5 Days of Fruit: Citrus Fruit

It's Day 4 of our new series: 5 Days of Fruit. Hope you enjoyed yesterday's post on all things berry related. Today's is all about citrus and we're focused on the three amigos: oranges, lemons and limes.


  • Selection: The best way to select an orange is by touch; it should feel firm and heavy, indicating a fruit with a lot of juice. Peels should be free of bruising and discoloration, but a tinge of green doesn't hurt, as this can be present even in the ripest oranges.

  • Storage: Place unwrapped fruit in small baskets on your counter, away from direct sunlight. Oranges stay juicier when kept at room temperature. Baskets are preferable to other containers because they permit the air to circulate freely around each piece of fruit.

  • Slicing: Sure, you can peel an orange and then break into sections. However, slicing makes it all the jucier ... and it's the perfect garnish. Find the end of your orange where the stem was attached. Slice this end off, going just deep enough that you can see a starburst of segments on the exposed end of the orange. Slice the opposite end off, slice orange in half and finally, with the peel facing up, cut each half into slices.

  • Fun fact: An 8 ounce glass of orange juice contains upwards of 5 oranges. Woah! It's pretty easy to kick back a glass of OJ, but eat 5 oranges in one sitting? So, drink up and keep the winter colds at bay!

  • Tip: To save oranges for 2-3 weeks individually wrap in wrapping paper, place in a cardboard box and store in the fridge or a cool, dry place. Wrapping paper works best since it's usually moisture resistant. Be sure the fruit does not come into contact with moisture as that will promote decay.

  • Selection: Choose lemons that are heavy for their size (this indicates a thinner peel and thus a juicier inside) and that are fully yellow in color. Skip wrinkled lemons or those with a dull color.

  • Storage: Store lemons at room temperature and they'll keep well for about two weeks. Or you can place them in plastic bags and keep them in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.

  • Slicing: If you need a slice or two of lemon, don't slice the entire piece of fruit. Using a sharp knife, cut off the end, but don't throw it away. Instead, after cutting off a slice or two from the end of the lemon, put the cap back in place before placing in back in the refrigerator. The sliced off end will help keep the rest of the lemon fresh until you need more.

  • Tip: No need to cut open a lemon if you need just a few drops of juice. They deteriorate quickly once they're sliced. When you need a few drops of juice, simply poke the peel with a pin or a toothpick. Gently squeeze out the juice you want, and place it back in the refrigerator. The fruit will still be fresh when you need a slice or a few more drops of juice.

  • Fun Fact: Rub lemon juice over your cutting board, then rinse. This gets rid of fish scents, garlic and onion scent.

  • Good info: Got a pimple? Pat the blemish with lemon juice a few times a day, and it will clear right up!

  • Selection: Similar to lemons, choose limes that are heavy for their size (they will be juicier). They should be a glossy green. A few brown spots are OK.

  • Storage: Store at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator wrapped in a loosely closed plastic bag for up to two weeks.

  • Slicing: Check out the tips above for lemons - you can use the exact same techniques for limes.

  • Tip: Warmer limes will be juicier so if you've stored them in the fridge, roll them on a flat surface with the palm of your hands for about 10 seconds.

  • Fun Fact: In the 1800's, British sailors tried to prevent scurvy by consuming limes, and while not entirely successful (limes don't have that much Vitamin C for their size) it did earn the nickname "limey" for Brits.

Miss a post? Catch up for the week:
Monday: Tropical Fruit
Tuesday: Orchard Fruit
Wednesday: Berries
Thursday: Citrus Fruit (above)
Friday: Melons

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