Fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t just for the spring and summer seasons. While some fruits are not widely available in the winter due to the growing season, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to enjoy them. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, fresh fruits support the immune system, promote healthy skin and aid in digestion. The fiber in fruits helps regulate blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and improve heart health by reducing cholesterol. Additionally, the natural sugars found in fresh fruits provide a quick and sustained energy boost without the drawbacks associated with added sugars in processed foods. Make sure to enjoy fresh produce this season with seasonal twists.
Red and Green Salads
Looking for a color-themed salad? Look no further!
Frisee, Romaine and Red Endive Salad
Mixing these green and red leaves of frisee, romaine lettuce and red endive creates a great red and green background. Make a sweet and tangy dressing by mixing ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 TBL brown sugar and the juice of lemon with 2/3 cup olive oil. Top the lettuce with the dressing and consider topping with candied nuts and scallions for a crunch.
Pomegranate and Kiwi Salad
Mix these two seasonal fruits for a stunning red and green fruit salad. Top with a little honey and lemon juice for added zest and flavor.
Red and Green Fruit Salad with Mint Syrup
For the mint syrup, bring together ½ sugar and ½ cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add in ½ fresh mint, allowing the mint to steep in the syrup for 20-30 minutes. Strain the syrup to remove the mint leaves from the syrup. This can be refrigerated overnight until ready to serve.
Combine cut strawberries, honeydew melon, cut grapes, cut kiwi, and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl. Pour the mint syrup over the fruit combination for a holiday taste onto the red-and-green salad.
Red and Green Fruit Salad with Orange-Cinnamon Dressing
Combine ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup orange juice for the dressing. Whisk in ½ ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp vanilla extract.
Combine cut strawberries, red and green apples, honeydew melon, grapes, kiwi, and one cup of dried cranberries in a large bowl. Pour the dressing syrup over the fruit combination for a zesty dressing.
Christmas Fruit Salad
The key to this fruit salad is mixing in the seasonally available fruits. This usually includes pears, red apples, pomegranate seeds, persimmon, raspberries, red and green grapes. Mix the fruit together and top with your favorite dressing or mix honey, yogurt and lemon juice together for a light and flavorful dressing.
Add extra pizzaz with cutting apples with small star or tree shaped cookie cutters for a themed signal to the holiday.
This fun take on a charcuterie board uses vegetables to make a Santa face!
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Use hummus to create a “face” of Santa in the middle of the board. Above the face, lay strips of red bell peppers creating a Santa hat. For the “fur” trim with cauliflower florets. Use olive for eyes, cauliflower florets for eyebrows and mustache. Use a cherry tomato for his red nose, and a pepper slice for the smile. For the beard of Santa, use cauliflower florets. For the background add cherry tomatoes and broccoli.
A popular pin on Pinterest is the Strawberry Santas.
Mini chocolate chips
Cut the strawberries about ¾ the way up. Remove the smaller part of the strawberry and top with whipped cream, then add the strawberry piece back on top of the whipped cream. Add two “eyes” with the mini chocolate chips to the white between the Santa “body” and “hat.” Top the hat with whipped cream for a cotton ball puff.
What is your favorite way to dress up produce for the holiday season?