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PIXIE TANGERINES — The Pixie Tangerine is actually a variety of Mandarins. Somewhat difficult to grow, the trees take several years to reach maturity, producing an abundant crop every other year. Produced in small quantities at Ojai and Fallbrook, California, this variety is mainly grown on small family farms. Big or small, smooth or knobby, this juicy
tangerine varies greatly in appearance, size and shape. One trait is for sure: their exceptionally sweet flavor is consistent!

Tangerines, as well as other citrus fruits, offer a source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. Ideal for low-acid diets, Pixie tangerines have a lower acid content than many citrus varieties. Add this tasty little tangerine to wake up mixed green salads. Sections make perfect edible garnish for most anything. Add to gelatin molds — ideal for a healthy portable snack!

Storage: Keep at room temperature, or refrigerate for longer storage. Do not store in plastic as that encourages premature spoiling. Pixie tangerines are good keepers!

KIWI — This fruit was discovered in China, where it was considered a delicacy by the great Khans. It found its way to other countries by the mid 1800’s. First called the Chinese Gooseberry, New Zealand growers introduced this exotic fruit to specialized market places around the globe.

A California produce dealer with a penchant for Kiwi began importing New Zealand Gooseberries in 1962, and promptly re-named them “Kiwifruit,” thinking there was a great resemblance between the fuzzy fruit and the fuzzy brown kiwi bird. Today, the state of California produces nearly 98% of all Kiwi grown in the United States.

How do you eat a Kiwi? The easiest way is to rinse the kiwi, then slice it lengthwise with a sharp knife. Using a spoon, scoop out the delicious flesh from each half. The skin is totally edible – simply remove the fuzz by brushing with a paper towel!

Ripening & Storage: If the outside of the fruit “gives” with slight thumb pressure, it is ripe and ready to eat. Ripen firm Kiwi at room temperature. They keep several days at room temperature and up to four weeks refrigerated.

Warm Spinach Salad with Pixie Tangerines

1 – 10 ounce bag of spinach, 1/2 c. pure olive oil, 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin, 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms, 2 t. minced garlic, 3 T. red wine vinegar, 1/3 c. orange juice, 3 Pixie Tangerines, peeled and sectioned & Salt and pepper to taste.

Kiwi Mint Lemonade

1 c. Water, 1/2 c. Granulated sugar, 1/2 c. Fresh mint leaves (optional), 3 Kiwi, 2 to 3 Lemons, Sparkling water In a medium sauce pan, heat water with sugar over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the kiwi and cut into chunks. Puree in a food processor. Place puree in a pitcher. Strain cooled syrup into pitcher, pressing on the mint, then discarding the leaves. Refrigerate until cold. Squeeze juice from 2 lemons. Stir into kiwifruit mix. Taste, squeeze in juice from remaining lemon for a tarter lemonade, if desired. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with a kiwi slice. Makes 4 generous servings.

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Tracie Burket
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