Here’s your ultimate guide to September produce, including buying tips, storage hacks, and seasonal recipes.

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What's Fresh September Header
Credit: Allrecipes Illustrations

September is that weird month that's not quite summer, but not quite fall. Make the most of this transitional month by incorporating seasonal fruits and veggies into your cooking. To make things a little easier for you, we've put together a handy September produce guide. From apples and pears to cauliflower and bell peppers, here's what's in season in September:

Apples

Apples in a wooden crate
Photo by Meredith
| Credit: Meredith

Fall is officially here and you know what that means: Apples, apples, apples. You can get apples all year long, of course, but most varieties are best during the autumn months. Use your harvest to make sweet treats (such as pies, cakes, and other desserts) or savory appetizers and main dishes

What to Look For

The best indicator of apple freshness is firmness. Give the fruit a gentle squeeze — if it feels mushy or indents easily, move onto the next one. Slightly soft apples aren't necessarily a lost cause, though. Instead of eating them fresh, use them to make smoothies or applesauce. 

Storage 

Apples will last between six and eight weeks if you store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. That said, you can keep them at room temperature for about a week. Check out Our Apple Storage Guide.

Recipes

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople recipe ina gray pie plate
Credit: Allrecipes Magazine

Try one of Our Best Apple and Cinnamon Recipes That Taste Like Fall. Plus, explore our entire collection of Apple Recipes

Bell Peppers

Vegetarian Taco-Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers, like apples, are available year-round at the grocery store. However, they're generally at their best in late summer and fall. This versatile ingredient is a common addition to soups (it's a member of the Cajun Holy Trinity for soups and stews) and is a staple in cuisines around the world. 

What to Look For

Buy firm, crisp-looking bell peppers that feel heavy for their size. Look for smooth, shiny skin that's free of wrinkles. 

Storage 

Store bell peppers in an air-tight container (such as a zip-top storage bag) in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

Recipes

a top-down view of a foil-lined sheet pan filled with chunks of Italian sausage, red and green bell pepper, onion wedges, and potatoes
Credit: Diana

Try one of Our Favorite Stuffed Pepper Recipes. Plus, explore our entire collection of Bell Pepper Recipes

Cauliflower

Cauliflower photo by Meredith
Photo by Meredith

Cauliflower has surged in popularity in recent years. The cruciferous vegetable is often used as a low-cal, low-carb alternative to rice and other carb-rich foods (such as pizza crust). But there are other ways to enjoy cauliflower: roast it until browned and crispy, toss it into salads, stir-fry it with other veggies, or eat it fresh as a snack.  

What to Look For

Opt for a head of cauliflower that has a creamy white color, tightly packed florets, and minimal bruising or blemishes. 

Storage             

Keep cauliflower loosely wrapped, as air-tight storage will trap air and speed up the decaying process. Keep your loosely wrapped cauliflower in the fridge for about a week. 

Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Get this recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks | Photo by bd.weld

Try one of Our Most Delicious Ways to Roast Cauliflower. Plus, explore our entire collection of Cauliflower Recipes

Grapes

Grapes on white background
Credit: Blaine Moats/Meredith

Prime grape season runs from August through October, so September is the ideal time to get them fresh off the vine. This kid-friendly snack is delicious eaten fresh, frozen, or cooked (try pairing grapes with meat or fish for a sweet and savory dinner). Of course, you can never have too many jars of grape jellies and jams

What to Look For

One bad grape can spoil the whole bunch, so inspect each one before buying. Fresh grapes are plump, round, and are firmly attached at the stem. Avoid grapes that are shriveled or show signs of molding.  

Storage 

Grapes need room to breathe, so keep them loosely wrapped instead of in an airtight container. Unwashed, well-ventilated grapes can last up to three weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. 

Recipes

Green Grape Salad
Photo by Holiday Baker

Try one of Our Most Inventive Ways to Eat Grapes. Plus, explore our entire collection of Grape Recipes

Pears

Pretty Pears
Bosc pears, my favorite for roasting.

Don't miss pear season, which runs from August through October. Ripe pears are wonderfully crisp, sweet, and juicy. The mild-tasting fruit is perfect in salads, poached, on charcuterie boards, or baked into your favorite desserts.

What to Look For

Pears should be slightly soft near the stem and firm everywhere else, so avoid pears that feel mushy when you give them a gentle squeeze. 

Storage 

Unripe pears should be stored at room temperature. Once they've reached peak ripeness, transfer them to the crisper drawer of your fridge. They'll stay fresh for three to five days. 

Recipes

Poached Pears Belle Helene
Poached Pears Belle Helene | Photo by The Gruntled Gourmet

Try one of Our Favorite Savory Pear Recipes. Plus, explore our entire collection of Pear Recipes

Plums

Plums in wood crates
Credit: Michael Snell/Meredith

September is the tail end of plum season, so get 'em while you can! The sweet-tart stone fruit is excellent in sweet and savory recipes: Use plums for jams and jellies, decadent baked goods, and fruity salads. They're also great stewed, roasted, or poached. 

What to Look For

Like pears, plums should be slightly soft near the stem and firm everywhere else. Look for smooth plums with minimal cracks or bruising. 

Storage 

Store plums at room temperature until they're ripe. Once they're ripe, place them in an airtight container and move them to the fridge. They should stay nice and fresh for about five days. 

Recipes

Plum Cake on a grey dish
Credit: honeypoo

Try one of Our Favorite Ways to Make the Most of Plum Season. Plus, explore our entire collection of Plum Recipes

More seasonal fruits and veggies to enjoy in September: 

different types of eggplants on wooden table
Credit: Andy Lyons/Meredith
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Celery root
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Shelling beans
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes

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