongside a sandwich, or if you’re feeling experimental, you can try making my cucumber lemonade or cucumber juice!
August vegetables scream “BBQ” to me – they’re salad staples and some taste even better when you grill them.
Tomatoes: Tomato plants explode with red orbs of every size and shape in August and they’re so easy to use in dozens of dishes. Your tomatoes – whatever variety – should be a brilliant red or yellow color; green tends to mean that they’re not quite ripe yet. You can enjoy them on their own, make easy side dishes, slice them up for Mediterranean-style salads, or save and turn them into sauces and purees for cooking.
Peppers: Crisp and sweet, a huge number of peppers come into season in August. Bell peppers, shishito, and jalapeno peppers come in a variety of colors and spice levels, so be careful about which ones you use! These August vegetables should be crisp and firm, with smooth skin on the outside in red, yellow, orange, or green. They’re also easily used for charcuterie, thrown into a stir-fry, blended to make dips, or stuffed with meat and cheese for an easy weekday meal. The possibilities with peppers are practically endless.
Eggplant: Who doesn’t look forward to eggplant season? The king of the August vegetables, eggplants have a gorgeous deep purple color and taste incredible with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then grilled to perfection. Known as aubergine in some countries, use this August glut to make eggplant parmesan, air fryer fries, Baba Ganoush, or stuff it with veggies and cheese for an impressive centerpiece.
Outside of the August vegetables and fruits, the month also welcomes these staples from the garden.
Corn: Carried over from July, corn can be cooked in a dozen different ways – from the microwave method to slathered with butter and garlic and grilled for a cookout staple. Corn from the farmers market is the best, in my opinion, with the husk still on. I have a full guide for de-husking your corn and picking the best cobs so you get perfect corn every time you buy.
Okra: A staple of the South, okra – or “ladies fingers” as they’re also known – can also be found in Caribbean, African, Indian, and Creole cooking. They are primarily used to thicken stews and soups, though many preserve it for the year by pickling. Because of its subtle flavor, okra does well with spicy dishes like curries and stews.
Herbs: Your herb garden will likely be abundant this time of year, but look out especially for basil and tarragon in August. Now is the perfect time to make pesto for the colder months or dehydrate your herbs to stock up your pantry. You can follow my handy guide for dehydrating basil here.
Some Recipes Using the Best of August Produce
Here are some more of my favorite recipes to make with the fresh produce.
More Seasonal Produce Guides
If you try any of these recipes for what to cook in August with the August seasonal produce, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!