What’s in Season – December Produce and Recipes

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December produce is packed full of holiday favorites that can be enjoyed at the table or dressed up and given to loved ones as gifts.

Different fruit and veggies that are in season in December

The festive season is packed full of colorful ingredients that are at their best this month. December fruits and vegetables have had the summer and fall to ripen and grow, bringing essential nutrients and incredible colors to the first month of winter.

Winter squash

We’re officially in soup season – the best season of the year. Winter squash is a staple of December produce thanks to its versatility in both sweet and savory dishes.

Butternut squash: It crosses seasons and becomes a staple of December vegetables. You can add it to stews or turn it into a festive centerpiece by stuffing it. More so, turn it into a pizza crust or make a warming soup.

A big bowl with homemade roasted butternut squash soup
This creamy, cozy, and warming recipe combines roasted butternut squash soup with coconut milk, ginger, and turmeric!
Butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Recipes

Brassicas and leafy greens

Just a small handful of resilient vegetables come into season this month – but they’re well worth waiting all year for.

Cauliflower: An underrated vegetable, cauliflower has had something of a resurgence as a vegan alternative to everything from wings to rice. Use it to make cauliflower wings, air-fry it, or roast it into vegan-friendly Cauliflower Steaks.

Cauliflower steaks on a tray with half a lemon
Cauliflower steaks are juicy and tender in the middle with a crisp, lightly charred, caramelized, and crispy outside. Perfect as a versatile vegan side dish or main to almost any meal!
Cauliflower Steaks

More Cauliflower Recipes

Collard greens: Rich in Vitamins A and C, collards are a loose-leaf green veggie not dissimilar to cabbage. Use them as you would an ordinary green cabbage or kale – perfect for boosting everyday meals or adding to salads. They’re easily boiled, steamed, or sauteed and are frequently found on dinner tables in the Southern USA.

Root vegetables

The base for so many delicious dishes, root vegetables are a great substitute for other fresh veggies during this month.

Carrots: These vibrant orange columns have spent the autumn burrowing roots and come out just in time for winter. They’re a great ingredient for both savory and sweet dishes. For a mix of the two, whip some honey-glazed roasted ones as a festive side dish. And, for a no-waste option, keep the leafy green stalks and turn them into pesto!

A serving bowl with carrot ginger soup topped with croutons and edible flowers
This carrot ginger soup is creamy, comforting, delicately spiced, and ready in 30 minutes.
Carrot Soup

More Carrot Recipes

Beets: Packed full of essential antioxidants, beets have a beautiful purple jewel-tone that can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. They’re easily turned into juice, pickled, roasted, or mixed with feta to make a delicious winter pasta.

Roasted beets cut in halves on a plate
How to roast beets whole in foil until perfectly tender and packed with flavor following a simple step-by-step method.
How to roast beets

More Beet Recipes

Potatoes: For December, the heartier, larger potato varieties come into their own, having had all year to grow and develop. Look for Maris Piper, Nicola, and red potatoes – they are specifically planted to be enjoyed during the winter months. There are limitless possibilities when it comes to preparing potatoes. Enjoy them mashed, boiled, roasted, baked, au gratin, Lebanese-style, or smashed.

Oven-roasted new red potatoes in a skillet
These oven-roasted red potatoes are packed full of delicious, garlic flavor – and my recipe might just be the easiest way to make these.
Roasted red potatoes

More Potato Recipes

Fruit

There’s a surprising collection of fruits in season in December – all of which provide essential Vitamin C to help protect you from winter colds.

Kiwi: Whether you’re brave enough to eat them with the skin on (they’re packed full of essential fiber!) or not, kiwi fruits are an antioxidant and Vitamin C powerhouse. Tart and sweet, you can enjoy these raw, as a juice, in a fruit salad, and more.

More Kiwi Recipes

Citrus fruit: Oranges, clementines, and tangerines are a Christmas staple in many countries. And they are another Vitamin C highlight of December seasonal fruit. Try candying some in syrup as a homemade gift or use them to make some delicious orange chicken dinner.

Blood Orange Cake with Pistachios with a piece sliced off
This cake is can be make with ripe oranges and crushed pistachios – for a deliciously moist, tangy, sweet dessert!
Orange Cake with Pistachios

More Citrus Recipes

Pomegranate: Pomegranate continues into December, meaning you can still enjoy its nutritious goodness throughout the holiday season. Plus, the seeds can last up to two months in the fridge, ready to top all your favorite dips and salads.

Square pomegranate juice
A foolproof method on how to cut a pomegranate, avoid cutting into the seeds, and deseed it, all within a couple of minutes!
How to deseed a pomegranate

More Pomegranate Recipes

Others

Get ready to start roasting on open fires and making vegetarian-friendly dishes – these two ingredients get their big debut in December.

Chestnuts: Traditionally roasted as a festive snack, chestnuts can be picked straight from the tree or bought in your local grocery store. You can easily incorporate them into stuffing. Or, you can mix them with mushrooms (for this delicious Wellington), lentils, parsnips, or sweet potatoes to elevate your side dishes.

Homemade roasted chestnuts
Everything you need to know about how to roast chestnuts, how to season and store them – for a quick, easy, and delicious festive treat!
How to roast chestnuts

Wild Mushrooms: Getting their name from how they grow, mushroom varieties like oyster, chanterelle, button, and porcini can be found wild. Whether you buy locally or go foraging yourself, mushrooms are a fantastic substitute for meat without losing texture or flavor. I like to use them in many recipes, especially during the holidays. They’re also perfect for making dumplings!

A bowl with fried mushrooms
These delicious fried mushrooms are perfect for dipping, serving as an appetizer, and enjoying with friends – and they're so easy to make!
Fried mushrooms

More Mushroom Recipes

If you try any of these recipes for what to cook in December, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

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