The holidays are over and the calm of January is here. It’s like a big deep breath after the frenetic holiday rush. The first of the year is a great time to take stock, size things up (or down as the case may be) and take an optimistic step into 2016. This season of Northwest weather can make that cheery outlook a bit of a challenge. As the rain and snow bring down the moisture that keeps us so gorgeously green, we need to find some colorful inspiration. Tat, tat, tah da! Let the clouds part for the flash of the optimistic orb. Make way for sunny citrus.
When I see a beautiful bowl of oranges, lemons or limes, it always perks up my day. Peel a tangerine and notice the revitalizing fragrance and the way it makes you feel. Citrus keeps life fresh. I mean that in every sense of the word. These robust round fruits have some magical qualities. A squeeze of lemon juice on slices of apple is a great way to prevent them from turning brown, a form of oxidation. The vitamin C in the lemon is an antioxidant and by covering the apple with it, we provide a barrier of protection between the apple and the oxygen that damages it.
Now take that same principal and apply it to oxidation in your own body. Citrus keeps us fresh too. It provides that same kind of antioxidant detox protection. If we make sure to consume the required amount of vitamin C we will aid our body in maintaining good health and healing. Citrus fruits have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Citrus in particular is a great source for high amounts of the essential vitamin C, so making sure to creatively include tangerines, grapefruits, pomelos and tangelos in your diet is a marvelous plan. It’s good to eat these fruits whole, for the great fiber they contain. Whole foods have magical, complex chemical interactions that science may never really fully understand. The folate, potassium and other phytochemicals they provide are additionally vitalizing for our bodies. (Read more at www.fao.org.)
The zesty flavor of citrus will certainly enliven your day. If you want to brighten the flavor of a recipe, add a little citrus zest or a juicy squeeze, the taste difference is amazing. Make a resolution to try Chef Jeremy’s method of enjoying citrus in his blog that includes a wonderful Olive Oil-Preserved Lemon Recipe. And be sure to visit our waterfront seafood restaurants during our January You “Crack Me Up” Crab Festival and let Salty’s chefs dazzle you with their “Angry” Style Dungeness Crab with sambal orange glaze, sesame seeds and aromatics (the sambal orange glaze recipe is a must try for citrus lovers).