Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Food Find Corner: Clementines

"Oh my darlin'..."

One of my all-time favorite fruits is the oh-so-yummy clementine. A clementine is a variety of mandarin orange. Unlike its cousin the tangerine, a clementine is totally seedless. Clementines are a portable, easy-to-peel snack that pack a ton of nutrition into a small package! The thing I love best about clementines is that they are so juicy, and the flavor is a nice balance of sweet and tart. Clementine season begins in November and generally runs through spring, so now's the time to run out and try this juicy little treat before they disappear from the produce department until fall.

Clementines are often sold in the produce department of your local grocery store in 5-pound boxes. However, I'm usually able to buy them individually at Central Market and Whole Foods. I prefer to buy clementines this way so I can pick the best fruit. I like to buy the ones that feel heavy for their size, which means they'll be extra juicy. Buying 10 or so at a time also guarantees they'll stay fresh until I have a chance to eat them all.

The nutrition stats for clementines are VERY impressive. An average-size clementine has about 35 calories, zero fat, and 1 gram of fiber (that = 0.5 WW points). Even more impressive, one little clementine contains 60% of your RDA of Vitamin C!!! All of that nutrition crammed inside a tiny package that tastes so fantastic makes me a very happy indeed.

I love clementines so much that I never think to do anything other than peel and eat them for a quick snack...I actually ate the last one in my kitchen just before I sat down to type this post. However, I recently saw a website that says clementine segments are excellent in salads and pair especially well with blue cheese. Hmmm...I think I need to go buy some more clementines this weekend and and experiment with using them in a healthy salad!!

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