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Seasonal Produce Guide: What to Buy in May

Here’s what we’re excited about picking up at the market this month, from strawberries and apricots to peas and watercress.

Associate Digital Food Editor
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Photography by: Christina Holmes

1. Strawberries

We wait all year for the arrival of good strawberries at the market, and our patience is finally being rewarded! The luscious little fruits are wonderful raw or cooked in all kinds of desserts and sweet treats and even work well in salads. Don’t forget to brush up on your canning skills and whip up a batch of jam, jelly, or preserves -- it’s the best way to make strawberry season last longer.

 

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2. Apricots

While dried apricots are a great pantry ingredient, there’s really no substitute for fresh apricots and their sweet, delicate flavor. They have an extremely short season -- just mid-May to early July -- so snap them up while you can for pies, tarts, cobblers, or simply the most divine eat-over-the-sink snack.

 

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3. Peas

Forget frozen peas, now is the time for fresh! English peas, also called garden peas, need to be shelled before eating, but luckily, many markets sell them already shelled. Snow peas and snap peas can be eaten pod and all. Try each variety raw or cooked in everything from salads and dips to pastas and stir-fries.

 

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Watercress
Photography by: Johnny Miller

4. Watercress

While watercress is technically available year-round, the underrated leafy green is at its peak from now until June. Let its peppery, slightly spicy flavor shine in soups, salads, sandwiches, and more.

 

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5. Green Beans

Green beans, also known as string beans, are often associated with Thanksgiving, but peak season for these versatile legumes actually starts this month. They're delicious cooked every which way -- blanched, steamed, braised, stir-fried, you name it. They're also an excellent source of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, and potassium -- just another reason to load up on green beans!

 

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