IT’S SPRING AND THERE’S STILL SO MUCH CITRUS!
With the winter season over and spring upon us the citrus crop is ripe and sweet juice is running down your face as you enjoy some of those last, perfectly ripe oranges. Then reality sets in. Your mature orange (or lemon, or lime, or grapefruit, etc.) is still LOADED with fruit. Even that cute little dwarf Meyer lemon produces enough lemons to supply a small army! It’s a common problem and the main reason I talk most clients out of planting a bunch of citrus trees without having a plan to deal with the inevitable deluge of citrus to come. It can be overwhelming and lead to a lot of wasted fruit, rodent problems, and stressed-out trees.
GET TO KNOW YOUR HOOD
I always recommend getting plugged into your community. There is no shortage of online resources
You may also want to reach out to local preschools, community groups, local nonprofits that support the less fortunate. I
EAT THEM, DRINK THEM, MAKE COCKTAILS!
Now, we all know about jams, jellies, and preserves and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but I don’t have a sweet tooth and have made what feels like a million of them. A simple fruit
, juice, sugar, pectin recipe is always good. No matter the variety of citrus, it’ll be tasty. Let’s talk about a savory option that is a little less common. Check out the recipe below for a spicy, savory orange sauce I love on chicken, fish, and pork!
Here are a few other ways to make use of your abundant citrus.
If you have extra freezer space, you can freeze your fruit whole. This is such a simple and effective solution because once the whole fruit is frozen and thawed, it is amazingly easy to juice. The freezing process pierces the cells of the fruit with ice crystals, making the fruit soft and pliable.
You can cure your fruit in either sugar or salt, depending on your tastes. Slice your fruit into ¼inch slices and place the slices on a bed of salt (or sugar, or both!) on a sheet tray. Make sure you have at least a half inch of salt/sugar down first. Then cover with another half inch or so of salt/sugar. Leave on the counter for a few days until the salt/sugar has pulled the liquid out of the fruit slices. Bag and enjoy!!
Of course, you can juice your fruit and drink the juice. What you may not know is the peels still have their uses. You can soak them in your alcohol of choice (I prefer gin), soak them in white vinegar to make a citrus cleaner to use around the house, or place the peels in your favorite olive oil for a citrus-infused oil.
As a last resort, or for the inevitable fruit that falls and rots, you can always compost your excess fruit. It is a way to, if nothing else, get the valuable nutrients back into the soil for the next
I hope you enjoy the bounty of your citrus trees and have fun using your homemade treats, cleaners, and cocktails courtesy of your beautiful citrus trees!
Savory orange sauce (for more recipes check out our blog site)
2 whole oranges (can substitute similar weight of any other citrus)
1C homemade chicken stock
1C brown sugar
1/4C cider vinegar
1t ginger (fresh is better)
1 hot pepper, chopped (optional)
1/4C mint, chopped
Put the whole oranges in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling,