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Photo Credit: Cuisinicity​, The Freshness Of Citrus, March 24, 2017

We are currently obsessed with citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, clementines, mandarins, and tangerines) and all they have to offer. It also helps that they are in season – so we have lots to choose from. Here are a few of our favorite citrus indulgences.

Aromatherapy Through Diffusion of Tangerine Essential Oil
Tangerine essential oil has a sweet, fresh, tangy aroma. It can be used to help soothe anxious feelings; manage stress; and elevate one’s mood. We call it the ‘let’s get happy’ oil. 

Orange Peel Tea
We have been setting orange peels in a tray on our kitchen counter to dry for a few days and then storing them in a glass jar to make citrus peel tea. In A Kid’s Herb Book, Lesley Tierra explains how to make the tea. For one serving, we simmer 3-9 grams of the dried peel (it depends on how strong we want the flavor to be) in about 12 ounces of water for about 10 minutes; strain, and then sweeten with honey. According to Tierra, orange and tangerine peel tea “is a great aid to digestion, helping to alleviate gas, nausea, and vomiting.”

Lemon Herb Dressing
The combination of vegetables and high-quality fats like extra-virgin olive oil results in better assimilation of carotenoids (e.g. lycopene in tomatoes, and beta-carotene in carrots and spinach) and other fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Therefore, we never hesitate to pair freshly-made salads and lightly-cooked vegetables with our favorite home-made dressings. One of these is Jennifer Cornbleet’s lemon-herb dressing (Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People). To make 3/4 cup, put the following ingredients in a food processor and whizz on medium speed until smooth and creamy: 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs of your choice, 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional), dash ground pepper (optional) and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.

Grilled Grapefruit
George Mateljan (The World’s Healthiest Foods) reminds us that grapefruits are at their best from winter through early spring. They are rich in phytochemicals and are a good source of water-soluble fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. According to Murray, Pizzorno, and Pizzorno (The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods), health benefits of the grapefruit include cholesterol-lowering action; normalization of hematocrit levels; and lowering of heart disease and cancer risk. If you are starting off the day with fresh fruit – try our broiled pink grapefruit recipe. Firstly, pre-heat your grill. For two servings, cut one large pink grapefruit in half. Use a paring knife and cut all the way around the grapefruit and between the fruit and rind – being careful to avoid cutting through the bottom rind. Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with a 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder (or your favorite spice) and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the mixture over each grapefruit half. Place the grapefruit halves on a baking sheet and place under the pre-heated grill for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

N.B. As a word of caution, please note that grapefruit does interact with some pharmaceutical drugs. Therefore, you should check with your primary care physician about consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice if you taking any prescription or OTC medications.
Mel est bonum; sic est doctrina

Copyright © 2017 by Julie Francella Richards
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