FoodLink - Purdue Extension

Filter Category: Vegetables

Foods

asparagus
Available from April to June

Look for bright green asparagus. The stems should be crisp and firm and should snap (not bend) when bend them. Look for dark green spear tips that have a hint of purple, which shows freshness.


beet
Available from May to November

Purchase beets that still have the leaf stems attached. Look for small beets with firm, blemish-free skin and that have bright green leaves that are not wilting.


bok choy
Available from June to September

Look for fresh green leaves and firm stalks. Avoid bok choy that is wilted.


broccoli
Available from May to October

Look for dark green bunches that have no yellowing or odor. Floret leaves should be evenly colored with no wilting. Avoid thick, fat, or woody stalks.


Brussels sprouts
Available from July to November

Look for bright green, firm sprouts, and avoid sprouts with loose leaves. Brussels sprouts flavor should improve in cool weather and after a frost. 


cabbage
Available from May to October

Pick cabbage that is firm and heavy and that has a compact head and crisp, fresh leaves. Avoid cabbage with yellow leaves, splits, or soft spots.


carrot
Available from July to November

Carrots should be firm, evenly shaped, and smooth with a bright skin color. Avoid carrots that are cracked, rough, shriveled, or green at the top.


cauliflower
Available from May to June

Look for cauliflower with bright green leaves. The curds (the head) should be brightly colored and compact.


celery
Available from September to April

Look for celery stalks that are pale to bright green and crisp when you pull apart the stalks. Avoid celery with wilted leaves or that has black or brown spots.


chard
Available from June to August

Look for full leaves that are bright in color. Avoid yellow or wilted leaves.


collard greens
Available from April to June

Look for crisp, dark green, plump leaves. Avoid yellowish and torn leaves.


cucumber
Available from June to September

Chose firm, slender-shaped cucumbers that are green. Avoid cucumbers that are ripening to yellow or enlarged in the middle.


eggplant
Available from July to September

Select an eggplant that is firm and with a calyx (the leaves on top) this is fresh and green (not brown or dry). Avoid eggplant that has cracks or discolorations.


fennel
Available from January to December

Look for white bulbs that are heavy for their size. Avoid bulbs with soft spots and discoloration. If stems and fronds are present, look for firm, long stems with green color.


green peas
Available from April to June

Chose medium-size, bright green, firm pods with no sign of wilting or decay. 

 


hot pepper
Available from July to September

Avoid peppers that are bruised, wilted, torn, or moldy.


kale
Available from July to October

Choose kale that is dark in color wtih small to medium leaves.


kohlrabi
Available from May to December

If leaves are still attached, make sure they are bright green and firm. Avoid kohlrabi with wilted leaves, brown spots, or cracks.


leek
Available from October to May

Look for firm, smooth leeks that are white at the base and dark green toward the top. The stalks should be firm and crisp.


lettuce
Available from April to June

Look for lettuce that is vivid in color and has fresh-looking leaves. Avoid lettuce that has leaves that are wilted or have brown edges.


lima bean
Available from August to October

Fresh lima beans are usually sold in their pods, which should be dark green, plump, and firm.


microgreens
Available from January to December

Look for crisp, fresh greens (leaves and stems). Avoid limp or wilted greens. 


mushroom
Available from April to November

Look for mushrooms with smooth tops.


okra
Available from July to October

Look for okra that is brightly colored, dry, and firm.


onion
Available from July to November

Select firm dry onions that have little to no scent. Avoid bulbs with blemishes, cuts, or bruises.


potato
Available from July to October

Pick potatoes that are about the same size, and that are firm, dry, and clean


pumpkin
Available from September to October

Look for pumpkins that are deep orange and heavy for their size. Avoid pumpkins that are soft, cut, or bruised.


radish
Available from January to December

Choose firm, smooth, brightly colored radishes. If the tops are attached, they should be green and fresh.

 


rhubarb
Available from April to May

Look for crispy stalks that do not have scars, cuts, or visible decay. Make sure stalks aren’t pithy inside.


snap bean
Available from June to October

Look for evenly colored, fresh, blemish-free beans that snap easily when bent.


spinach
Available from January to December

Look for fresh, dark green leaves. Avoid wilted leaves.


summer squash
Available from May to October

Choose squash that are heavy for their size, glossy, and small to medium size.


sweet corn
Available from July to September

Look for fresh, green husks that are insect-free. If the kernels are visible, make sure they are plump.


sweet pepper
Available from June to September

Peppers should be firm, and the stem should be fresh and green. Avoid peppers with wrinkles, black spots, or cuts.


sweet potato
Available from August to December

Look for small to medium sweet potatoes that have smooth, even-toned, and deep-colored skin. Avoid sweet potatoes with holes.  


tomato
Available from May to October

Tomatoes should be firm with shiny skin. Avoid tomatoes with breaks in the skin or bruises.


turnip and turnip greens
Available from January to December

Choose turnip roots that are heavy for their size and free of soft spots.


winter squash
Available from August to November

Pick winter squash that are heavy for their size. Avoid winter squash that have moist, black, or shriveled stems.