At The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles, we think nothing in the world tastes better than fresh-picked fruits and veggies, especially those that have matured right here under the California sun.
If, like us, you prefer to buy your fruits and veggies when they are the freshest off the farm, here’s an insider’s guide to the best fruits and veggies available in December.
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The exotic pomegranate has inspired art, literature and music for centuries. The Greeks considered the pomegranate to be a sign of fertility, ancient Egyptians equated it with death, while Jewish tradition links the pomegranate with righteousness.
It is said that Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon had a pomegranate included on her coat of arms. Rumor has it that when Henry later married Anne Boleyn, she designed her coat of arms to have a white dove pecking at a pomegranate.
High in antioxidants, pomegranate seeds have three times as many antioxidants as blueberries. The fruit is also high in vitamin C and is also believed to help prevent cancer. While some may find the idea of eating the seeds from a fresh pomegranate daunting, cutting it in half in a large bowl of water should make easy work of separating the edible seeds from the rest of the fruit.
Special treat: Not ready to try your hand at cutting open a pomegranate? Then head over to Cost Plus World Market where you can pick up some sparkling Pomegranate Italian Soda for a refreshing beverage.
This small, golden nugget—the healthy kind—originated in China before it made its way to the United States in the mid-1800s. The word persimmon comes from an Algonquian language translation of “dry fruit.”
High in antioxidants and fiber, the persimmon is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties. Like an apple, the fruit can be eaten whole or sliced. It can also be mashed into a pulp, which similar to applesauce, can be used as a substitute for oils and fats in many recipes. Persimmons can also be eaten dried, a tasty snack that is almost sweeter than candy.
Special treat: While persimmons are often found in baked goods or mashed into cocktails, we think persimmon are best as is. On your next trip to the Original Farmers Market, head over to Farm Boy Produce to pick up a few for snacking. But remember to get some extra or you might end up eating them all before you get home.
No matter when you eat it, biting into a juicy, zesty grapefruit is always a treat. Grapefruit has a long history as a healthy snack—in fact the famed grapefruit weight loss diet dates back to the 193os. But, warns WebMD, grapefruit does not burn fat. It does however have plenty of other healthful benefits, including lots of Vitamin C and a healthy dose of lycopene (believed to help prevent the growth of tumors). Grapefruits are also very high in antioxidants and they help lower cholesterol.
Although Florida is the leading grower of grapefruit—producing more than 70 percent of the world’s entire crop—plenty of this colorful citrus are grown right here in California. In the Golden State, the growing season lasts all year long, making grapefruit a perfect snack any time of year. What’s more it has some staying power. A freshly squeezed glass of grapefruit juice will keep up to 98 percent of its Vitamin C for up to a week, as long as its covered and refrigerated.
Special Treat: While grapefruit continues to grow in popularity with chefs using it as a trendy accompaniment in all manner of meals, we love it old-school. In fact, the perfect breakfast might just be a glass of fresh grapefruit juice accompanied by a heaping stack of pancakes at Du-par’s Restaurant.
This colorful plant is an incredibly popular item during the holiday season. In fact, more than 34 million poinsettias are sold every year, making it the highest-selling potted, flowering plant in the United States. While every state in the U.S. grows poinsettias commercially, California remains the largest-producing state, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the nation’s sales.
Seasonal Veggies Harvested in December
Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Snap Beans, Spinach, Tomatoes
Seasonal Fruits Harvested in December
Cantaloupe, Dates, Grapefruit, Honeydew, Oranges, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Tangerines
Read about What’s in Season in January on our Market Buzz blog now.