3 Ways to Use Citrus Fruits in the Kitchen
3 Ways to Use Citrus Fruits in the Kitchen

The dark days of winter may be cold and gloomy, but look on the bright side – citrus fruits are in season – and for good reason! Nature gives you what you need when you need it most. Eating citrus naturally boosts your mood with folate, improves your immune system with vitamin C, improves digestion with fiber and satisfies sugar cravings. It’s also good for your heart, skin and joints.

From lemons and limes to mandarins, clementines and grapefruit, citrus offers countless healing benefits, but how can we enjoy them besides snacking? Check out our tips for creative ways to incorporate these versatile, immune-boosting fruits into recipes, drinks and beyond this season.

1. Juicing: Nothing beats sipping on fresh fruit juices. Try juicing fresh citrus like lemons, oranges or grapefruits and enjoy them as nutrient-dense start to your day or as afternoon refreshers. Citrus juice is also a great way to brighten up any dish. Whisk it into sauces, dips or dressings. Before juicing, freeze the fruit to allow the juices within to expand. Then, when it thaws, it will be softer and easier to squeeze. You can also try rolling them on the counter before juicing and cutting the length of the fruit instead of the width to ensure you squeeze out every last drop.

2. Zesting: Did you know that citrus zest is a great salt substitute? As a source of acid, the zest acts similarly to salt by bringing out the flavors of other ingredients. Depending on the dish, using citrus zest as a salt alternative is a great way to reduce the sodium without sacrificing flavor. Zests are also great for adding bright flavors to baked goods, pasta salads and desserts

3. Grilling: If you want to make your citrus extra-juicy, try grilling it. Grilling citrus makes it juicier and adds a depth of flavor, giving it deeper, sweeter, more complex tastes. The best part? Grilling citrus is super easy. Simply slice the citrus fruit in half, then grill it face down until you see grill marks. Add grilled citrus juice to vinaigrettes and marinades or use whole pieces to accompany cocktails or fish recipes.