Cooking With Citrus (In The Winter)

Above: Use blood oranges to create vinaigrettes for salad and with chicken

Citrus usually invokes memories of freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day or lime fajitas on a Mexican beach. But, thanks to a delicious selection of exotic fruits, citrus can be enjoyed year round, even in the winter.

What’s In Season

Take a trip to your local grocery store during the winter months and you are sure to find the following winter fruits. Add these to your drinks, entrees and desserts for a splash of flavour that will brighten any meal.

Key Lime

These green gems are smaller than your regular lime, higher in acidity and have a stronger aroma. They are grown in the southern United States and are most flavourful in the fall and winter months.

Use: For pie (key lime pie is a Florida favourite) and in other desserts like cookies, cupcakes and smoothies.

Blood Orange

This variety of orange has a dark and sweet flesh with powerful antioxidants that develop with low nightly temperatures. But beware, blood oranges can be more difficult to peel than your average fruit. They are harvested in North America between December and May.

Use: In salads, to create vinaigrettes and with chicken.


This small, yellow-orange fruit is no larger than a jumbo olive, and is popular for its use in alcoholic drinks and cocktails. They are grown in the southern United States and can be purchased late winter to early spring.

Use: In chutneys, savory stuffing and fruity cocktails.


This tiny variety of the mandarin orange is seedless and frequently gets confused with tangerines. Clementines are bountiful around Christmastime and many children find them tucked into the bottom of their stockings. They are available November until January.

Use: In sauces, salsas and sorbets. Traditionally enjoyed as a healthy holiday treat.


Often mistaken for large grapefruits, a pomelo is significantly sweeter and can be up to twice as large (it takes the prize as the largest citrus fruit). Pomelos are available from November until June.

Use: In Thai salads or to create marmalade and jams.

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