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Here’s Everything In Season This Winter and What to Cook With It

It may be hard to believe, but the colder months offer a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies to help keep us healthy and warm. We rounded up the season's best offerings, plus fun ideas for how to cook with them.

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Acorn Squash: Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

I made this recipe when we invited both our families to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our new home. There were 37 of us, and those who tried this dish raved about it. —Robin Thompson, Roseville, California
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Apples: German Apple Pancake

If you're looking for a pretty dish to make when having guests for brunch, try this. Everyone I've served it to has enjoyed it—except for one time, that is, when my husband tried to make it following my recipe, which I'd written down incorrectly! If you don't leave out the flour as I did, it'll turn out terrific! —Judi Van Beek, Lynden, Washington
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Bananas: Banana Cream Pie

Made from our farm-fresh dairy products, this pie was a sensational creamy treat any time Mom served it. Her recipe is a real treasure, and I've never found one that tastes better! —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Beets: Spiced Pickled Beets

With sweet, tangy and spiced flavors, these pickled beets are so good that they'll win over just about everyone in your house. Jars of colorful beets make great gifts, too! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Broccoli: Mushroom Broccoli Pizza

I wouldn't say I'm a vegetarian, but I do like meatless entrees. Since I enjoy gardening, I often cook with homegrown veggies, finding creative ways to use them up, like in this fresh, filling pizza. —Kathleen Kelley, Roseburg, Oregon
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Brussels Sprouts: Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce

Don’t be afraid to bring out the roasted Brussels sprouts. Mellowed with mustard sauce, they may just delight even the most skeptical folks. —Becky Walch, Orland, California
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Butternut Squash: Butternut Squash and Sausage Stuffed Shells

I rarely invite friends for dinner without someone requesting this easy pasta casserole. The sweet squash complements the spicy sausage, and the creamy goat cheese makes it all just melt in your mouth! You can substitute manicotti or even rolled lasagna noodles for the shells. The stuffed shells and sauce can be prepared a day ahead and assembled just before baking. —Taylor Hale, Sonoma, California
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Cabbage: Favorite Corned Beef and Cabbage

It may be the most famous dish to eat on St. Patrick's Day, but this Irish-American corned beef recipe is a favorite at our table all year long. This is how to make corned beef and cabbage. —Evelyn Kenney, Trenton, New Jersey
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Carrots: Marmalade Carrots

My favorite way to make baby carrots is to steam them, then drizzle with an orangey glaze that makes them candy-sweet. —Heather Clemmons, Supply, North Carolina
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Celery: The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this type of soup is my favorite and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado
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Clementines: Cranberry Clementine Bars

I love a good lemon bar but when the holidays roll around and clementines are everywhere, I make this holiday twist on a classic dessert. —Laurie Lufkin, Essex, MA
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Collard Greens: Grandma's Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida
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Cranberries: Cranberry Cake Pudding

For generations, our family has handed down this cake recipe starring cranberries. Simple and unusual, it remains a treasured family heirloom. —Lisa Potter, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
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Fennel: Roasted Carrots & Fennel

This addictive fennel recipe is a fresh take on one of my mother's standard wintertime dishes. I usually add more carrots—as many as the pans will hold. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Garlic: Garlic Garbanzo Bean Spread

My friends and family always ask me to make it. I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe. —Lisa Moore, North Syracuse, New York
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Grapefruit: Grapefruit, Lime & Mint Yogurt Parfait

Tart grapefruit and lime are balanced with a bit of honey in this cool and easy parfait. —Lois Enger, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Grapes: Balsamic Steak with Red Grape Relish

I love how steak marinated in balsamic vinaigrette goes so well with a relish of red grapes and blue cheese. Everything looks gorgeous on the plate. —Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
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Honeydew Melon: Citrus Melon Mingle

This refreshing fruit salad has a hint of mint, honey and ginger that adds subtle flavor to the sweet combination of melons, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple and bananas. —Doris Heath, Franklin, North Carolina
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Kale: Ginger-Kale Smoothies

Since I started making this green smoothie recipe for breakfast every day, I honestly feel better! Substitute any fruit and juice you like to make this recipe your own healthy blend.—Linda Green, Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii
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Kumquats: Kumquat Marmalade

I didn't even know what a kumquat was until my husband and I discovered them in southern Florida. Now I love using them for marmalade. I always get carried away making it and am happy to share! —Faye Robinson, Pensacola, Florida
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Leeks: Hearty Leek and Potato Soup

This thick, flavorful soup is a winner in our home and makes a nice starter dish. —Rachel Taylor, Springfield, Tennessee
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Lemons: Lemony Chicken & Rice

I couldn’t say who loves this recipe best, because it gets raves every time I serve it! Occasionally I even get a phone call or email from a friend requesting the recipe, and it's certainly a favorite for my grown children and 15 grandchildren. —Maryalice Wood, Langley, British Columbia
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Lettuce: Simple Lettuce Salad

MY Mother often fixed this salad when I was a child. I grew up on a farm and most of our food came right from the garden. We especially liked this in the spring, when early leaf lettuce appeared. After a long winter of cooked vegetables, this was a real treat.
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Mushrooms: Creamy Eggs & Mushroom Au Gratin

When I want a brunch recipe that has the crowd appeal of scrambled eggs but is a little more special, I turn to this dish. The Parmesan sauce is simple but rich and delicious.—Deb Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Onions: Celery-Onion Popovers

I found this handwritten recipe in a cookbook I received from my mom. With onion and celery, these pleasing popovers taste a little like stuffing. —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida
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Oranges: Citrus Scallops

My husband and I like to eat seafood at least once a week. Oranges and lemon juice give scallops a refreshing burst of flavor. —Cheri Hawthorne, North Canton, Ohio
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Parsnips: Curried Parsnip Soup

“My mum used to make this recipe at home in England, where parsnips are more widely used than here. It’s very aromatic and has a nice bite from the curry and pepper.” Julie Mathieson – Bristol, Tennessee
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Pears: Fresh Pear Bread

When our tree branches are loaded with ripe and juicy fruit, I treat my family and friends to lots of easy pear recipes. I always receive raves and requests for this particular pear bread recipe because of the mix of fun ingredients.—Linda Patrick, Houston, Texas
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Persimmon: Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

To bring some sunshine to the table, I toss up a bright salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds, dressed with a puckery vinaigrette. —Linda Tambunan, Dublin, California
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Pineapple: Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

Just a handful of ingredients combine to make this easy, elegant entree of juicy grilled pineapple slices and ginger-flavored pork tenderloin. It's sure to be popular with all ages! Delicious! —Donna Noel, Gray, Maine
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Pomegranates: Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini

Pomegranate seeds intrigue me, so I sliced French bread, smeared it with cream cheese, and added seeds, pistachios and chocolate. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Potatoes: Special Baked Potatoes

For a nifty way to spice up plain old potatoes, try Tressa Surdick's recipe. To make them, she slices the spuds, then seasons them before baking. "Just before they're done, I sprinkle cheese on top of each potato. Our guest always rave about the," Tressa pens from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. (To make the cutting easier, Tressa share this tip: "Place the handle of a wooden spoon along the bottom of the potato—this will prevent your knife from going all the way through.")
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Radishes: Roasted Radishes

Radishes aren't just for salads anymore. This abundant springtime veggie makes a colorful side to any meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Rutabagas: Root Stew

While inventing a new form of comfort food, I made a stew of carrots, turnips, parsnips and rutabaga. When I'm in the mood to change things up, I add potatoes or chicken. —Maria Davis, Flower Mound, Texas
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Sweet Potatoes: Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bars

If you're looking for something other than pumpkin, these sweet potato bars are a yummy alternative. Make them ahead—they're even better refrigerated overnight. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Turnips: Mashed Peppery Turnips

I created this recipe in an attempt to use up a great turnip harvest from our garden, and to lighten up one of our favorite dishes. By using turnips in place of potatoes, I made a low-carb side. Now we rarely serve plain mashed potatoes! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.

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