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Winter: Prime Time for Festive Fruit

Add color and nutrition to your holiday table with these fruit recipes.
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Our Winter: Their Summer

"People love the idea of a berry dessert soup for the holidays," says Paulette Mitchell, author of the cookbook A Beautiful Bowl of Soup.

But aren't berries in season in the summer? Well, says Miller, raspberries and blueberries come to the U.S. from Chile -- where it is summer during our holiday season. (For a festive and fast berry soup recipe, see Miller's recipe below.)

According to Agnes Perez, an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chile is the biggest supplier of imported fruit to the U.S. during the winter months. Also look for grapes, peaches, and nectarines imported from Chile. You might also see clementines imported from Spain and avocados from Mexico, says Perez.

12 Festive Fruit Tips

Here are 12 tips for working fruit into your winter and holiday diet:

1. For a healthful finale to a holiday meal, toss fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries with fresh orange juice, suggests Mitchell. "Add some candied ginger and refrigerate the mixture for a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend," she says.

2. Serve a mixture of fresh or frozen berries with a splash of liqueur (like Grand Marnier or Chambord) over a slice of angel food cake or light pound cake for a colorful, low-calorie dessert.

3. Citrus fruit (oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, tangelos, kumquats) can be cut up and combined for a medley of flavors and colors. Rouslin suggests adding a touch of honey for sweetness, and some coconut for texture. But there is more to citrus than segments, says Floyd Cardoz, chef at Tabla in New York and author of One Spice, Two Spice. "Adding the aromatic zests, segments, and juice of citrus fruits make simple braises, roasts, and vegetables seem more festive and flavorful," Cardoz says.

4. Rouslin likes to use the seeded pulp and juice from pomegranates in stews, drinks, marinades and sauces. You can also make a green or fruit salad look and taste more festive by sprinkling dark red pomegranate seeds over the top.

5. "Dried fruit adds interesting textures and acidity levels to help in flavor layering," says Cardoz. Easy-to-find dates and raisins are featured in many holiday dishes, especially bakery and dessert recipes. Rouslin suggests adding diced dates to salads, soups, and starchy dishes as well.

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