February 9, 2015 – Mandarin oranges may be mini, but their flavor is BIG! The perfect morning, midday or just all-the-time snack, these oranges are smaller and sweeter than Navel oranges, touting looser skin that makes them easier to peel when on-the-go. Tangerines and clementines both hail from the mandarin family, but clementines lack those pesky seeds, making them a popular choice for kids. In addition to being delicious, you can count on mandarin oranges to give you a generous boost of Vitamin C, too!
How to Choose It
Find firm mandarins that are unblemished and heavy for their size. Bright color doesn’t necessarily mean perfect, so focus more on the condition of the skin – cuts, soft spots or mold should be avoided.
How to Store It
Store mandarin oranges at room temperature for a few days. Consider keeping them in a bowl on the kitchen counter to encourage family members to choose them as healthy snacks! After a few days, mandarins may be stored in your refrigerator crisper drawer for up to two weeks.
How to Use It
The best way to quickly and easily enjoy these little balls of antioxidants is to simply eat them raw. Their loose skin makes them easy to peel by hand that no utensils are needed – talk about an easy snack! Mandarins are, however, pretty juicy so make sure you have a napkin handy.
Orange juice is a fresh way to start your morning, but using a juicer with your mandarins will ensure the utmost freshness. Mandarin oranges have lower acidity content than other varieties so their juice might be easier to digest for those sensitive to acidity. Drink your freshly squeezed mandarin juice immediately after juicing to make sure you get as much Vitamin C as possible.
While it may seem like the inside of a mandarin is what truly counts, don’t ignore the potential of the peel. After eating your mandarin, store peels in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer. Once ready to use, rub peels along a cheese grater and add the zest to a stew, stir fry or salad. This is a great way to brighten up a dish with an extra citrusy zing!
How do you like to enjoy mandarins? Tell us in the comments!