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Use up that sexy citrus

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Blood oranges, tangerines, Meyer lemons, limes—all of this delicious citrus is in season right now! Plus, thanks to recent rains, Central Coast residents are reveling in a bumper crop of epic proportions. Here’s one thing you can do with the excess: Have you tried peeling and eating a few oranges in the shower? According to the entire Internet—and National Public Radio, which recently did an in-depth piece on this topic—it’s the most freeing feeling in the world. Seriously. Google it!

I personally haven’t tried this weird fad yet (story forthcoming), but I will tell you something I recently learned. Freezing your excess citrus is amazing when it comes to making fresh-squeezed juice in a flash. With my own orange tree popping off, my fridge has been full of fresh-squeezed goodness. At a certain point, I couldn’t store (or drink) any more OJ without giving myself a sugar hangover. Plus, it doesn’t taste so great after a few days next to the onions and Ahi. Solution: The next time I pulled a few buckets of fruit off my tree, I rinsed the oranges, sliced them from end to end, and shoved them into a bunch of plastic bags to keep fresh in the freezer.

I can’t tell you how helpful these frozen bags have proven to be on Sunday mornings. At first, I was annoyed that I had forgotten to put the bag of oranges into the fridge to defrost overnight. But then—and this is key—I nuked them in the microwave till warm to the touch. Bingo! The super mushy, pre-sliced oranges were not only easy to quickly plop onto my old-school handheld juicer, but the heat encouraged a full and thorough juicing from each specimen (Goosh! What a satisfying sound).

You’ll always be a few minutes away from fresh lemonade, limeade, grapefruit juice, or OJ (not to mention an easy solution for marinades that call for more than a twist of lemon). Add a splash of carbonated water for a refresher. Designate one Sunday a month to mimosas with friends. Or pour the colorful juice into ice cube trays and add to gorgeous, garden fresh cocktails later. If you happen to have even more fruit than your freezer can hold, contact GleanSLO, which will send a team of friendly volunteers to your home to cull the unwanted fruit and redirect it to hungry families in need. Whatever you do, just please make sure you don’t let that precious citrus go to waste.

And there’s always the shower option! Aren’t you intrigued?

Hayley Thomas Cain will continue to review local wine, beer, cider, and nonalcoholic drinks found across the Central Coast, but will now also be featuring awesome recommendations from her kitchen and beyond. If there’s something you’d like to see covered in Hayley’s Picks, shoot her an email at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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