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When Sweet & Tangy Unite...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The perfect combination of sweet and tangy comes in this tiny, oval-shaped citrus fruit I love. They're so delicious but so rare. I wonder what the reason is? I sure haven't seen them at the market until a couple of weeks ago, and when I did I pretty much screamed, and probably looked like the happiest kid in Disneyland. I have a radar for treasures like this at the market. They haven't been around since, so I'm grateful to have caught them the one time they were there.  These olive-sized treats are great by themselves or added to salad, desserts, and dressings. Here's the lovely dressing I make with them. Tangy, sweet, and sour....so delicious.

Kumquat Dressing
~1/2 cup (I used 7 pieces) kumquats
1/2 avocado or 3-4 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic
piece of shallot (about the size of a garlic clove)
4-5 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water (to start, you might add more)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cayenne / small chunk of jalapeno / other hot pepper

To prepare:
1.  Do not attempt to peel the kumquats, the entire fruit is used. They might have a lot of seeds (mine were full of them) but they will blend well. Just remove the tiny stems and leaves and leave the rest intact.
2. Blend all of the ingredients, taste test, adjust salt, water, etc. and pour over some mixed greens.

You can store this dressing for days in the fridge if you happen to have any leftovers. I generally finish them off. Fresh dressings are just so yummy. : ) If it separates, just give it a stir, if it thickens, just add water/vinegar/lemon juice to it. Either way, make sure you taste it before pouring it all over a large bowl of greens.

Now, onto the health benefits..
As you might have guessed, similar to all citrus fruits, these olive-sized treasures are loaded with vitamin C, and provide a moderate amount f vitamin A along with minerals, such as manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, and copper. They're also a very good source of fiber but if I were to eat them for their nutritional value I would really concentrate on the (1) antioxidants they provide due to the high amounts of vitamin C in them and (2) the phytonutrients in the peel. Phytonutrients such as limonene are in citrus peel that most of us throw away on a regular basis. Ironically, they have exceptional cancer-fighting and antiviral qualities, so we're putting medicine in the trash. The good news is, kumquats are eaten with the peel, meaning you're really eating a whole food, with all of its nutrients working together to help your body prevent or fight disease! Aren't we so blessed?!?