Citrus fruits make refreshing summer eating

Fresh citrus fruits are a natural part of summer eating. The bright sunny colors and refreshing flavors make citrus popular for lighter menus. It may be fresh squeezed lemonade, sliced oranges in a cool salad, or sectioned grapefruit for breakfast. . .all add to summer eating enjoyment.

This summer California lemons will not be as plentiful as in other years, due to strong January winds which caused the branches and thorns on the lemon trees to rub against the fruit, leaving exterior scars. The bulk of the crop will be marketed as choice or standard grades, with a much smaller percentage earning a top quality stamp. But although the exterior of the fruit may not be as pretty as in other years, the interior quality and juice content is excellent.

The California valencia orange crop is also lighter than last year's, but eating quality is excellent with the fruit maturing earlier than usual. The juice content is high and medium sizes should be the better buys. Again, January winds caused some exterior scarring of the fruit. Peak supply of valencias will be in May, June, and July. They are very good juicing and eating oranges, with thin skins and few seeds.

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Here are two recipes for enjoying summer citrus fruits.

Orange Banana Ice Cream 1 small banana, mashed 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened Grated peel of 1 fresh orange 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts 3 to 4 oranges, peeled, cut in bite-size pieces

In bowl combine all ingredients except oranges. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours. To serve, scoop ice cream into dessert glasses; top with orange bite-size pieces. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings, about 4 cups.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Orange Honey Dressing 2 oranges, peeled and sliced crosswise 1 1/2 cups melon balls, or grapes, halved 1 apple, sliced 1 pear, sliced Salad greens Orange honey dressing: 1/3 cup mayonnaise Grated peel of 1 orange 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons honey

On four individual salad plates, arrange fruit on salad greens. Mix together ingredients for dressing. Pour over fruit salads. Makes 4 servings.

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