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10 surprising foods in season during summer

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic herb butter. (LauriPatterson/E+/Getty Images)


Each season offers a new array of produce thanks to the change in climate that offers optimal growing conditions for various foods.

This week (Aug. 6-12) is National Farmers Market Week, a perfect time to head out and find some new and interesting foods to bring into your summer routine.

In the summer, we all look forward to juicy watermelon, fresh melon and ripe tomatoes. But there are plenty of other foods that peak during the warmer months.

Incorporating seasonal food into a diet has numerous benefits, including nutritional value.

"Seasonal produce will have more flavor than those items out of season and has more phyto-nutrient content which helps fight infections and increases your immune system's ability to protect you," said Darlene Wolnik, senior researcher for the Farmers Market Coalition.

One of the best ways to source fresh, seasonal produce is by shopping at farmers markets.

"Interestingly, market vendors often have the best deals at the peak of season when the item is the most flavorful, as this is when they are picking almost daily and need to sell a lot more of it," Wolnik said.

According to the Farmers Market Coalition, here are 10 foods not to be missed out on during the summer:

10. Spaghetti squash

While squash might seem like a fall food, spaghetti squash is at its peak in the summer, according to Northeast growers.

9. Lima beans

Packed with fiber, Lima beans are in their prime during the summer, especially when harvested in the Northeast.

8. Ground cherries

ground cherry

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Also known as husk cherries, these sweet fruits look like an orange cherry tomato, but taste sweet. These special berries grow in particularly warm climates, making summer the best time to give them a try.

7. Carrots

Carrots grow their best from May to November, according to registered dietitian Grace Derocha.

6. Figs

California growers say summer is the best season for figs, specifically the Kadota, Tiger and Tina fig.

5. Dragon fruit

dragon fruit

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A colorful and unconventional fruit, this tropical delicacy is best during the warm summer months, California farmers say.

4. Blood oranges

This natural mutation of the orange receives its namesake due to the red color the fruit's "flesh" develops.

3. Gooseberries

A tart fruit, these are at optimal taste during the summer.

2. Beets

Beets have a wide range of use and are in season during the warmer months.

1. Basil

Basil is very sensitive to cold, so it can be found locally during the summer.