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    5 Delicious Mandarin Orange Recipes You Have to Try

    Mandarin Orange Recipes

    You've got some fresh mandarin oranges. Now, what do you do with these oranges? Continue below to discover 5 delicious mandarin orange recipes you have to try!

    With mandarin orange popularity on the rise, it's pretty likely you have a few in your fruit bowl. But you also don't need a newspaper article to explain the popularity of mandarin oranges. They're just delicious and easy to grow.

    But did you know they can also be used in a ton of scrumptious citrus recipes?

    Here are 5 mouth-watering mandarin orange recipes that are sure to make you a star come dinner time.

    1. Mandarin Orange Curd

    While the word curd might give you pause, it shouldn't. Fruit curds are delicious fruit spreads that are super simple to make.

    For mandarin orange curd, you only need four ingredients. You'll need mandarin oranges (duh!), eggs, sugar, and butter.

    You'll need to juice about six oranges. In the meantime, get a saucepan of water boiling. While you wait on that, mix your eggs and sugar with a whisk and add your mandarin orange juice.

    Place the mixing bowl in the boiling water and beat the heck out of it. After it's reached about 170 degrees, take it off the heat, and whisk in your butter.

    Then you just need to put it in storage containers, let it cool, and refrigerate it for a few hours. Nothing more to it than that!

    2. Baby Spinach and Mandarin Orange Salad

    You don't even have to cook for this one.

    You'll need some oranges, baby spinach, red onions, orange marmalade, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. All there is to this is to whisk the marmalade and vinegar together. Pour the olive oil into the mixture while still whisking.

    Other than that, you'll just need to slice your onions and oranges. Arrange the spinach on a plate, mix in the oranges and onions, and then apply the dressing to your liking.

    3. Chinese Chicken Salad

    This salad requires a little more prep, but it's worth it. You can also follow your gut on ingredients.

    Try starting with napa and red cabbage as the base. Beyond that, you can add whatever classic Chinese food ingredients you prefer. Try water chestnuts, carrots, scallions, and mandarin oranges of course.

    In this case, you'll want canned oranges. For the chicken, it's just a simple 13-15 minute bake with boneless chicken breasts. After those are done, chop them up to manageable portions.

    For the dressing, mix some soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and any number of spices. Garlic, ginger, and chili sauce are a good start. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and top with toasted sliced almonds.

    4. Mandarin Orange Cake

    This can be done with a regular store-bought yellow cake mix. Do what you'd normally do, but mix in a can of mandarin oranges with the juice.

    After the cake is done, you'll need frosting. For this, mix together 8 oz. of Cool Whip, a can of crushed pineapple, and a small package of instant vanilla pudding.

    Between the zest of the mandarin oranges and the tangy bite of the pineapple frosting, you can't go wrong.

    5. Mandarin Orange Ambrosia Pudding

    All you'll need for the base of this is instant vanilla pudding. Mix that together according to the directions and then add in your other ingredients.

    You'll want to add honey, grated orange peel, and vanilla. After that, fold in the whipped cream.

    Finally, layer the concoction in individual dessert dishes. Start with half the pudding, then add banana slices, coconut shreds, sliced almonds, and of course mandarin oranges. Repeat the layers and you'll have a delicious treat.

    Mandarin Orange Recipes Anyone Can Make

    And just like that you know 5 mandarin orange recipes that are sure to be a hit! Try these out at parties or family gatherings and they're sure to impress.

    Now that you're ready to cook with mandarin oranges, what if you tried growing them yourself? If you want to try your hand at supplying your own ingredients, try growing your own calamondin tree!

    Lemon Picking: How to Tell When a Lemon is Ripe and Ready to Eat

    How to Tell When a Lemon is Ripe and Ready to Eat

    Are your lemons ripe enough to pick and ready to eat, or do they need a little more time? Read on to learn how to spot a ripe lemon and when to harvest your lemons.

    Some fruits have all the luck. 

    They give clear hints when they’re mature enough to be eaten.

    Avocados turn a dark shade of green. Bananas make the final transition from green to yellow. Even tomatoes turn a deeper color to let you know they’re ready. 

    But lemons? Their cues are a little more challenging to interpret.

    Here are a few tips to help you determine whether a lemon is ripe enough to pick. 

    Harvest Season

    There are three common varieties of lemon: Lisbon, Eureka, and Meyer. Your local grocery store, however, is only likely to mark them as "lemons". Of the three, Meyer is considered the sweetest, and it's what we sell here at US Citrus.

    The harvest time for lemons varies, with warm or coastal climates such as California, Florida and Texas producing year-round. Inland varietals are generally ready for harvest in the fall and winter.

    With proper care, a citrus tree will start bearing fruit in its second year. It should deliver a substantial harvest in its third year and beyond. Mature potted trees will produce up to 50 pounds a year, and one in the ground will generate 50-120 pounds of fruit a year.

    From the time a small green lemon appears on a tree, it will generally take several months to ripen.

    How to Tell if a Lemon is Ripe

    When lemons appear yellow or yellowish green, are firm in appearance, and have reached two to three inches in size, they're ready to pluck. Lemons prefer to ripen on the tree, so if you pick them too soon you may be out of luck.

    Ripe lemons have a glossy skin and are not ripe until the color truly develops. If the skin is wrinkled, dull or squishy, you're too late. It's better to pick a lemon too early than to wait too long.

    Because lemons may go through a green-colored phase, some people have a hard time discerning lemons vs limes. We'll save that distinction for another time!

    Test It, Taste It

    Even if the appearance checks off all the right boxes, you should cut one lemon open to determine if the rest of the tree is ripe. A ripe lemon will have lots of juice and firm flesh. 

    Lemons are tart by nature, so leaving them on the tree will not improve their sweetness. The exception is Meyer lemons, which are milder and sweeter, to begin with. 

    Do a taste and decide whether it's ready.  

    How to Pick It

    This isn't rocket science. The main goal is not to damage the lemon tree. You can use a hand-held snipper or simply take the lemon in your hand and twist it until it breaks free. 

    Grow Your Own

    If you're not lucky enough to have neighbors who let you pick their ripe lemons, you might want to consider getting your own potted citrus tree.

    With a few simple steps, you can grow one anywhere and enjoy lemons year-round! You can read more about container gardening here

    Check out our other citrus blog posts for more citrus tree and fruit tips, insight, recipes, and other helpful information.

    What Can You Do With Calamondin Fruit?

    Calamondin Fruit

    You've grown some calamondin fruit. Now, what do you do with calamondins in regards to food and drinks? Continue below to learn about what you can do with calamondin fruit!

    So you're a lover of tiny, charming citrus trees? 

    This slightly unusual citrus tree is a cross between kumquats and mandarin oranges. This gives the calamondin fruit a slightly sour taste, but the skins a surprisingly sweet one.

    Calamondin fruit isn't just nice to look at and sweet to smell. Despite its slightly sour insides, there are tons of ways to use calamondin fruit. Here are 3 fun ideas for using your calamondin tree so you can enjoy the fruits of your labors...literally.

    1. Make a Delicious Marmalade

    This traditional British breakfast treat harkens back to more simple days. If you become good at making a real calamondin marmalade, you'll be sure to impress with your knowledge of traditional preserves.

    Plus, marmalade is just fun to use and it's (as the British would say), totally "scrummy."

    Calamondin fruit is perfect for making a tasty marmalade too. The fruit's skins are edible and sweet and when made well, produce a bright orange, and beautiful looking spread for your morning toast.

    You can find great marmalade recipes just about anywhere, and simply adapt them to use your calamondin fruits. Voila! You've just stepped up your breakfast game.

    2. Calamondin Cake or Cupcakes

    Calamondin cupcakes or cake are a delicious, fresh twist on a very basic type of dessert. If you're a big fan of citrus flavors, you can use calamondin fruit to make a zippy and tasty puree for your cake.

    You can combine the calamondin puree with just about any flavor of cake; feel free to be adventurous. Some flavors we recommend to combine this delicious fruit with are lemon or vanilla.

    If you have other citrus plants like an indoor lemon tree, you can create a mixed puree of lemon and calamondin to add flavor to a regular cake.

    Of course, you can always use the calamondin puree to mix in with your frosting mix to add a citrus zing to a chocolate cake as well.

    3. Calamondin Sweet Tart or Pie

    Ever had a key lime pie made out of limes from your own lime tree? Well, if you're a fan of citrus pies or tarts, you'll love calamondin sweet tarts and pies.

    Once again, you apply the same method to the calamondin tart as you would a normal key lime pie.

    This delicious, summery treat makes a great combination with a graham cracker pie crust or your typical tart crust. 

    Just like with a key lime pie or tart, the majority of your filling will be egg yolks, with the zest and juice of your delicious calamondin fruit. Have fun finding your favorite calamondin pie recipe, and enjoy!

    More Ideas for Using Calamondin Fruit

    Calamondin fruit is a fun and unique taste to add a little citrus zest to everyday desserts, drinks, or dishes. You can have fun experimenting with calamondin zest in savory dishes too where you might otherwise use lemon, lime, or even orange zest.

    For more ideas on caring for your indoor calamondin tree or other indoor citrus trees, check out our blog!

    Your Ultimate Guide to Growing an Australian Finger Lime Tree

    Growing an Australian Finger Lime Tree

    Are you looking to grow an Australian finger lime tree? If so, continue reading below to learn how to grow and care for one.

    The Australian finger lime is a citrus fruit that is used for luxury foods around the world. It is often nicknamed "lime caviar" due to the small beads of zesty juice in the fruit.

    The proper name is Citrus australasica and is a native to Queensland and New South Wales. But this citrus plant can grow elsewhere.

    Read on to learn how to grow finger limes at home.

    Buy an Australian Finger Lime Tree

    Depending on where you live, you can buy an Australian finger lime tree from your local nursery.

    Or, you can buy an Australian finger lime tree online right here at US Citrus.

    Even if your plant is tiny to begin with, it will yield fruit after only a year or two.

    Choose the Right Soil

    The Australian finger lime can grow in a variety of soils with a pH of 5-7. 

    You will need to use well-draining soil for your lime tree. This will prevent root mold.

    Finger Lime Tree Placement in the Yard

    You want to place your finger lime tree in your yard in an area that is protected from winds.

    Australian finger lime trees do best in full sun or dappled sunlight. If you live in a cooler clime, a north-facing direction that is partly shaded is best.  

    Finger lime trees, just like other citrus plants, make great hedges. They do well against fences and walls, too.

    Finger limes can withstand a light frost. But, if your climate gets colder than that, it's best to plant your Australian finger lime tree in a pot and move it indoors during the cold months. 

    Water and Fertilize Your Lime Plant

    You want to keep the soil of your finger limes moist, not wet. How often you will need to water your plant depends on where you live.

    Use a liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. Look for a liquid fertilizer that has a good supply of iron, manganese, and zinc.  

    Pruning Your Plant

    Pruning lime trees will increase airflow, decrease the risk of disease, strengthen the limbs and make it easier to harvest fruits. You can prune a finger lime tree to any shape you want. 

    Flowers will bloom from small shoots where the leaves connect with the stem. If you get too much new growth on the tips of your tree's branches, you can prune them back. This will help keep your tree height where you want it.

    If you use a pot, re-plant the finger lime tree in a larger pot when it gets too big for the current size. 

    Harvest Your Fruit

    You'll know finger limes are ready to harvest when they pull off the branches easily. Ripe fruit won't fall off the tree, you need to pull them off. 

    If you pull fruit and it resists, try again a week later.

    Ripe finger limes can be from 1-5 inches long. Even small fruits can be ripe so don't worry about the size.

    Final Thoughts

    Now you know how to plant and care for an Australian finger lime tree. All you have to do now is figure out what delicious recipe you will try first with your harvest.

    Are you thinking about growing your lime tree in a pot?

    Check out our article on how to grow Australian finger limes in containers.

    Winter Is HERE: The Top 5 Winter Care Tips for Your Indoor Citrus Tree

    Top 5 Winter Care Tips for Your Indoor Citrus Tree

    You need to take extra care of your indoor citrus tree during the winter. Read on to learn the top 5 winter tips for taking care of your indoor citrus tree.

    If you'd like to get some fresh fruit while improving your mood and the scent of your home, you can't go wrong raising an indoor citrus tree

    However, you need to double down on the way you take care of these trees when winter arrives. The tips below will help you get what you need from these trees and will allow you to keep the tree alive and get remarkable results. 

    Use these five tips to take better care of your indoor citrus tree during the winter. 

    1. Give Your Indoor Citrus Tree as Much Sunlight as Possible

    Citrus trees need a lot of sunlight, so be sure you're giving them what they need. For best results, expose these trees to 8 to 12 hours of sunlight each and every day. 

    Make sure that your tree is situated by a window. For best results, set up a nursery or green room that offers lots of sun exposure. 

    Sometimes it's cloudy and you can't quite get enough sunlight to your plants. If this is the case, you should use some lights that allow your plants to get the nourishment that they need around the clock. 

    2. Keep the Insects Away

    You'll also need to keep your tree as pest free as possible. 

    Find some organic insecticides that will let your tree thrive without being overtaken by these pests. A mixture of baking soda, dish soap, and chili powder can be worthwhile. 

    3. Nourish the Tree with Warm Water

    The tree needs to be watered on a regular basis. However, try not to use cold tap water whenever possible. 

    In the wintertime, the water gets especially cold, and this can damage the tree. Instead, use warm water so you're protecting your plant. 

    4. Improve the Airflow in Your Home

    The airflow that you get in your home will be a huge difference maker for your trees. Things like cracking a window, cleaning your vents and taking care of your air conditioner will work wonders for you. 

    You'll need to increase the humidity in your household, while also preventing stagnant air.

    5. Add Lots of Fertilizer

    When you want to take care of your tree, it's critically important that you use the best soil and fertilizer

    There are plenty of organic fertilizers that you can use which will let your plant sprout to the fullest. You should also lay down a layer of mulch in order to protect the soil and nutrients beneath it. 

    Using lots of fertilizer, on top of regularly pruning your tree, will give you tremendous results.

    Take Great Care of Your Tree

    These five tips are great when it comes to taking care of your indoor citrus tree. 

    The more you care for your tree, the easier it'll be to get tremendous results across the board. Start with these five points as you learn the ins and outs of caring for an indoor tree for the long haul. 

    Interested in your own indoor citrus tree? At US Citrus, we offer a great selection of fast-growing citrus trees for sale.

    Stay tuned for more ways to take care of citrus trees on our citrus simplified blog.