Think winter is when the brightest produce goes into hibernation? Think again: Citrus fruits are at their peak seasonality this time of year, so it’s a great time to use them to add flavor to your food. But how? And which ones? Good news: We’ve created this handy list of citrus fruits, including 11 varietals to know and the best ways to use them.
Sumo season is short and sweet — so get them while you can! Seedless and easy to peel, they’re perfect for eating on their own. The flavor is sweet and juicy with unique honey, berry and floral flavors.
Pink Variegated Lemons
Pink variegated lemons have a unique yellow-and-green-striped rind with pink fruit flesh. They’re less tart than regular lemons and their blush-pink flesh adds a fruity and floral note. Thinly slice as a garnish for desserts or muddle with mint and add to your water.
Blood oranges have a deep-red fruit flesh. You’ll taste sweet notes of floral and berry. Try them in a roasted beet, fennel and citrus salad. The bright flavors of the crimson-colored oranges pair perfectly with the sweet, earthiness of the beets and crunch from the fennel.
Satsumas are a perfect snack for kids (or anyone, really) because they’re small, juicy, insanely sweet and easy to peel. They’re great for fruit salads, since they add juicy pops of sweetness.
Bright and thin-rinded Meyer lemons are pleasantly tart with a balance of sweetness. Try baking them into lemon bars or making tangy preserved lemons. Because of their natural sweetness, you can also make a refreshing lemon gelato or ice cream.
Cara Cara Oranges
Pink-fleshed and very sweet, Cara Cara oranges have hints of berry and floral flavors. They’re perfect for segmenting due to their low amount of seeds and make a tangy-sweet addition to smoothies or your favorite yogurt.
Clementines have a great balance of acid that favors sweetness with lots of honey flavor. Seedless and bite-sized, they’re perfect for dipping in chocolate fondue. Or soak peeled and thinly sliced clementines with a warm cinnamon stick–infused simple syrup and serve as a simple dessert. You can also blend the juice and zest for a tangy vinaigrette.
Heirloom Navel Oranges
Aka Heritage Navel, Reserve Navel, Old Line Navel
Cultivated from classic “old line” orange groves, Heirloom Navel oranges are intensely aromatic, full of sweet flavor and low in acidity. They’re perfect for adding to fruit salads or making a brightly scented orange curd to can and preserve their old-fashioned flavor for year-round enjoyment.
Mandarins are sweet with less acidic flavor than oranges. Seedless and so easy to peel, they make a great on-the-go snack. Thinly sliced Mandarins are delicious for tossing into salads, placing over roasted fish or using as a garnish for a citrus cake or tart.
Tart with a hint of sweetness, grapefruit are perfect for cutting in half crosswise, topping with brown sugar and brûléeing with a culinary torch for a caramelized crunch. Their tartness is a great contrast to the sugary topping — top with crème fraîche for a special treat. Grapefruit segments also work well in salads and creamy sauces like classic beurre blanc.
Navel oranges have a bright flavor with a touch of acidity. These seedless fruits are perfect for making marmalade because of their unreal sweetness and flavor, especially when warm spices like cardamom and ginger are added to your recipe.
Ready to stock up? Hit up the Produce department at your Whole Foods Market store for a wide selection of citrus varieties and so much more.