Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Greetings From Citrus California

Wish you all were here!
Vintage California Postcard
It's that time of year when citrus trees here in California are overflowing with goodness. There is so much citrus and so little time to explore it, that I decided the next few posts are going to be citrus related as I take advantage of this bountiful harvest time.
how cool is this old post card?
For most of my life, I was "sensitive to citrus" meaning I could not really eat it without problems, mostly painful heartburn or extreme tooth sensitivity, which lead to me not really liking citrus as a kid- go figure, right?  Since eating a more alkalized diet, namely cutting out most dairy and animal protein, I don't have this problem anymore. Added bonus: my 40 year battle with painful eczema is now a thing of the past!  Yahoo! ( I am amazed that all those doctors over the years never knew/mentioned the dairy/ eczema connection.)

But back to citrus: Turns out the sensitivity is acid related but not in the way people think of citrus as acidic. It's about Ph balance in the body. If you are not familiar with Ph and how it effects you, I highly recommend the book, The Ph Miracle by Robert Young and Shelley Redford Young. You will never think of food or illness the same way again.
The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health

Another interesting thing I found out about citrus and even all fruit in general: 

If you had a high acid (meat, dairy, grain) or high fat meal the night before, you may also experience heartburn with your morning o.j. So don't blame the juice!

If you eat better, you feel better. It's really as simple as that.

So where to start with the citrus exploration? 
How about a little Cutie?
California Cuite Logo showing off the EZ peel.
This little gem shows up around the beginning of holidays and is sold in 3 or 5 lb boxes. 
But what is a Cutie? 
a mandarin? a clementine? a tangerine?
What's their story?
Here is what the grower says about them:

"California Cuties are actually two different fruits: Clementine mandarins and Murcott mandarins.
Clementine mandarins are harvested from mid-October through mid-January; Murcott mandarins from mid-January through April. But both mandarins are held to the same high growing standards, so they’re always sweet, seedless, easy to peel and the perfect size for kids and grownups alike."


Easy to peel, seedless, not too juicy makes them perfect for snacking. And that's pretty much what we mostly do with them. Trying to think a little out of the 4th 5 lb box, I decided to use up some of my cuties and some navel oranges and make a sherbet and I'm so glad I did!  This rivals any sherbet in the frozen aisle and the best part is that I know exactly what's in it.

Winter Citrus Sherbet
Winter Citrus Sherbet
First you are going to need some juice.
Navels and Cuties or Cutie Navels?

I'm not sure how much juice I made because as fast as I could juice it, someone else who will remain nameless kept drinking it! So I recommend making lots of juice. You can't go wrong with that.

I cut the recipe in half- silly me! But the full recipe is listed below.
Half the Sherbet Ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 young thai coconuts, meat and water separated. You will use mostly the meat.
2 cups fresh squeezed Cutie juice
2 cups fresh squeezed Orange juice
6 organic dates, pitted and soaked in juice a little to soften
1 tsp orange extract
6 packets of stevia
pinch of sea salt

I prefer to use an ice cream maker but if you don't have one or don't want to plan that far ahead you can freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. I've made it both ways and both are just as good.

For ice cream maker:
Blend the coconut meat, softened dates, orange extract, stevia and juice together until well blended. Taste for sweetness, add more stevia if needed.
Chill in refrigerator for about an hour minimum to cool. Then pour into ice maker and follow your ice cream maker's instructions. 

For ice cube tray method:
Blend all as above and put into ice trays and freeze. Once frozen, blend the cubes up in food processor or blender until nice and sherbet like.  If it's too soft, you may want to put into a freezable covered container and let it freeze up a little more.

I would tell you how long it keeps in the freezer but I made half the amount and it was gone the same day. I'll definitely be making more next time.

If you need tips on how to open the Thai Coconut check out this blog post.

OH!  and if you or your kids would like a Cutie bandaid:
So cute!


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

This sounds very good, will have to give it a try. I do not eat Stevia, so will maybe subsitute raw honey. Thanks for sharing

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