T is for tangerines

tangerinesTangerines (also known as mandarins) are small, easy-to-peel citrus fruits which are at their best during December, writes our guest blogger, Dr Susan Aldridge, freelance writer and editor based in London, with an interest in medicine, health, science and food/nutrition.

Satsumas are just a kind of tangerine, while clementines are a hybrid between a tangerine and an orange. Tangerines of all kinds are easier to eat than oranges, which makes them the ideal portable healthy snack. They are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre.

These colourful little fruits are probably the healthiest items among traditional Christmas fare. Did you know that the average person consumes around 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone, according to a survey carried out by Ideal Weight (www.idealweight.co.uk) in 2013?

My three recipes this month all have a festive twist and I hope you will enjoy including them in your healthy meal plan over the holidays!

Winter boost juice

Serves two

This is packed with Vitamin C and other antioxidants which will help ward off winter colds and flu. A good choice for Christmas morning – add a splash of prosecco or champagne to add a celebratory note.

Ten satsumas, peeled and segmented
500ml pure pomegranate juice
One inch peeled ginger
Juice the satsumas and ginger, top up with the juice and drink immediately.

Clementine coleslaw
Serves four

Half a white cabbage
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 clementines, peeled and segmented
Handful of mixed seeds
For the dressing:
2 tbps low fat mayonnaise
2 tbps plain yoghurt
2 tbps flax seed oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard

Slice the cabbage and carrots in a food processor. Add the seeds and clementines. Whisk all the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad ingredients.
For an extra-healthy, and quick, supper, serve with smoked mackerel, watercress and beetroot. This coleslaw is also good on Boxing Day with leftover turkey (or, in my case, nut roast) and other salads.

Tangerine trifle

Serves four

My father always used to make a Boxing Day trifle, served with ceremony from a beautiful pink glass bowl! I have tried to create a healthier version (back then, we didn’t know anything about healthy eating!) in his memory.

Packet of any kind of chocolate sponge cakes
6 clementines or satsumas, peeled and segmented (reserve half of one to decorate)
Fruit jelly
400g custard (I used a tub because I am rubbish at making custard – but please make your own if you prefer, either with custard powder, or eggs)
250g mascarpone
Cacao powder for dusting

Chop up the chocolate sponge cake into one inch pieces, add a good splash of Cointreau to moisten/soak them. Transfer to a flat-bottomed dish. Then scatter the satsuma segments over the cake to make a layer.

Make up the jelly according to the instructions on the packet and pour over the trifle layer. Leave to cool and then put in the fridge overnight to set.

Next day, whip the custard and mascarpone till smooth and pour over the set bottom layer of the trifle. Leave in the fridge for an hour or so to set, then dust the surface with cacao powder and decorate with satsuma segments before serving.

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