My December fruit and vegetable basket

December is coming, and with it winter and Christmas time. What fruits and vegetables will we choose at the markets to prepare delicious hot meals and stock up on energy? We have put together this month’s basket for you to enjoy and stay healthy! Marie Youssef.

1 / 10 Clementines and tangerines

Benefits of clementines and tangerines

In December, stock up on clementines and tangerines. In the coming months, these small citrus fruits will become the stars of the displays. Winter fruits par excellence, they are delicious, full of vitamins B and C, minerals and trace elements. Our body loves it against the little ailments of winter! But actually, do you know how to differentiate a clementine from a tangerine? 

The clementine is the hybrid of a tangerine. It was born from the cross between a mandarin tree and the sweet orange. It is becoming more and more successful due to its absence of seeds, even if the mandarin has more aroma.

How to choose and consume them?

Choose firm clementines or mandarins, with skin that adheres to the fruit. A well-attached stem is also a sign of freshness. You can keep the fruits in the ambient air for a few days, or keep them for longer in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. But take them out a little before eating them so that they regain their juicy character. Clementines and mandarins are mainly eaten fresh, section by section. You can use them in your fruit salads, festively in a chocolate fondue, or as a flavor for your vinaigrettes.

2 / 10 Beet

Benefits of beets

Raw, cooked, grated or in soup, cook beets this December! It has many benefits including iron and betacyanin which eliminates toxins from our body. In addition, it helps reduce stress and gives a feeling of well-being. Beetroot juice is also ideal for having beautiful skin: it hydrates the skin and protects it against bad weather conditions. 

3/10 Oranges

Benefits of oranges 

In December, make orange your health ally. Delicious, juicy and hydrating, it is full of vitamin C. It helps fight winter infections and therefore allows us to stay healthy by protecting our immune system. This is a good reason to consume it more often. But not only ! Orange is rich in antioxidants and fiber: compounds that help fight cell aging and cardiovascular disease. 

How to choose and consume them?

Choose a firm, heavy orange with shiny flesh that adheres to the fruit. Did you know ? It is not the skin or the color that determines the ripeness of the orange. It may be green but very ripe. It therefore depends on its variety and where the citrus fruit grew! Sanguine, juice, with or without seeds, there are many varieties of oranges, each as delicious as the next: try them! You can keep them in the ambient air for a few days or longer in the vegetable drawer. Oranges are generally eaten raw, simply peeled, pressed into juice or in fruit salad. Try an orange salad with a good chocolate mousse, for example! But you can also use them to garnish your salads or flavor your sauces. 

4/10 Cabbage

The benefits of cabbage

Enjoy cabbage again in December. It is a low-calorie vegetable and will be welcome to rebalance daily meals. A considerable source of calcium, it reduces the risk of osteoporosis thanks to vitamin K which strengthens bones. It is also a very good food for the eyes: composed of lutein, an anti-aging pigment, it protects the retina from cellular aging. Cabbage essentially contains vitamins, such as vitamins A, B1, B9, C, etc., which contribute to protecting the body against certain cancers. We agree, eating cabbage every day is not very pleasant… however, there are more than ten different varieties of cabbage that you can cook as you wish.Here are the 10 main cabbages: – Red cabbage – Kohlrabi- White cabbage- Broccoli – Kale- Cauliflower- Romanesco cabbage- Brussels sprouts- Red cabbage- Pointed cabbage

How to choose cabbage? 

Always choose fresh, firm and heavy cabbage. Yes, it is a guarantee of freshness and quality since it is full of water. It is eaten from October to April cooked (preferably steamed), stuffed, braised or in a soup to warm up. Have you found the cabbage of your dreams? Quickly run and cook it!

5/10 Apples

The benefits of apples 

Available all year round and therefore in December, the apple is ideal with the arrival of autumn. Extremely rich in antioxidants and fiber, it is one of the best “healthy” fruits. Its consumption helps reduce the risks of cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The apple also acts as an appetite suppressant and brings a feeling of satiety. Very practical if you are on a diet.

How to choose apples? 

The skin of apples is particularly rich in nutrients and vitamins. But we also know that it absorbs many pesticides… So what to do? Rinsing is not sufficient, so choose organic apples, which are better protected against pesticides. And don’t miss out on a good rinse. The best rinse is to soak your apples for 15 minutes in a basin with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Be careful of apples that are too shiny, this means that they have been waxed to combat moisture loss. Shoe polish is certainly edible, but can also contain allergens. So choose apples that are firm, fragrant and if possible organic. The apple is delicious plain, but also cooked in a saucepan, in the oven or in a pan. 

6/10 Chestnuts

Benefits of chestnuts 

Vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals… Chestnuts are full of energy and proteins. They have a thick skin called a “bug”. These bugs can contain several fruits unlike the chestnut which only contains one. Be careful not to confuse the two fruits. Chestnuts also act as an appetite suppressant thanks to their high fiber content. 

How to choose chestnuts? 

Fresh chestnuts should be full, shiny and smooth. Be careful, pay close attention to their hulls which must be intact. Yes, it is possible that a worm could slip in there. Chestnuts are available in both savory and sweet recipes! They enhance meat dishes and make delicious jams and soups. 

7/10 Turnips

Benefits of turnips

December is a perfect month for cooking turnips, champion of the stalls! It is one of the cruciferous vegetables, just like cabbage, radishes or arugula. Potassium, magnesium, phosphorus… it is full of minerals essential to the body. Low in calories, it can be consumed as part of a diet. Also a source of fiber, turnip stimulates intestinal transit and creates a feeling of satiety. Studies have revealed that this vegetable helps prevent certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. This is one more reason to stock up on turnips in your basket! 

How to choose and store them?

It is important to choose the turnip with your hands! Choose it firm and without bruising. This is a guarantee of freshness. You can keep it for several days in the vegetable drawer. Raw, steamed or pan-fried, turnips are suitable for all kinds of recipes. It is often associated with pork ribs or duck meat. It also makes excellent stews! 

8/10 Kiwis

Benefits of kiwis

Kiwi is also a must-have in your March basket! Highly appreciated for its vitamin C, it contains fiber, antioxidants and contributes to strengthening natural defenses. Note that kiwi contains even more vitamin C than orange. Eating one a day covers your vitamin C needs. Kiwi is suitable for starters, desserts or small dishes. 

How to choose kiwi and consume it?

Kiwi is available for sale from November until May. Avoid a kiwi that is too hard or too soft. A good kiwi yields gently to the pressure of your hands. If it is too hard, place it in a bag with an apple or banana, this will speed up its ripening. You can eat it plain, by cutting it in half and scooping out its flesh with a teaspoon. It can also be enjoyed in pies, green salads or as an accompaniment (poultry, fish, mixed fruits, etc.).

9/10 Carrots

Benefits of carrots

The carrot will be your ally this winter for 3 reasons! It is good for the skin thanks to beta-carotene which is a powerful antioxidant: it slows down aging and improves the condition of the skin. Carrot also promotes healing. Rich in anti-oxidants, carrots will strengthen your lungs and your heart, protecting them from certain diseases. It will also burn bad cholesterol. Finally, carrots are good for your eyesight! Thanks to vitamin A, essential for vision, carrots reduce the risk of degeneration and cataracts.

How to choose and consume carrots?

Available all year round, carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. However, nutritionists recommend eating it raw because it provides more nutrients. It can be prepared for salads, juices, risottos and even desserts. 

10/10 Parsnip

The benefits of parsnip

Parsnip is a root vegetable that we find more and more in our markets, and no longer only in the Mediterranean regions. Coming from the carrot family, in white version, the parsnip has a pleasant sweet and comforting taste. It is a food rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It contains magnesium useful for fighting fatigue, and vitamin B6 which helps fix magnesium.

Choosing and cooking parsnips

To choose parsnips, select those of medium size, with larger ones having more fiber. They will keep for about two weeks in the fridge.
Parsnips are cooked like potatoes or carrots, and they cook more quickly. It can be cooked in water or roasted in the oven. It makes a slightly sweet accompaniment to your meat dishes for example. You can make gratins, purees and soups.

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