The scents of citrus refresh, revitalize, and brighten up a kitchen and can spark some culinary creativity.
Grapefruits in an array of shades, the orange family with their blazing hues, lemons that couldn’t be sunnier, and limes in verdant green add cheer to a kitchen and sparkle to the palate.
With a Twist
Citrus fruits offer versatility in recipes—an unexpected tang or a hint of sweet orange can give a pleasing element of surprise and a refreshing taste to standard meals. Next time you broil a salmon fillet, squeeze some fresh lime juice into a quarter cup of maple syrup and brush this onto the fish. Flip halfway through cooking, brush the other side, and enjoy this sweet and sour combination. Limes are also great to have on hand, along with scallions, to give a Thai flavor to noodle dishes or stir-fries. Adding sliced limes and lemons to a pitcher of water in the refrigerator is an enticing way to remember to drink more water.
It’s not just the juice that makes lemons and limes appealing; don’t forget the peels themselves. It’s no coincidence that the grated peels are called “zest,” because that’s what they add to baked goods, rice dishes, or whatever else you want to experiment with.
Blood, navel, and Valencia oranges, clementines, kumquats, and tangerines—if you like the colors and tastes of the orange family, your favorite market offers plenty of choices to keep you happy this time of year. Scrub an orange and chop it in a blender or food processor with fresh cranberries for a delicious, refreshing relish. Perk up cooked beets by tossing in orange segments and grated orange rind and then drizzling with a little olive oil.
Oranges (along with lemons and grapefruits) are excellent sources of vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system. Vitamin C also supports the body’s ligaments, tendons, and collagen (a protein found in connective tissues) to stay strong and healthy. And a compound found in orange and tangerine peels appears to help lower cholesterol.
Besides cutting grapefruits in half to eat with a spoon for breakfast, peel them (like an orange) as take-along snacks or cut segments in half to toss in with salad greens. Splash on olive oil, sprinkle with cracked pepper, and then squeeze on the juice from a few reserved grapefruit segments instead of vinegar. Add avocado and cooked shrimp for a quick, special lunch. A good source of potassium and an excellent source of vitamin C, grapefruit (if it’s red or pink) also provides vitamin A and lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce prostate cancer risk.
Want to try a some of healthy recipe using the benefits of citrus? Check out some of our favorites:
Carubbean Chicken and Citrus Salad
Citrus and Greens Salad
Citrus Salad with Ginger
Green Tea-and-Orange-Smoked Salmon
Fish Fillets with Fennel and Orange
Middle Eastern Orange Salad
For more favorites, visit the Recipe section of tasteforlife.com.