From farm to festivity: How to create holiday magic with fresh fruits and veggies

(BPT) – Many holiday celebrations center around food and good company. A meal can bring people, whether acquaintances, friends, or family, together to celebrate the season.

To make your holiday get-togethers extra special this year, infuse some holiday spirit into your menu. Incorporate fruits and vegetables for a fresh and joyful twist on traditional dishes. Whether you’re a health-conscious host or just eager to add a dash of nutritious value to your holiday spread, explore these tips to create a memorable and magical holiday feast.

1. Extend a Heartwarming Welcome with a Bountiful Fruit and Veggie Platter

Chances are your guests will arrive at your home ready to eat, even if you won’t be sitting down to eat for an hour or so. Having a platter of fresh and vibrant fruits and veggies ready for guests to snack on as they settle in and chat before the main course helps infuse your gathering with the spirit of health and happiness that defines this special season.

Cut up some Fresh Del Monte® produce, including bananas and pineapples, and skewer them or leave out toothpicks for a pleasant, sweet snack. These fruits are excellent sources of essential nutrients, with bananas providing potassium and pineapples offering a boost of vitamin C. This combination not only makes for a nutritious treat but also helps bolster your immune system during the colder months. For an extra special touch, consider adding a Pinkglow® Pineapple to your lineup. This Instagram-worthy fruit boasts a sweeter, less sour taste, and is exceptionally juicy, taking your holiday gathering to new heights of joy.

Arrange these fruits on a tray along with crunchy raw veggies like Mann’s Family Favorites® Stringless Sugar Snap Peas and Snow Peas, a good source of iron the body needs to grow and develop. Pick up a few bags of Mann’s Family Favorites® vegetables, which come trimmed, washed and cut, ready for you to serve! As an alternative, consider Mann’s ready-to-go veggie trays. No need to chop or prep — simply open and serve, or re-plate to give it that homemade touch. Save your energy for the main course and let us take care of the veggie tray prep. It’s a healthy-made-easy way to keep your holiday spread fresh and festive.

2. Festive Freshness: Revitalize Your Appetizers with Crisp Lettuce

Lettuce isn’t just for salad. You can make fresh appetizers to charm guests without spoiling their appetites before dinner. Use large green leaf or romaine lettuce leaves as cups or wraps for savory fillings like sauteed mushrooms or seasoned and browned ground turkey. These healthy, tasty appetizers are great alternatives to traditional finger foods.

Make prep for these crisp lettuce bites simple by purchasing Mann Packing Co.’s Better Crunch Lettuce, Better Romaine® Leaf, or Better Green Leaf®. Each package includes single-cut lettuce that is washed and ready to use, so you can quickly assemble lettuce wraps and cups and get back to cooking the main holiday meal.

3. Experience Holiday Joy with Lower-Carb Alternatives for Diverse and Delicious Dishes

While traditional holiday side dishes are often rich in starchy carbohydrates, yours don’t have to follow suit. Instead, consider innovative, vibrant and lower-carb alternatives that indulge your cravings without the accompanying guilt. Purchase Mann Packing Co.’s Better Pasta, Better Rice and Better Fries at your local grocery store to quickly make diverse and delicious dishes. These carbs are cut from gluten-free vegetables to replace traditional carb dishes without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Cook up a bowl of MANN™ Better Pasta, — a low-calorie pasta alternative — to complement your chicken dishes. For a delightful twist, sauté MANN™ Better Cauliflower Rice with a medley of aromatic spices, creating a fragrant bed for your entrées. And for a truly festive treat, why not dust some MANN ™ Better Fresh Cut Sweet Potato Fries with a sprinkle of warm cinnamon or a touch of nutmeg? These wholesome, fiber-rich substitutes for foods heavy in calories and carbs, infused with cozy holiday flavors, will have you savoring every guilt-free bite, bringing a touch of seasonal tastes to your holiday table!

4. Elevate Your Holiday Feast with Steakhouse-Style Vegetables

Bring a little taste of an upscale restaurant to your cozy holiday gathering with Mann Packing Co.’s Steakhouse Style vegetables. Sauté asparagus in garlic butter, roast BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli, in parmesan or grill CAULILINI® baby cauliflower with pine nuts to dazzle your guests’ taste buds. All three vegetables are a great source of fiber and pair well with most meats. Best of all, Mann Packing Co.’s Steakhouse Style vegetables are incredibly convenient and easy to prepare.

Incorporating fresh fruits and veggies into your holiday menu doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste. Using these four tips, you can add vibrancy, nutrition and a unique twist to your festive meals with tasty produce. For more information on Fresh Del Monte and Mann Packing Co. products, including retail availability and recipes, please visit, and