Robin's Healthy Take: Get Creative With Clementines

‘Tis the season!  I cherish this time of year: from decorating to hosting holiday feasts for friends and family. But since I’ve got a tendency towards all things culinary, I also love the switcharoo in the produce department. Suddenly the citrus area looks all shiny and new.  It’s time to celebrate citrus!  And nothing screams “HOLIDAYS!” like the arrival of clementines, those juicy little vitamin C-packed gems that come in big bags and crates.

I used to think, "These are perfect for the boys’ snacks and school lunch bags," but since SO MANY come in a bag or crate, I’ve gotten creative with other ways to enjoy them.  And boy do we enjoy them in my house.  Where I live, they call them “Cuties.” You'll not only think they're cute, you'll love these new ways to eat them for breakfast, dinner and dessert.

When you’ve fully stuffed the lunch boxes and given enough after-school clementine snacks to feed an army, enjoy these winners.  They’re unique, delicious and sooo cool you’ll be back for your next bag or crate the second you run out.  Remember, the season doesn't last long!

Here are my go-to clementine creations:

Fresh clementine salsa: Combine clementine sections, diced roasted red peppers, canned black beans, diced jalapeno pepper, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice and ground cumin.

Easy dessert topper: Top store-bought cheesecake with orange marmalade and clementine sections.

Citrus barbecue sauce: Puree clementines into your favorite barbecue sauce for chicken, pork and steak.

Citrus stir-fry: Add clementine sections to chicken, beef, pork and shrimp in stir fries; saute with bell peppers and onions.

Clementine-infused cake: Replace the milk in your favorite white cake mix with clementine juice; add a little finely grated clementine zest to the frosting.

Easy citrus breakfast or snack: Top whole grain toast with cream cheese and clementine sections.

Citrusy side dish: Add chopped clementine sections to your favorite rice pilaf mix and top with toasted nuts.

TELL US: What do you do with clementines?

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

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