Fruits and vegetables are key components of a healthy diet all year round, but they can also be used in creative ways during the holidays. From traditional dishes like mashed potatoes or roasted Brussels sprouts to more unique recipes featuring apples or cranberries, there’s something for everyone at this festive time.
One popular holiday dish that incorporates both fruits and veggies is a classic Christmas salad. This simple yet delicious side dish usually consists of lettuce greens topped with slices of oranges, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries or raisins, as well as chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans. The dressing can be made from olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar for an extra zingy flavor.
Roasted root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnips make a tasty accompaniment to any roast dinner on Christmas Day. And vegetables are also an important part of the Kwanzaa celebration. Yams are a popular choice as they are seen as a symbol of African heritage; they are often boiled, mashed, or roasted. Other vegetables such as okra, collard greens, and black-eyed peas are also popular choices. These vegetables are often served in stews and soups.
And no festive feast would be complete without some sweet treats! Apples are often featured in pies during the season due to their tartness which helps balance out any sugary sweetness from other ingredients like cinnamon sugar topping - yum!
Cranberries are tart and sweet, and they are often used in sauces and desserts. Cranberry sauce makes an excellent condiment; it's not only delicious but adds color, making your plate look even more appetizing when served alongside turkey and mashed potatoes (although mashed sweet potatoes are a delicious, sweet, colorful alternative to traditional mashed potatoes). Cranberries are also used to make wreaths and garlands for decoration. Other popular fruits for Christmas include oranges, apples, and pomegranates.
Fruits are also an important part of the Hanukkah celebration. Apples are often served to symbolize the holiday, and they're delicious when fried in honey. Other traditional fruits used during Hanukkah include dates, figs, and pomegranates. Pomegranates are especially popular during the holiday as they are seen as a symbol of good luck.
Fruits are an important part of the Kwanzaa celebration as well. Bananas are a favorite choice as they are seen as a symbol of fertility. Other traditional fruits used during Kwanzaa include coconuts, dates, and figs. These fruits are often served in dishes or used to decorate the home.
Pomander made with oranges or apples, and cloves and cinnamon, makes a wonderful, colorful, fragrant ornament for the Christmas tree or table centerpiece. And bright, festive red chili peppers can be used to make garland. In fact, you can combine dried citrus fruits, dried peppers, berries and pinecones to make a unique, cheerful, rustic, fragrant wreath.
No matter what the holiday, fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the celebration. Whether used with your holiday meal or for decorating, make sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa celebration!