Oh, My Darling Clementine

Living in Arizona during the winter has its advantages. Obviously, there’s the weather — stepping out into 70 degrees and sunshine in February does not suck, especially when my family back in Wisconsin are sending me news of yet another icy-polar-vortex-snowpocalypse.
When they do that, I usually send them a photo of my backyard; specifically, my clementine tree, lush and full of goodness.
It’s the only thing in my yard I’ve managed to keep alive. That, in and of itself, is a victory for this desert-dweller. But fresh citrus on demand is the real reason for celebration (and frequent photos to neener-neener-neener my snowbound friends and family — it’s okay, they get their revenge when I’m suffering through an Arizona summer).
The clementines share a fence line with my neighbor’s pomegranate tree, and I’ve been known to pull a few ruby-red fruits from the branches hanging over our fence (Shh, don’t tell!). Both fruits are delicious on their own, but when combined, it’s pure heaven.
It’s an insanely healthy combo, too — both clementines and pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, an important antioxidant to boost immunity. During these cootie-filled months, when it feels like every person you know has some sort of sniffle or stomach bug, it’s good to fortify your immune system with healthy foods. The high water content of both fruits help with hydration, too — a must for those of us working out in the dry winter air. If weight-loss is your goal, the natural fiber in the fruits will keep you feeling full (and away from the vending machines at work).
My go-to mix for breakfast is two peeled clementines to one seeded pomegranate. If I’m making a lunch or light dinner, I’ll toss the fruit with some baby kale, walnuts and cooked quinoa. Thanks to the natural juices of the fruits, no salad dressing is really needed!
Though I lucked out with my own citrus tree, most people can find clementines and pomegranates at their grocery store for very low prices during this time of year (seasonal produce FTW!); but if you’re sick of digging out from yet another snowstorm, give me a call. The guest room is always open, and I need someone to help me reach the taller branches on my neighbor’s pomegranate tree.
Do you have a favorite clementine recipe? I’ve got a bumper crop this year, and need to use ’em up! —Susan

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1 Comment
  1. Charlsie N says:

    I’m so jealous that you live in Arizona. Everytime I read your articles I get a sad face because I miss Tucson so much. Just 4 more years until I can look at coming back to the warmth.