It could feel a little bit like we're in a food drought during the winter time because the trees and branches are bare and the price for berries has sky rocketed in the supermarket. However, during the winter months we can count on sweet and juicy citrus fruits to grace our produce aisle and plates. The most familiar members of the citrus family are oranges and lemons which can be frequently found in our meals but there are several other varieties that are delicious and valuable to introduce your kids to.
Citrus Has Endless Utility...
Many citrus fruits can be easily peeled and then split into segments to eat on their own, but there are so many ways that the fruit could be mixed into recipes as well.
- You can squeeze the juice out of lemons, limes, oranges, and even grapefruit to provide a tangy twist to any dressing. We use lemon juice in most of our homemade dressings like our Citrus Vinaigrette, our Curry Chicken Sauce, and our Zesty Tzatziki Sauce.
- Zest the skin of any citrus fruit to add that extra dimension of flavor - this is especially delicious on top of baked goods (like this lemon cheesecake bar) and pasta. Pro Tip: Avoid the white pith that separates the zest and the fruit, it's too bitter and doesn't have the same flavor as the actual peel.
- Throw it in a salad. Slices of oranges or grapefruits layered in with leafy greens adds a delicious tanginess and texture. Try this Orange and Pomegranate Salad at home - it's beautiful!
So Many Varieties!
In the Red Rabbit kitchen we primarily use lemons, oranges, and limes but there are so many variations within the citrus family it's sometimes hard to keep track of the newest varieties.
You've got cara cara oranges, blood oranges, key limes, eureka lemon, satsumas, and naval oranges just to name a few. When it comes to adding citrus to recipes at home your options are endless and each variety has a taste, texture, or tang that is a little bit different than the next. Try playing a game with the kids where they guess the variety of citrus by tasting each blindfolded - this will help expand their palette while building their citrus vocabulary!
+ Added Nutritional Value
Citrus fruits have an exceptionally high amount of Vitamin C in them which is a critical vitamin to help our bodies. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce damage that are bodies are exposed to from free radicals. So, if you're feeling a cold or an itch in your throat coming along an extra squeeze of lemon in your tea or a glass of orange juice will be sure to help.
Lemon Muffins: Recently updated on our snack menu, lemon muffins have the perfect amount of sweetness with a burst of citrus. We add fresh lemon to our whole grain batter and then let the muffins bake away. Check out this easy & healthy at home recipe from our friends at House of Yumm. You can make these standard size or make 'em mini for the kids to be served as a deliciously satisfying after school snack or dessert treat.