In Season Foods: December Edition

Winter has us in its grips in the northern part of the US. But down in the south, there is some seasonal produce that is just starting to get good.

white truffle 300x199 In Season Foods: December Edition Photo

If you can afford it, try white truffles that are in season now.

Citrus – Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and tangelos. All are  coming into their peak season in December. Load up on these fruits for their Vitamin C, but they’re also rich in antioxidants. Studies have also shown that citrus flavonoids can improve blood flow and reduce the likelihood of blood clots in arteries. Here’s a sweet way to enjoy: Orange scented olive oil cake.

 Dates – the fruit of the date palm, dates are grown in desert climates like Arizona and California. The small little fruits are sweet and higher in calories than other fruits, but they are also filled with fiber and potassium. This is prime harvesting season (think fruit cakes) and they’re great added to sweet breads or stuffed with nuts.

Parsnips – This white looking carrot needs the cool winter frost to bring out its sweet, nutty flavor. Like their cousin root vegetable, they have several anti-oxidant properties and are thought to have anti-fungal and anti-inflammation properties. Parsnips can be roasted or added to purees.

Pomegranates – Long hailed as a superfood, pomegranates are high in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and a great source of fiber. Yet, the fruit has an ever longer history and has been mentioned even in ancient biblical texts like Babylonian texts and the Quran. Pomegranate juice has become as common as orange juice in the past decade, but the fruit is also great in salads and sauces on other foods.

Savoy cabbage – Despite its wrinkly appearance, Savoy cabbage is one of the more tender cabbage plants, making it an ideal vegetable to eat raw. Like other cabbages, Savoy is rich in protein and fiber and is packed with several vitamins and nutrients. Eat it in salads or sauté it as a delicious side.

White truffles – These mushrooms are certainly a delicacy. A kilo can cost upwards of $4,000 at wholesale. While the black variety can be cultivated and is available in the late summer, white truffles can only be found in the wild and are at their best from November to January. Truffles are packed with protein, although they are typically just used sparingly to flavor dishes. If you can’t spring for the real deal, you can always get the essence by using a truffle oil or truffle salt.