Citrus fruits do not always have to be used as a flavor enhancer, they can also serve as the star of the show. Oranges, a commonly known citrus fruit, tend to be enjoyed for their Vitamin C content, but oranges have some other benefits to offer also! Oranges contain a hefty amount of fiber, which helps with constipation, and phytonutrients, which can help control high blood pressure. Oranges are especially enjoyed because they come in so many different varieties, each coming with a different season. Late winter brings along navel and blood oranges, while spring signals the arrival of certain tangerines and valencia oranges.
The citrus fruits I used in this recipe include navel, and blood oranges, red grapefruit, lemons and limes. Grapefruit is a special favorite of mine, they have just enough sweetness, but do not make you feel overloaded. Grapefruit is great for detoxing your system and giving you that energy boost in the mornings. Alike oranges, grapefruits contain a monster amount of Vitamin C, which is especially important during these winter months. Red grapefruit also provides Vitamin A due to its red color. The juice from this sparkling fruit is ranked among the highest in antioxidant activity.
Lemons and limes are usually not thought of as fruits people enjoy eating, but their flavor does have a time and a place. Adding lemon or lime juice to salads allows you to use less dressing curb your appetite. Accidently put too much salt in, strong citrus juices, such as lemons and limes, help balance out that salty flavor. Lemons are thought to have originated in North-East India, but today they are the most commonly used citrus fruit worldwide. By comparison to other citrus fruits, lemons have a variety of phytochemical, which helps the function of the immune system. Limes although so very similar to lemons are thought to have originated in South-East Asia where they then spread into Egypt, Northern Africa and eventually the New World. Limes contain some powerful nutrients themselves including antioxidants, which help the body fight decease and anti-cancer properties.
Pistachios, one of my favorite nuts, they are sweet, crunchy and low in calories (for a nut). These unique green snacks are packed with vitamins such as B6, manganese and copper while also containing a fair amount of fiber. Pistachios are a great way to snack since they help you feel full while also providing that yummy crunch!
Vibrant Citrus Salad
For the salad:
1 large navel orange
1/2 large red grapefruit
1 blood orange
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup roasted salted and shelled pistachios
For the dressing:
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs water
1/2 tbs raw honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Slice all the citrus fruit into about 1/4 in thick slices (don't worry if some slices fall apart), then carefully carve off the peel with a sharp knife. Arrange the citrus slices on a plate, then top them with the pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios. For the optional dressing, combine the tahini, water, ginger and honey in a small bowl, then whisk to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!
*A great addition to this salad would be some tangy feta or hard manchego cheese.