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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Citrus Fruit

Frugal Kitchens 101

According to the  Canada's Food Guide by Health Canada fruits and vegetables should be a large part of your diet with those in the 19 to 50 age group daily recommendations of 7 - 8 servings for females and 8 - 10 servings for males.  While this sounds like a lot, in reality it isn't since a serving size is 125 ml or 4 ounces for most fruits and vegetables except leafy greens that is 250 ml or 1 cup for a serving size.  Citrus fruits are a great way to help meet the daily recommendations.  A half of grapefruit or a small orange would be one serving.  Today's Frugal Kitchens 101 focuses on citrus fruits.

Citrus fruits are rich in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C.  They come conveniently packaged in their own peel ready for packed lunches.  Citrus fruits can be enjoyed fresh, juiced, dried, as desserts or in salads, as a garnish or home canned.  There are a few considerations to get the best value for your dollar:

  • seaonal - Citrus fruits like any produce have a season.  When they are in season where the citrus fruits are grown they are inexpensive locally and less expensive at locations they are shipped to.  For example, clementines are in season mid-November through late January so can easily be found by the case in grocery stores for $4 - $5, but off season they are only available hit and miss, sold by the kilogram or pound.  Lemons and limes may go as high as 99¢ off season to as low as 5/99¢ on season.  In northern areas such as Ontario the best prices for citrus fruits can be found mid-November through mid-February.
  • store non-organic bought - Most store bought citrus fruits have been harvest before their peak of ripeness to reduce spoilage during shipping.  Food colouring is often used to enhance the colour of the citrus fruits making them more appealing to the consumer.
  • skin (peel) - Citrus fruits have a thin to heavy skin that is removed for eating.  However, the skin can contain pesticide residues as well as other contaminates.  All citrus fruits should be washed prior consumption even if the peel is to be discarded.  Peels that will be used for zest or drying or citrus fruits that will be used with the skin on as beverage and seafood garnishes so be thoroughly washed to remove any traces of pesticide residues and other contaminates.
  • preserving - Citrus fruits can be juiced for freezing.  The segments can be home canned and whole fruits can be sliced for drying or can be candied.  
  • juice - Nothing beats fresh squeezed citrus juices especially orange.  You can use a manual or electric juicer for smaller amounts or a steam juicer for larger quantities.  Citrus fruits can be purchased as fresh squeezed, reconstituted and concentrated.  The best value is the frozen concentrated juice as you aren't paying for the additional weight of the reconstituted juice and it has less packaging.  The frozen concentrated juices often go on sale as well making them an even better value.

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Thanks for all the tips! :-)