My favorite quick tip to punch up the flavor of almost any food, is to add a splash of citrus juice. From vegetables and salads, to fish or chicken, and even a wine spritzer or plain old water, the clean, refreshing flavor and aroma of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit immediately perks up almost any dish. In my next house (where it will be warm all of the time), I will have at least one Meyer lemon tree in the back yard, so I can their enjoy the sweet/tangy flavor whenever I want. For now, I try to buy a few lemons and limes at the grocery store most weeks, because I never know when my recipe will need a quick kick. Citrus fruits are also especially high in vitamin C, so that’s always a nutrition bonus, and did you know that the pith (the white stuff under the peel) has antioxidant properties that can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol?
Here are some of my favorite ways to use citrus fruits in cooking:
- Substitute lemon juice for vinegar in salad dressing
- Marinade chicken breasts in fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and rosemary – makes them super tender before grilling
- Use a splash of fresh lime juice in home made salsa or guacamole – it even kicks up the flavor of jarred salsa or store made guacamole
- Lighten up your wine by making a Sangria with club soda, some orange and grapefruit juice and a few slices of fresh citrus fruit
- Add a drizzle of orange juice and honey to roasted carrots
- Toss orange and grapefruit zest with sugar and keep in a jar for iced tea
And these are my favorite kitchen gadgets for juicing, zesting and spritzing:
Isn’t that citrus spritzer the neatest thing? This YouTube video from Lekue demonstrates how it works. I found it a while ago and HAD to have one! It’s perfect for when juice is too much, but a spritz is just right.
And here are the links to the products, just in case you need a kitchen gadget fix 🙂
[box] Tip! If you have more citrus fruit than you can use, zest and juice them for later. Pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze for when you need fresh juice, and keep the zest in small freezer bags. Both will keep in the freezer for several months.[/box]
What are your favorite ways to use citrus fruits?