Winter is citrus season! As we progress to warmer months and longer days, make the most of the rotating citrus fruits Seward Co-op has to offer from the Produce Department. Here are a few ways to prolong the magic of this delicious, zesty, juice-filled season for winter wellness and comfort.
Like most lacto-fermented fruit, preserved lemons are quite simple to make. All you need is non-iodized salt and a jar — and about a month of waiting time! The peel is the finished product that you use in cooking, flavoring dishes like North African tagines, salad dressings, and marinades. Preserved lemons last about one year in the fridge, and add complexity and a unique lemony umami to dishes. Find a detailed how-to recipe here.
Fire Cider with Citrus
Infuse vinegar with fresh citrus for another simple way to extend the citrus season. Fire Cider is a favorite wintertime remedy for many herbalists and is an easy beginner recipe for those new to herbal medicine making. Common ingredients include fresh garlic, onions, grated horseradish, fresh ginger, and fresh or dried hot peppers, all infused in raw apple cider vinegar and sweetened with honey. Citrus – skin and all – brightens up the mix and can add subtle floral notes depending on which citrus you choose. If you aren’t a fan of hot peppers used in traditional recipes, try warming spices instead, like cinnamon and cardamom. Have fun with flavors and consider incorporating herbal vinegars into mocktails, marinades, and salad dressings!
Dried Peels for Tea
Dried citrus peels make great additions to homemade tea blends, so be sure to save those peels after snacking! Mandarins with thin piths (the white layer below the skin) taste best. Dry them in a dehydrator on low for about eight hours. Most Minnesota homes are dry and drafty in the winter, so it may also be possible to dry leftover peels on a piece of parchment paper over a few days (just make sure to check for mold).
Lemon Infused Honey
Honey infused with ginger and fresh lemon then mixed with hot water makes a cozy, immune-boosting beverage. Combine honey, ginger, and sliced lemons in a jar. This method works best to warm the honey slightly, either with a double-boiler or a microwave slowly and cautiously to avoid burning or boiling the raw honey. Let the mixture sit in a covered jar overnight or up to a day, at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator and add 2-3 tablespoons for every eight ounces of hot water for a delicious instant hot toddy!