(BPT) – Spring isn’t just the start to a new season. It signals sunshine, longer days and the chance to renew your plates with fresh flavors — like the juicy goodness of seasonal citrus.
Whether you’re enjoying a spring holiday or simply embracing the opportunities that the new air brings, food remains the centerpiece. And with citrus, each moment can be a celebration. From baking to cooking to snacking, you name it, citrus has got you covered.
Because Sunkist® believes the endless possibilities of citrus are worth celebrating, National Sunkist® Citrus Day on March 1 celebrates the 130th anniversary of the multi-generation growers who remain at the heart of their sweet legacy. The grower-owned cooperative offers nearly 40 different citrus varieties — from oranges to lemons, grapefruit, mandarins and tangelos — grown in California and Arizona.
When it comes to spring, citrus know their way around the season. Here are three easy tips to stay fresh when we spring forward:
- Get your vitamin C: Oranges are a popular citrus, with many varieties ripe for spring picking. Impress any guest with a super sweet, seedless Cara Cara orange, which is pink on the inside (thanks to the antioxidant lycopene) and has 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Or opt for the iconic Blood orange, with ruby red flesh and a bold, berry flavor. Yes, this orange is both eye-catching and complementary to the flavors of many meals.
- Freeze your citrus: Citrus doesn’t just go far on your plates; it can liven up leftovers and last for weeks with the right tips and tricks. Freeze lemon peels to use in soups or broths, store citrus in the fridge for a snack that lasts and keep juice in the freezer to toss into a Sunday sauce. The season is already looking brighter. See where you can find these in-season citruses at Sunkist.com/Where-To-Buy.
- Add zest to your routine: From zest to juice to a bright aroma, lemons are the best way to freshen things up in time for spring. Try their zest in desserts, a squeeze onto main courses, a garnish for cocktails or fresh, healthy dressings for salads. Plus, if you’re looking to lower sodium intake, fresh juice makes lemons the supreme s’alternative.
To help ring in spring and celebrate the possibilities of citrus, Sunkist® has new seasonal recipes, including a standout Lemon Loaf starring Sunkist® lemon juice and zest, ideal for brunch, dessert or an afternoon treat. Find more citrus recipes at Sunkist.com/Recipes.
Sunkist® Lemon Loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest from 2 Sunkist® lemons
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest from 1 Sunkist® lemon
- Preheat oven to 350F and line your 8 x 4” loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs one at a time and vanilla extract. Into a smaller bowl mix together your flour, salt and baking soda. Alternate adding your dry ingredients with your sour cream. Fold in fresh lemon juice and zest and mix until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in oven about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, prepare glaze by mixing powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together until smooth.
- Remove loaf from oven and let cool completely before topping with glaze.