Snacking on Sunshine

One of the few things I like about winter is the fact that citrus fruit is in season, budget friendly, and at its peak of flavor.  I think it’s Mother Nature’s way of adding a little sunshine into our mostly gray, cold days.  A personal favorite of mine are tangerines.  They are refreshing and so sweet, plus they are easy to peel and section, making them the perfect on-the-go snack food.  Like all citrus fruit, tangerines are high in vitamin C.  In addition, they are fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free.  And, one medium tangerine is only 50 calories, so indulge!

Tangerines make a terrific after school snack.  Creamy Honey Tangerine Bites are ready in minutes and sure to be a hit with your kids.  Top a shredded wheat cracker (like Triscuit) with a teaspoon of cream cheese and one tangerine segment.  Drizzle with a bit of honey and serve.

Courtesy of The Gunny Sack

Tangerine, Chocolate, and Vanilla Salad sounds decadent, but comes in at only 209 calories per serving.  Sliced tangerines are served in a syrup created from their own juice, sugar, and a vanilla pod.  Chopped almonds, fresh mint leaves, and chocolate shavings are served on top.

Tangerine chocolate
Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

Tangerines aren’t restricted to desserts and sweet offerings.  Beet and Tangerine Salad with Cranberry Dressing is a great example of the sweet and savory flavor blend.  For the salad you’ll use cooked, fresh beets, tangerines, sliced red onion, and watercress.  The dressing is made from olive oil, frozen cranberry juice concentrate, grated tangerine peel, and red wine vinegar.

Beet and Tangerine Salad
Courtesy of Jose Picayo for Bon Appetit

Grab some tangerines at your local grocer while they’re in season–now through February/mid-March.  I’ll be back next week with some storage tips for keeping your fruit and vegetables at their freshest.

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