Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Produce Paradise

Winter is citrus season in California. If you prefer to eat produce which is in season and locally grown, this is the time to experience the fabulous variety of citrus fruits which are now at their peak. In addition to the familiar Valencia and navel oranges, don't miss out on the small satsuma tangerines and clementines which are sweet, intensely flavorful, easy to peel, and usually seedless. Kids love these; they travel well to school and work, and offer important nutrients of the highest quality. Tangerines and tangelos are much less acidic than other citrus fruits and are well tolerated by most people.

Minneola tangelos are a hybrid, a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. Minneolas are larger than most tangerines and full of delicious bright orange juice . You'll never drink store bought orange juice again after tasting fresh squeezed Minneola juice. Blood oranges are another extraordinary citrus fruit which will soon arrive in the markets; they're wonderful sliced and tossed into a leafy green salad. But my favorite way to use blood oranges is as juice. Take a few minutes to squeeze a few blood oranges, sit down to enjoy a glass of deep ruby red juice, and remember the words of Woody Guthrie:

"California's a Garden of Eden, it's a Paradise to live in they say..."