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Seasonal Produce Guide

What’s In Season? December Produce List.

With December being cold and dark, fresh produce isn’t exactly on our minds. But I’m happy to remind you that even winter has its offerings! Citrus is at its sweetest and juiciest throughout the winter months. We also get tart pomegranate arils, earthy beets, and some healthy and hearty root vegetables. With that, wholesome soups and fresh nourishing salads are still totally possible.

Here’s what to look for in December.

Beets


Bunch of beets.

A lot of people dislike beets because of their earthy taste; because they “taste like dirt”. But roasting them brings out a richness and sweetness that works really well in a hearty salad or as a side dish! It also has great health benefits. This nutritious root veg can help keep blood pressure in check, act as an anti-inflammatory, and improve digestive health. You can also blend it up and use it as food coloring, thanks to its natural bright fuchsia tone.

Try beets in my Fall Harvest Wild Rice Medley!

Or try them in these other recipes:

  1. Beet and Dill Lentils by The Nourished Mind 
  2. Roasted Beet Salad by Waves In the Kitchen
  3. Vegan Beetroot Risotto by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Broccoli


Two bunches of broccoli.

It’s funny how as a kid, broccoli was only tolerable if it was smothered in melted cheese. Today, roasted broccoli is hands down my favorite veg side. A simple drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of kosher salt and cracked black pepper go a long way. However, my favorite way to eat it is with garlic salt and nutritional yeast so you get that cheesiness without the extra calories. When shopping, be sure to snag broccoli with tightly-packed green florets and firm stalks.

Try my Oven-Roasted Broccoli with Nutritional Yeast!

Or try broccoli in these other recipes:

  1. Broccoli Beef Soba Bowl by The Modern Proper
  2. Three Cheese Broccoli Soup by The Almond Eater
  3. Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Roasted Broccoli by Hello Veggie

Brussels Sprouts


Bowl of Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels sprouts are another one of those veggies, like broccoli, that seemed best drowned in a cheese sauce as a kid. But as I’ve grown older (and wiser?) I’ve learned that these hearty sprouts are best served away from that stuff. There’s a reason why they’ve become such a popular starter or side at restaurants! When pan-fried or oven-roasted to a golden crisp, they’re undeniably delicious. But don’t worry, you can make delectable versions yourself at home, too.

Try my Sweet Curried Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Walnuts!

Or try them in these other recipes:

  1. Za’atar Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate by The Nourished Mind
  2. Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad by Sweet Simple Vegan
  3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese by Jar of Lemons

Cabbage


Head of savoy cabbage.

This healthy cruciferous vegetable comes with quite a few health benefits. Cabbage is a digestive tract cleanser which helps improve digestion. It’s also high in vitamin C and contains vitamin K. When it comes to cooking, it’s actually really versatile! You can cook it or eat it raw in salads and slaws.

Try cabbage in my Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls!

Or try it in these other recipes:

  1. Irish Colcannon by The View from Great Island
  2. Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Slaw by Isabel Eats
  3. Healthy Carrot Cabbage Coleslaw by Yay! For Food

Carrots


Bunch of carrots.

When we think of carrots, we think of eye health. That’s been ingrained into us since we were little. But this crunchy veg has some other great health benefits, too! They’re full of both soluble and insoluble fibers; they help with digestion, boost heart health, lower blood pressure, and fight cholesterol. Carrots are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like vitamins B6 and K, potassium, and phosphorous. They’re a light crunchy snack with a hefty healthy punch.

Try our Hot Honey Roasted Carrots!

Or try carrots in these other recipes:

  1. Easy Quick Pickle Carrots by Randa Nutrition
  2. Spiralized Carrots and Quinoa Veggie Bowl by Nutritiously
  3. Roasted Carrots and Beets with Feta and Pecans by The Yummy Bowl

Citrus Fruits


Bowl of oranges.

We often associate brightly-flavored citrus fruits with summer, but peak season for these gems is during the gloomier months. This is when they’re at their sweetest and juiciest. Choosing the best citrus fruits is easy—look for clean blemish-free rinds with a finely textured peel. Additionally, seek out the weightier fruits; heavier means juicer!

Try citrus fruit in my Lobster Ravioli with Orange Butter White Wine Sauce!

Or try it in these other recipes:

  1. Quick Lemon Thyme Chicken by Nourish and Fete
  2. Grapefruit Fennel Salad Za’atar Dressing by Cardamom and Tea
  3. Lime, Coconut, and Macadamia Granola by Full of Plants

Kale


Bowl of torn kale.

Remember when kale was the star of the superfoods? Kale chips, kale smoothies—kale was everywhere. Various other vegetables have stepped into the superfood spotlight since, but kale still holds a secure spot in the nutritional world with its rich source of vitamins, folate, manganese, and dietary minerals.

Try my Soothing Chicken and Kale Soup!

Or try kale in these other recipes:

  1. Chickpea Kale Caesar Wrap by Cait’s Plate
  2. Loaded Veggie Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce by A Simple Palate
  3. Squash and Caramelized Onion Pasta by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Parsnip


Parsnips.

If you’ve taken a moment to really take in the produce at your local market or grocer, you’ve probably noticed parsnips. This root veg is closely related to the carrot and has a sweet but earthy flavor. It can be eaten raw, but it’s much more enjoyable when cooked. You can roast them and serve them as a side, blend them into a soup, or serve them up as a healthy alternative to fries.

Try my Creamy Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup!

Or try parsnips in these other recipes:

  1. Root Vegetable Gratin by Baked Ambrosia
  2. Loaded Parsnip Fries by the Healthy Hunter
  3. Beef Bourguignon with Parsnip and Cauliflower Puree by Peanut Butter and Fitness

Pomegranate


Dish full of bright red pomegranate arils.

Whether used for its jewel-like arils or its juice, pomegranate is fantastic for savory cooking, baking, or drink blends. And when used as a garnish, it’s not just for beauty factor! These little rubies offer up a sweet and tart pop of flavor that works well in soups, salads, baked goods, and even meat. This fruit also has some pretty impressive health benefits. It lends itself as an anti-inflammatory, may help lower blood pressure, and it’s believed to fight against certain cancers. It’s also considered a heart healthy option.

Try pomegranate on my Sheet Pan Chicken with Za’atar on Naan!

Or try it with these other recipes:

  1. Pomegranate Cauliflower Wings with Herbed Labneh by Rhubarb and Cod
  2. Pomegranate Guacamole by Downshiftology
  3. Roasted Carrots with Tahini and Pomegranate by Aegean Delight

Potato


Small potatoes in a large white bowl.

Potatoes—everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure! Starchy, heavy, and comforting, this root veg is often associated with being bad for you. Especially since it tends to turn up as a crispy fried side—hash browns, tater tots, French fries. But potatoes do offer some benefits. Along with being satiating, they’re high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and resistant starch. Moderation and healthier preparation are key.

Try my Baked Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary!

Or try potatoes in these other recipes:

  1. Perfect Latkes by The View from Great Island
  2. Best Mashed Potatoes by Downshiftology
  3. Copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup by Munchkin Time

Radishes


Bunch of radishes.

Thrown over tacos, tossed into a green salad, or pickled and served with charcuterie, radishes are one of my faves. There’s just something exhilarating about them with their snappy peppery flavor. Despite the fact that they’re mostly used as a garnish or addition, they’re also great on their own when roasted and they come with some pretty awesome health benefits—like supporting a healthy digestive system.

Try my Addictive Spicy Quick Pickle Radishes!

Or try radishes in these other recipes:

      1. Roasted Radish Mini Bagels by My Goodness Kitchen
      2. Roasted Radishes by Real + Vibrant
      3. Radish Potato Salad by With Food + Love

Sweet Potato


Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes work in recipes both savory and sweet. I can enjoy them year long, but there’s something extra cozy about them come the cooler months. Maybe it’s the association with Thanksgiving, or maybe it’s just the rich and comforting texture they bring. Either way, when you’re scoping out sweet potatoes, look for small to medium-sized potatoes. They’re guaranteed to be sweet and creamy, whereas the larger ones tend to be starchier. And hey, fun fact: the deeper the color of the sweet potato, the richer it is in antioxidant beta-carotene.

Try my Smokey + Spicy Sweet Potato Soup!

Or try sweet potatoes in these other recipes:

  1. Sweet Potato Bowl by Lazy Cat Kitchen
  2. Cinnamon Honey Butter Baked Sweet Potatoes by Nourish and Fete
  3. Creamy Vegan Chickpea Curry by Supergolden Bakes

Turnip


Fresh turnips lined up on grey surface.

Recently, Turnips have gained popularity for being a healthy replacement for potatoes. If you’re looking to eat less starch, these are the answer. They’re also healthy. They boast vitamin C, and they’re a fat-free, cholesterol-free immune booster. You can toss them into stews, mash them into your potatoes, or eat them on their own.

Try turnips in my Guinness Beef Stew!

Or try them in these other recipes:

  1. Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips by From a Chef’s Kitchen
  2. Scalloped Root Vegetable Skillet by The Forked Spoon
  3. Chinese Turnip Cakes by Omnivore’s Cookbook

Winter Squash


Butternut squash cut in half.

Winter squash comes in many forms: butternut, acorn, delicata, etc. And they’re all delicious! Another winner when roasted or blended into soups. They have high levels of alpha and beta-carotene, and they’re a great source of Vitamin C and fiber.

Try winter squash in my Thai Coconut Fish Curry!

Or try it in these other recipes:

  1. Walnut Crusted Roasted Delicata Squash by Eating by Elaine
  2. Stuffed Acorn Squash by #foodbyjonister
  3. Souped-Up Roasted Butternut Squash Soup by Two of a Kind Cooks

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