The festive season is here, and that means there are lots of culinary treats to be enjoyed this month. That includes the local produce that’s still coming in fresh from the fields during December, including the Marmite of the vegetable world – Brussel sprouts! Sprout sceptic or not, if you’ve got Christmas veg to use up this month then keep reading for some festive season meal plan inspiration…
Fruit and veg to enjoy in December
According to the ever-useful Vegetarian Society guide, these are the fruit and veg that are great for including in our December meal plans:
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Winter Squash, White Cabbage
Below, you’ll find lots of tasty ideas for using some of these fresh ingredients in your cooking during the festive season. You’ll find even more ideas for December in our previous monthly guides:
- What’s good to eat in January for celery, chicory, savoy cabbage and turnips
- What’s good to eat in February for carrots, leeks, mushrooms and cabbage
- What’s good to eat in March for beetroot, spring onions, spring greens and rhubarb
- What’s good to eat in April new potatoes, kale, radishes, rocket and spinach
- What’s good to eat in May for asparagus, aubergine and peas
- What’s good to eat in June for broad beans, broccoli, cherries, cucumber and strawberries
- What’s good to eat in July for blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and French beans
- What’s good to eat in August for lettuce, pears, plums and sweetcorn
- What’s good to eat in September for cauliflower, pears and watercress
- What’s good to eat in October for apples, winter squash, swede and pumpkin
- What’s good to eat in November for celeriac, onions and quince
Love them or loathe them, sprouts are a key part of many a Christmas dinner here in the UK. They’re particularly delicious pimped up with some bacon or pancetta and chestnuts (see below), so be sure to save some when you’re making the pigs in blankets. Keep your sprouts fresh for longer by learning some top storage hacks.
If you’ve bought more sprouts than you end up using on Christmas Day, try serving them in our delicious bubble and squeak – surprisingly moreish and easy to make.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… need we say more? Chestnuts are so central to this time of year that there’s even a song about them. But they’re not just great for enjoying on a crackling fire – they can add flavour to lots of your festive favourites, including the traditional veggie Christmas dinner alternative nut roast. And, as we mentioned just now, they’re fantastic for adding to a tasty side of Brussel sprouts along with some crispy bacon.
These jewel-like berries are another treat traditionally enjoyed around Christmas. The roasted veg and chestnut parcels we mentioned above are perfect for enjoying with cheese and cranberry. These versatile berries can also be used in your baking, such as in our banana and honey muffins, or in savoury dishes that use up your Christmas turkey leftovers, such as our braised winter turkey or cranberry turkey pasties.
Finally, no Christmas dinner would be complete without delectable honey-roasted parsnips. If you’ve bought too many parsnips, fear not – there are plenty of tasty ways to use them up, with hearty winter soups being an obvious starting point. Our Zero Waste potato and veggie hash will use up parsnips as well as pretty much any other veg you have that needs eating. Or how about a tasty alternative for bangers and mash in the form of our sausages, onion and potato tray bake?
If these tempting ideas have whetted your appetite, do take a look at our recipe bank for even more December meal plan inspiration. Don’t forget to come back next month to find out what’s good to eat in January!