Oh My Darling, Clementine

Summertime and the eating is easy. Luscious, juicy fruit is plentiful, local farmers markets are bustling with activity, and backyard gardens are ripe for the picking.

But wintertime, particularly here in the arctic tundra where just yesterday the temps climbed above freezing for the first time this year, it's no small feat to find fruit that tastes like fruit. Hello, pink tomatoes? You can't fool me!

Sure, there's some bargains to be had – cantaloupes for $1.50, mangoes for 89 cents – but what you'll save in your wallet, you'll sacrifice in taste. Why? Because most of the produce in our grocery bins isn't in season. And, it's likely to have been picked green and shipped thousands of miles. Check out: Does Your Food Travel More Than You Do? for the sad truth.

Having just wrapped up a 14-Day Deep Detox Cleanse, juicing up a storm with my new Hurom, I was on a mission to find fresh fruit in season.

If apples are the mascot of autumn, winter is prime time for citrus. I can tell you one thing: this gal will not have scurvy come springtime. I have fallen head over heels for clementines.

Easy to peel and seedless, clementines are just as packed with vitamin C as the navel orange, but about a million times more flavorful. Peel back the skin of this little baby and release a burst of aromatherapy that is instantly calming. Studies show the sweet scent triggers the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. When serotonin is released, it gives you a "feel good" feeling. Ahhhhh.

Clementines found their natural climate and soil in Spain, where they developed their particular aroma, sweetness and taste. Thankfully, they were brought to the U.S. in 1982 and today there are roughly 160,000 acres dedicated to the cultivation of clementines.

I've been enjoying mine right out of their own wrapper, or tossed into a baby spinach, crisp apple, and red onion salad. Mmmm.


So do yourself a flavor favor the next time you're at the grocery and grab a box of clementines. They're easy to nosh and make a welcome addition to a winter salad. And hey, you can even perfume your house by creating a darling clementine candle, using just the peel and some olive oil. Wait'll you see the variety of ways you can reuse that cute little box!


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