When I think of December foods, the first thing that comes to mind are decadent holidays meals and loads of heavily frosted cookies. But with just one Sunday morning trip to the farmer’s market I’m reminded that December has so much to offer in terms of wonderful seasonal produce. Here are ten healthy foods at their peak of freshness in December.
Brussels Sprouts. Orange is the new black. Noo, brussels sprouts are the new black. Brussels are so popular right now, roast them, sauté them, fill up your Pinterest boards with them. These baby cabbages are low calories and an excellent source of vitamin C. Choose small brussels for the best flavor
Clementines. Clementines are basically candy in fruit form. They are the perfect on the go snack (portable and usually seedless). They also taste great added in salads or smoothies.
Sweet Potatoes. Another very popular holiday dish, sweet potatoes can be roasted, mashed, or sautéed. Just remember it is not required that sweet potatoes be covered in sugar, they taste great in savory recipes too!
Grapefruit. If you think grapefruits are too sour, try them in December! They are so juicy and delicious this time of the year, they don’t even need added sugar. Eat them for breakfast, a snack or in this citrus salad (pictured above).
Pears. Nutritionally, pears are pretty similar to the apple, but if they had a nutritional face-off, I would have to give it to the pear. They are one of the highest fiber fruits, at about 4-5 grams per pear! Oh yea, they are delicious too and have a shorter season so eat them now. Try one of our favorite salads, Winter Quinoa, Kale and Pear Salad– it’s a keeper.
Pomegranates. Oo, the elusive pomegranate. So delicious but such a pain to eat. I have found the best method to get the pomegranate seeds or arils out quickly is the submerge in water method. Check it out here. It really works!!
Leeks. I love leeks. They are so versatile. Leeks are similar to onions but they are sweeter. Potato Leek soup is always a winner.
Kale. Similarly to brussels, kale is having a good year, and for good reason too! Kale is a nutritional superstar. Packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and you even get a whopping three grams of protein for just thirty calories! Try kale finely chopped in salads, sautéed, or in a green smoothie. We also love it with breakfast sauted up in this Potato and Kale Hash recipe.
Cherimoya. This fruit might be new too many. It is native to South America but it also grown in California. You can find them at Farmer’s Markets. The cherimoya is a large green fruit, it is very sweet, just watch out for the seeds!
Blood Oranges. The flavor is not that much different from a regular orange (some say it is raspberry-like), but the bright red color adds a beautiful pop of color to salads and snacks.
This weekend hit up the farmers market and get some of these seasonal goodies. They can make great gifts as well!
Heather Mason is a Registered Dietitian who holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science. She has a passion for debunking nutrition myths and helping people discover delicious and healthy food. You can read more posts from her on her blog, Nutty Nutrition.