Brighten up your winter with fresh citrus!
An abundance of citrus fruits are available in grocery stores this time of year. Their bright colors greet you as you walk into the produce department. Use these fruits to escape the January blues and add some color to your cooking and your kitchen!
Citrus fruits can help you get back on track to a healthy lifestyle after the holidays. They’re also a fun way to splash some freshness and color into a mundane winter menu.
Along with being delicious and refreshing, citrus fruits are full of vitamin C. Citrus fruits also promote heart health and reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. They have been known to aid in cancer prevention and are useful in diabetes sugar level control. Other important nutrients found in citrus fruits are fiber, folate, lypocene, potassium and vitamin B6.
Citrus fruits are also objects of beauty and decor. A bowl of fresh fruit makes a great centerpiece. It can also remind you that selecting a piece of fruit rather than candy or cookies is a wise choice.
It is smart to keep fresh fruit within reach to encourage daily consumption. USDA’s MyPlate recommends eating 2 cups of fruit every day. This may be in the form of juice, fresh, canned or dried fruits.
Here are some quick ways to increase citrus fruits in your daily diet.
• Add oranges and lemons to water to allow infusing overnight.
• Eat half a grapefruit every morning for breakfast.
• Have a citrus snack every day. Throw an orange or clementine in your purse or bag on your way out the door.
• Top veggies or salads with a fresh squeeze of lemon to enhance the flavor.
• Prepare entrees centered around a citrus theme.
Below you will find recipes for a salad, an entrée and a dessert all focused on delicious citrus. Enjoy!
Tossed Green Salad with Citrus Dressing:
• 4 cups torn fresh spinach
• 4 cups torn leaf lettuce
• 2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges
• ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons thinly sliced radishes
• ½ cup orange juice
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• Pepper to taste
Toss spinach, lettuce, oranges and radishes in salad bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together until blended. Serve with salad. Refrigerate leftover dressing. Yield: 8 servings
Lemon Chicken Stir Fry
• 1 lemon
• ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 onion, diced
• 3 cups sliced mushrooms
• 1 cup sliced carrots (1/4 inch thick)
• 2 cups snow peas, stems and strings removed
• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest and set aside. Juice the lemon and whisk 3 tablespoons of juice with broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add onion, mushrooms and carrots to the pan and cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas and reserved lemon zest. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk the broth mixture and add to the pan. Cook, stirring until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and heat through. Yield: 4 servings
• 2 oranges, peeled, separated and chopped
• 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
• 6-ounce package sugar-free orange gelatin
• 16 ounces low fat cottage cheese
• 8-ounces fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Place the oranges and pineapple in a large mixing bowl. Prepare orange gelatin according to instructions on the box. Pour heated gelatin mixture over fruit in mixing bowl. Mix well and allow to chill for 2-3 hours. Once chilled, mix in the cottage cheese. Last, gently fold in the whipped topping. Yield: 6-8 servings