Citrus fruits are one of the most preferred tastes on the planet, so it’s no wonder so many cultures incorporate lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit into their recipes.
Besides all the flavor that citrus brings to liven up dishes, we find no shortage of health benefits, either. Take advantage of what citrus has to offer now, while it’s in season.
You probably know that citrus fruits deliver a lot of Vitamin C—an antioxidant known for its positive effects on the immune system as well as anti-aging qualities. But the vitamins in what are likely some of your favorite fruits are just the beginning of how they can contribute to your nourishment overall.
When you eat fresh citrus fruit, you’re adding essential fiber to your diet. Minerals like potassium and calcium are present, too. Plus, both oranges and grapefruit score low on the glycemic scale—meaning they are a juicy tasty way to eat fruit without huge spikes to your blood sugar.
And there’s more: citrus is easy to find and work with, plus pretty to put on your plate!
C is for Convenient
Unlike other tree fruits like peaches and pears, citrus fruits come in nature’s own version of a sturdy package—the skin not only protects the flesh, it peels off in a jiffy. It’s so easy to throw a tangerine in your backpack or car for a healthy snack to go, or bring a grapefruit along for breakfast at your desk.
And the lower cost of citrus fruit in season makes it one of the most affordable condiments for cooking nutritious dishes that bring a bit of sunshine to the winter.
- Tossing a tangerine in your backpack for a quick and easy snack to go, or bringing a grapefruit for alongside your oats when you eat breakfast at your desk.
- Squeezing lemon on green veggies to amp up their flavor and health benefits—it’s especially good on earthy flavors like broccoli, green beans and spinach.
- Adding lime to Asian and Latin-inspired dishes—it tames the heat of Thai foods and adds traditional flair to Mexican dishes.
C is for Colorful
They say we eat with our eyes first, and so the vibrant colors of citrus fruit make for a beautiful addition to many dishes that would be otherwise monotone. Happily, you can also count on citrus for bright flavors, as well.
- A wedge of pink grapefruit and/or blood orange as a garnish on fruit punches, citrus smoothies, and mocktails or cocktails. Orange is great on a dreamsicle-flavored yogurt shake. Grapefruit is amazing on the side of a citrus martini.
- Orange segments on a green salad? Gorgeous. Don’t forget the crunchy walnuts.
- Lemon slices baked on Greek chicken? Perfection. Even better with fresh oregano.