In hopes of seeing some warmer weather soon, we’re brightening things up this plant-based Monday with these delicious mandarins. Not only are they adorable, but they are also nutritious and perfect for a grab and go snack. They’re currently in season here in California, so all you west coasters need to get some before they’re all gone!
Mandarins are an obvious relative to the orange family. They are slightly smaller than an orange but almost identical in shape and color. Mandarins are a category of citrus fruits that include tangerines, clementines, satsuma, and other small varieties. At their peak of ripeness, mandarins are a very sweet fruit making them perfect to sooth that sweet tooth. Nutritionally, they are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins A& C. Antioxidants help to reduce free radical damage. Free radical damage has been linked to various cancers, aging, and a variety of diseases. So eating citrus fruits, and other fruits and vegetables can help to protect you.
I got creative this weekend when shooting these beauties, and added my favorite Wild Orange candle by Pontie Wax! Isn’t it a match in heaven?
Mandarins originated in the far east. They date back almost 3,000 years in Chinese history, although they did not venture to Europe and North America until much later. The fruits were considered a delicacy at the time to the upper class, privileged in society. Today, mandarins are grown all over the world including the U.S., Spain, Turkey, and Brazil.
Choose mandarin oranges that are free from bruises and blemishes. Give them a little squeeze to check the softness of them. You don’t want to pick any too firm (not ripe) or too soft (overripe). A good mandarin will have a deep orange hue. Keep oranges in a bowl on the counter for up to 4-5 days or keep in the refrigerator for almost 2 weeks.
We love grabbing mandarins from the farmers market or TJs to have for a snack all week long. They are also amazing when dipped in dark chocolate for a sweet treat for all my other sweets lovers out there. Our other favorite recipes are:
- Salted Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Oranges
- Mandarin Orange Cranberry Kale Salad with Candied Pecans
- Clementine Sunshine Smoothie
How do you enjoy mandarins? Do you keep them on hand for a snack or toss them into salads? Let us know your creative recipes in the comments below!