Drop the eggnog and the sugar cookies! While December may be more well-known for holiday parties and the requisite buffets of baked goods, there are a number of powerhouse fruits and veggies ripe for the picking as the year draws to a close.
The five December superfoods in the slideshow below are also great complements to a lot of the flavors we highlighted in November, many of which are still in season this month. Check out our picks for the best seasonal produce this month and how to enjoy them.
Why we love them: Mushrooms provide a burst of flavor without adding many calories. A number of varieties have antiviral, immunity-bosting and anti-inflammatory properities, WebMD reported. Certain kinds, like shiitake, may lower cholesterol and fight cancer. They’re also rich in selenium, says Vandana Sheth, R.D., C.D.E., registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This antioxidant protects against heart disease, aging and some cancers, she says, and is often found in meat, making mushrooms a good pick for vegetarians.
How to enjoy them: "One of the easiest ways to enjoy is in a saladraw,” says Sheth. “Or, sauté in a little olive oil and garlic. You get a little extra kick and still retain the nutrients,” she says. You can also try chopping the ‘shrooms, stir frying them and serving on top of toasts as a take on bruschetta.