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Clementines are similar to tangerines in nutritional value. One clementine gives you 35 calories, all from roughly 9 grams of carbohydrates. Clementines are also a source of fibre, vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. One clementine has 1.3 grams of fibre and 36 milligrams of vitamin C, as well as 18 micrograms of folic acid and 131 milligrams of potassium.
A single clementine provides about half the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for women and about one-third of the recommended daily amount for men. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that comes in handy during the cold and flu season. Studies have shown that vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of a cold, but doesn't appear to stop a cold from developing.
Large doses of vitamin C have been associated with prevention of major killers like heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease because of its ability to fight damage from free radicals. Linus Pauling first described the link between intake of vitamin C and disease resistance in the early 1970s. While just 10 milligrams a day prevents scurvy, Pauling wanted to know how much vitamin C we should eat for optimal health.
The daily recommendation for vitamin C has been increased to 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. Smokers need an additional 35 milligrams per day to counteract the damage from cigarette toxins. Consuming more than two grams of vitamin C - the established upper limit - can be detrimental to one's health.
This table provides the nutrition information for one raw Clementine, which counts as one serving of fruit in your daily 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruits.
|Vitamin C||36 mg|
|Folic acid||18 mcg|
Technically, clementines are a cross between mandarins (Citrus reticulata) and Seville oranges (Citrus auratium). They're closely related to lemons, pummelos and tangerines.
There are 16 species of the California clementine, each being slightly different in taste and size. The pixie variety has the thickest skin, making it the easier to peel, while the encore clementine is larger with a thinner skin.
Clementines are also grown in Europe, North Africa, Israel and Japan. In these countries, clementines are not always distinguished from other varieties of mandarins. For instance, the German word for clementine is "Mandarine".
In North America, the clementine season runs from mid-November through January. Clementines are often sold in pre-packaged mesh bags or boxes. If you are able to sort through loose clementines, select those that are firm and heavy for their size. Clementines that are fragrant with rich color and thick skins will be easy to peel and delicious!
The skin of a ripe, juicy Clementine will feel loose on the fruit and should have no brown spots or wrinkles. Green areas on the skin aren't a sign of poor flavor - it just means the fruit isn't ripe yet but can be stored until it's ready to be enjoyed.
Clementines should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated area. The ideal storage temperature for all citrus fruits about 7 or 8 degrees Celcius. They can stay at room temperature for up to one week. If refrigerated, they will keep for up to two weeks
Clementines are sometimes called "zipper oranges" because they're so easy to peel. Peeling is the only "preparation" you need to enjoy this healthy, grab-and-go fruit.
For clementine juice, slice several clementines in half, remove any seeds and then apply the fruit to a juicer. Using an electric citrus fruit juicer will give you more juice than a manual juicer. To get fresh juice from one clementine, simply stick a fork in it and squeeze without removing the fork.
Clementines can be enjoyed fresh, canned, frozen or juiced. Unlike other citrus fruits, the zest of a clementine is very bitter and should not be used in cooking.
Healthy Ways to Enjoy
Make a fruit salad with clementines, blueberries, black berries and strawberries.
Add a few segments to your yogurt.
Garnish a bowl of cold cereal with clementines.
Try switching your morning OJ to clementine juice, it's sweeter.
Make a smoothie of with two clementines, a banana and silken soy.
Alternate layers of low-fat granola, yogurt and clementines for a delicious parfait.
Toss Clementine slices into a spinach salad to boost iron absorption.
Try a squeeze of fresh Clementine juice, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a salad dressing.
Garnish a ready-made wild rice or bean salad with chopped clementine. Serve chilled.
Mix clementine juice into sauces for a sweet and tangy twist.
Add a diced clementine to your cranberry sauce for a festive twist.
Chop half a clementine into salad dressings, salsas and relishes.
Toss clementine slices into any salad to add color, sweetness and extra nutrition.
Squeeze clementine juice onto fresh fish, in place of lemon juice.
Snacks and Dessert
Grab a clementine and a few nuts for a nutritious snack on the run.
Add a few slices of clementine to a store-bought fruit salad.
Treat yourself to a slice of Clementine Christmas Cake.
Incorporate clementine juice into your favorite cocktail or add as a garnish to your drink.
Freeze clementine segments that have been dipped in dark chocolate for a fancy treat.
Did you know?
There are 14 segments in a clementine.
The original fresh mandarin has bright green skin with orange flesh.
Tradition tells us that clementines were accidentally created in 1902 by Father Clement Rodier in his garden in Algeria. However, other earlier accounts of similar citrus fruits have come from China, Japan, Germany and California. The sweet, juicy California clementine is affectionately known as the "Christmas Orange" because they're available from mid-November through January.
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