Sunday, December 20, 2020

15 Cozy Ways to Enjoy Citrus During the Holidays

For most of us, no time of the year feels more festive and “right” for citrus than the winter and holiday season. Why is that? Well, here are some reasons:

--Citrus is a winter fruit! (And aren’t we lucky that it is?) It’s at its fresh and juicy best down here in Florida right when it’s coldest and dreariest in chillier parts of the world.
--Citrus has a historic association with Christmas traditions. You might be familiar with the very old and fun tradition of putting an orange in the toe of a Christmas stocking, for instance! In Germany, children receive oranges (along with sweets and nuts) in their shoes on December 6th—St. Nicholas’s Day.
--Citrus is traditionally and deliciously used in holiday recipes. It goes so well with many holiday flavors, including roasted meats, spices, and nuts.
--Citrus is gorgeous and looks beautiful with decorations.
--Citrus has long been a traditional holiday gift, especially for those of us lucky enough to live in Florida.
--The freshness and healthfulness of citrus just “feels right” at this time of year, especially around New Year’s when many of us are trying to recover from all that holiday food.

We thought we’d make a fun list of some of the ways to enjoy citrus during the winter season. We're sure you can think of others to add!

1. Heat up some mulled cider or mulled wine

It’s easy and fun to enjoy these on cold nights using homemademulling spices including dried orange peel. This is a really easy and fun little gift to whip up. Or try this cranberry-orange mulled wine, made with Cabernet sauvignon, brandy, spices, and fresh- sliced oranges. Perfect for celebrating.

2. Make your own homemade orange liqueur or orange vodka

We featured these two projects on our blog a while ago and it’s been one of our most popular entries. Very easy, fun, and a unique gift!

3. Roast your turkey with citrus

citrus brine or citrus roasted turkey adds brightness and flavor to poultry. Try it this year if you haven’t before!

4. Craft homemade decorative garlands out of dried orange slices

These give your home a lovely rustic and organic look, and are simple and inexpensive to make. 

5. Candy some orange peel for a traditional treat

This tasty candy is a little more involved than some of the other recipes we’ve featured on the site, but it’s worth it! If you really love oranges, you’ve got to try making these.

6. Make a simple citrus simmer pot

It’s so easy to put on a simple simmer pot of oranges, cinnamon sticks and other spices to fragrance your home (and add some warmth and humidity, if it’s cold and dry).  Everything will smell like Christmas!

7. Decorate with citrus

There are many ways to use the natural beauty of citrus to enhance the look of your home at the holidays. You can create ornaments and garlands using dried orange slices or just use citrus, pine boughs, candles, ornaments, beautiful cloths, natural items, or whatever works for you. The beauty of nature is hard to surpass.

8. Make a traditional cranberry-orange sauce

My family serves a cold cranberry-orange relish, but I also like a cooked cranberry-orange sauce. Either way you do it, it's better than the kind in the can (okay, we know some of you love it!)

9. Make fun holiday name tags using citrus

Small tangerines or Page oranges tagged with name cards (wrap the fruit in pretty tissue paper, then tie with decorative twine and attach the tag) make for gorgeous named settings, with a small gift built in.

10. Of course, bake cookies using orange flavors!

Some of our favorites include cranberry-orange pinwheels, orange-almond biscotti , and Italian orange-ricotta cookies.

11. Create these simple citrus sugars and salts

Take just a short amount of time to make these. Then put them in pretty jars for gift to family and friends. You’d be surprised by how they elevate dishes from basic to gourmet.

12. Make a delicious-smelling citrus skincare scrub

If your giftees are more into beauty than goodies, make them this very easy skincare scrub. No weird ingredients, and it will bring out anyone’s natural glow.

13. Craft an old-fashioned orange pomander

Used to make rooms or drawers smell wonderful , the pomander is an old and fun tradition. Why not try making one yourself this year? 

14. Bake a loaf of cranberry-orange bread

A favorite in my family and often shared at Christmas, this easy quick bread is a classic. 

15. Whip up a seasonal citrus cocktail or mocktail

At a time of festive drinks and gatherings, this is an obvious choice. We’ve often featured delicious drinks made from citrus on our site—here’s a great list of citrus and cocktails and mocktails.

Happy holidays to you and yours from all of us at Florida Fruit Shippers. Enjoy the flavors of the season.





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