Often associated as a healthy offering at Christmas time, the Clementine is in season from October right through to February. The reason why they are often so appealing is due to their desirable seedless characteristic which sets them apart from the tangerine. They are typically a sweet and juicy fruit which are less acidic than other oranges.
Another reason why Clementine's are so loved is because of how easy they are to consume. For instance all you need to do is simply peel the skin and then it is easily separated into a minimum of eight sections. This makes them a popular piece of fruit in many children's lunchboxes.
The exact origin of this variety of orange is debatable. It was first thought that they were discovered by a Father Clement Rodier whom was growing fruit in his garden for an Algerian orphanage. It is believed that two different species of citrus fruit created a hybrid which formed the Clementine's that we know and love today. On the contrary to this, others state that it actually originated in China several thousand years ago where accounts have been found describing something similar to the nature of a Clementine.
There are many nutritional benefits of a Clementine such as:
It clementine is rich in vitamin C like other members of the orange family. This particular vitamin cannot be produced inside the human body and therefore has to be taken externally. It is vital that we get vitamin C into our body because it boosts the immune system and also fights cardiovascular disorders. A lack of vitamin C can lead to horrible diseases such as scurvy which is commonly associated with sailors between the 16th and 18th centuries.
The fruit contains a high amount of fibers which helps the functioning of the digestive system.
Clementines are also high in potassium which is a mineral important for mental alertness and storage of energy. It also keeps your heartbeat regular.
The growing season for the clementine does not overlap with the traditional orange and therefore you can gain the great benefits of a citrus fruit even when other members of the orange family are not in season.
Here are some great easy ideas for how you could cook Clementines, for example you could try making:
- Orange marmalade
- Add it into a wintry salad with some sliced red onions, walnut and melted Brie
- A nice warm baked clementine cake
- Clementine, cranberry and pork
Whatever you choose to do with your Clementines it is sure to taste wonderful. So instead of just adding one to your pack-up why not get inventive and make some great dishes with this citrus fruit