With summer upon us, citrus fruits are in full swing, and they’re
as good for you as they are delicious!
The benefits of
citrus fruits are many. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines and pomelos
are famously high in vitamin C, a powerful
antioxidant that protects the body from damaging free radicals. Citrus is also a good
source of folate and thiamin, necessary for cell function and metabolism.
Additionally, citrus fruits contain flavonoids, another type of antioxidant
that helps combat “bad”
cholesterol and improve blood flow; some studies show these compounds have anti-cancer
properties as well.
So, there’s no time like the present for a yummy, system-boosting
treat! Here are three healthy snack recipes using citrus you can enjoy
Lemon Parmesan Popcorn
This tangy, cheesy snack will be a hit at your next TV party.
- 2 bags of microwave popcorn, or 4 cups of standard popped popcorn
- 1 ½ ounces of Parmesan or Parmesano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
(about 1/3 cup)
- ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 large lemon
- Make popcorn as directed, toss with salt and pepper, and spread popped
kernels in a single layer on a baking sheet. (If using packaged microwave
popcorn, don’t add any additional salt.)
- Zest ½ of the lemon over the popcorn mixture, turn over the kernels
with a spoon and zest the remaining half over the top.
- Sprinkle half the grated cheese evenly over the popcorn, turn the kernels
again and sprinkle the rest of the cheese. Store in airtight container.
120 calories | 8 ounce serving.
Fruit Salad Cones
Everyone loves ice cream cones – but this fruity version is tastier
and healthier, too.
- ½ cup each chopped strawberries, bananas, orange segments, fresh
pineapple, seedless grapes
- 8 cake-type ice cream cones (flat-bottomed)
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup flaked coconut
- 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey, to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: ¼ cup chopped or minced nuts for topping
- Blend chopped fruit, salt, coconut milk together in a large bowl. (For
a slightly sweetened version, add sugar or honey to mixture.) Let the
juices macerate and coat the fruit pieces well, so it forms a citrusy dressing.
- Heap fruit mixture into the ice cream cones, allowing some of the dressing
to remain in the bowl (you don’t want your cones to get too soggy.)
Top with coconut flakes and/or chopped nuts, as desired.
- Serve immediately.
130 calories | 10 ounce serving.
Quick Orange Granita
This ‘grainier’ cousin of sorbet packs a powerful vitamin punch
along with a burst of flavor.
- 6 large oranges (3 cups of juice)
- ½ cup sugar
Squeeze oranges and place 1/4th of the juice into a small saucepan. (Rolling oranges on a countertop while
pressing down will help get more juice out of the fruit.)
- Add the sugar to the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil (about 1 minute)
until the sugar is dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a shallow pan, and add the remaining juice.
- Place pan in freezer for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Every 30 minutes, take
the pan out and scrape along the sides with a fork, to break up the ice crystals.
- Once the mixture is evenly crushed, cover the pan in plastic wrap and re-freeze,
until ready to serve.
90 calories | 6 ounce serving.
Share your favorite citrus snack recipes in the comments below.