The Sweet Delight Of Mandarins
Mandarins are small, orange-coloured fruits belonging to the citrus family and are closely related to oranges. They are believed to have originated in south-east Asia and today are widely cultivated in countries across the world. Bright in colour, sweet in taste and juicy in texture, Mandarins have become an incredibly popular snack option. In some cultures, they are even served as gifts during festive times. There are a variety of Mandarin fruits and they vary in taste, colour and size.
The Nutrition Behind Mandarins
Mandarins are a great source of essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres. They are high in vitamin C, which helps build strong immunity, and also contain a significant amount of vitamin A, which helps to keep the eyes and skin healthy. The dietary fibre content helps to keep the digestive system running efficiently and is said to be helpful in fighting cancer. Mandarins are low in fat and calories and are naturally sweet, making them an ideal snack for people looking to maintain or bring down their weight.
Choosing The Perfect Mandarin
When choosing the perfect Mandarin, it is important to look for firm fruits that are heavy for their size. The fruit should be firm to the touch and the skin should be glossy and brightly coloured. The fruits with a few brown spots are usually sweeter and juicier than those that are completely orange in colour. It is also important to give the fruit a good sniff to ensure they have a sweet aroma. If the Mandarins have a sour smell, then they are not worth purchasing.
Mandarins All Year Around
Depending on the region, Mandarins are available all year round or for season. Generally, the peak season for these small oranges is during November and December in many countries. But as global trade of fruits and vegetables increases, people can enjoy Mandarins all year long in many parts of the world.
Cooking With Mandarins
Mandarins are not just a great snack, they can be used creatively in the kitchen to make a variety of dishes. Mandarins can be added to salads, used to top yogurt and oatmeal, made into smoothies, used to make compote and jams, and even added to desserts. The juice can also be used to make delicious marinades and glazes for meat and fish. The zest of the fruit can be grated on to many dishes to give that extra tangy depth and flavour.
Health Benefits Of Mandarins
Apart from the nutritional benefits mentioned earlier, Mandarins also offer several other health benefits. They are loaded with antioxidants, which helps to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. They are also believed to help reduce the risk of cancer and age-related diseases, lower cholesterol levels and aid in maintaining a healthy heart. In addition to this, Mandarins are said to be effective in fighting bacterial and viral infections.
Storing And Preserving Mandarins
One of the best ways to store Mandarins is in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for a week or more. To make them last longer, you can freeze the peeled fruits by slicing them into smaller pieces and placing them in rigid containers. Mandarins can also be dried and canned in syrup, which will keep them fresh for a longer period of time.
With their bright colour, sweet flavour and juicy texture, Mandarins make a delicious snack that is loved by all. They offer a variety of health benefits, making them a great addition to any diet. It is important to choose the right fruit and store them correctly if you want to enjoy their full flavour and freshness. Mandarins are also incredibly versatile and can be used in a number of dishes both sweet and savoury. So why not give them a try and enjoy the sweet delight of Mandarins!
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