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Healthy Gift Ideas: 5 Tips on How to Make a Fruit Basket

How to Make a Fruit Basket

Looking for the perfect gift that will be delicious and healthy? Here's how to make a fruit basket they'll love. They're universal and easy to make for others!

Did you know that most gift baskets are worth $50- $250, depending on how many premium items are inside? 

Fruit baskets are an excellent gift idea for any occasion, but sometimes the stores don't have exactly what you are looking for. 

Instead of settling with an average basket, you can learn to make your own, and you can make them as personalized as you would like. 

Continue reading to discover how to make a fruit basket that everyone will want. 

How to Make a Fruit Basket That People Will Love  

If you are wondering how to make a fruit basket that is unique and delicious, then you have come to the right place. There are many ways to creating a fruit basket, so don't be afraid to get creative! You can even start with a gift box, such as our Texas Persian lime gift box we offer here at US Citrus.

The first step in making a fruit basket is to select the basket, many people choose between wicker, metal, and glass. Be sure to keep in mind how large the pieces of fruit will be so that you can pick the correct size basket. 

The next thing to do is create a base for the fruit to sit on top of. Draping washed leaves, shredded tissue paper, or cardboard are simple ways to do this. 

After the base is in the basket, you can begin adding in your fruit to make it a finished product! Below are a few tips and tricks to creating the best fruit baskets that people will love to receive! 

1. Be Picky When Selecting Fruit 

One of the most important tips to making a fruit basket is to buy fruit that is still firm, but ripe. 

Purchasing fruit when it is already ripe can lead to molding when the person finally receives the basket. Many fruits go bad once they reach the point of being ripe, others can last 3-5 days on average. 

Be sure to keep in mind, the length of time from purchasing the fruit to giving the basket away. 

2. Avoid Overspending 

As mentioned above, fruit baskets can become extremely costly depending on the quality of products inside.

Typically, you can find quality baskets at resale shops or dollar stores for much cheaper and they work just as great as standard wicker baskets. You can also create your base out of something cheap to avoid overspending. 

3. Wrap It up

Once the fruit has all been placed within the basket, you will have to wrap it up. 

Plastic wrap is a cheap way of keeping items inside and safe from getting damaged. Other ways that you can wrap your basket is with a cellophane wrap and cello bags. 

Adding a bow on top can make the presentation look complete and cover up any bunching of the wrapping. 

4. Choose Larger Fruits 

Small and delicate fruits, like berries, are not well suited to go in fruit baskets because they can easily be damaged. If you do want to utilize berries inside the basket, you can do a homemade marmalade that will last much longer.  

Larger fruits are often best for fruit baskets because they aren't as fragile and last longer sitting out. 

5. Heavy Items Go First

When arranging your basket, be sure to put the heaviest items in first, so that they are on the bottom. After they have been placed you can work your way up from heaviest to lightest.

This will help keep any fruits from getting bruised or damaged.  

Sharing Is Caring

After you begin creating these and giving them to friends and family, they will be wondering how to make a fruit basket themselves. 

There are many ways that you can create a personalized and unique fruit basket. Using the tips mentioned above can help you create something spectacular. You may not even want to give it away!

Be sure to check out our citrus fruit section to find some of the best options to add to your next fruit basket.

Two is Better than One: 5 Hybrid Citrus Fruits You Have to Try

Hybrid Citrus Fruits

What's better than your favorite citrus fruits? Your favorite fruits combined! Check out these unique hybrid citrus fruits that you have to try.

Have you ever wished you could have the sweetness of an orange mixed with the size of a grapefruit? The idea of cross-breeding fruits, including citrus, is nothing new and dates back hundreds of years as farmers worked to create strains that were hardy against pests and grew better in native soil.

As genetic science advanced, people began mixing different types of fruits to create hybrids that had characteristics of both. Some of your favorite fruits are likely hybrids and you don’t even know it. We’re going to take a look at some of the most famous hybrid fruits available.

Are these on your weekly shopping list?

The Bloodiest of Hybrid Fruits: The Blood Lime

It might seem like something from your deepest nightmare, but the Blood Lime is a hybrid between a red finger lime and an Ellendale mandarin orange. What makes this fruit stand out is the dark red color on the outside and an orange mixed color on the inside.

You might think it’s sour given the lime, but it actually has a flavor that is both sweet and tangy. They make a great snack or mixed in with a salad. Mix with a blood orange from a fresh blood orange tree for the perfect Halloween fruit plate.

Peacotums Aren’t Just Peachy

There are many peach hybrids, but Peacotum stands out because it’s actually a mix of three different fruits. It’s a beautiful melding of peach, apricot, and plum that delivers a peach-like flesh consistency, but with the flavors of plum and apricot.

This tasty Frankenstein of fruit are wonderful by themselves or when sliced and added to a fruit salad or a delicious smoothie. While you’ll see plenty of dual fruit hybrids, this tribrid fruit was created by Zaiger Genetics.

Pineberry: The White Strawberry

One of the defining characteristics of a strawberry is the bright red color, but this hybrid of a common strawberry and a unique strawberry native to Hawaii is a stark contrast. The Pineberry’s white exterior with red seeds makes for a unique sight.

The flavor has a hint of pineapple to create something truly unique to the world of hybridization. The bright green stems plus the white flesh is the perfect combination for this petite berry.

Oroblanco is a Sweeter Grapefruit

This seedless fruit is a mix of pomelo and a tetraploid grapefruit. It’s less acidic and bitter than your standard grapefruit, but it’s also smaller. Developed by the University of California in 1981, the round fruit has a thinker skin than a grapefruit and is eaten like an orange.

The tasty flesh is separated by a white membrane that is very bitter.

The Tangelo Looks Like a Bell

You’ll see tangelos commonly in grocery stores are a mix of a tangerine and a grapefruit. The result is a bell-shaped fruit often called a honeybell. It has a loose skin that makes it much easier to peel than a standard orange and lacks the bitterness of a grapefruit.

The bell-like appearance comes mostly from an elongated nipple at the top of the fruit.

Only the Tip of the Hybrid Iceberg

These are five of the most unique hybrid fruits, but there are many more. Scientists and farmers create new varieties every year and improve existing fruits. People throughout the world eat them and often have no clue they’re eating a hybrid.

If you want to learn more about citrus fruits, or growing your own citrus trees, check out our selection of exotic citrus trees, as well as our citrus blog!

Storing Citrus Fruits 101: How to Store Citrus Fruits

How to Store Citrus Fruits

You've plucked your citrus fruits from your tree. Now, how do you store them? Here's how to store your citrus fruits so they stay fresh and last longer!

Every day in America, 150,000 tons of food finds its way to the garbage bin. 
This includes processed foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Surprisingly, people purchasing more fruits and vegetables in a bid to eat healthier are the most wasteful of the bunch.

Do you have to keep tossing away citrus fruits because you can’t keep them long enough? Here are five tips on how to store citrus fruits.

1. Get Good Fruit

Unlike most fruits, citrus fruits do not continue to ripen once picked. 
However, if you pick over-ripened fruit, it will be susceptible to rotting.

On the other hand, you do not want to pick raw fruit because its sweetness and nutritional value will be hampered.

You, therefore, need to pick well-ripened fruit.

Always look for fruit with vibrant colors, but which are firm to touch. Greenish color on oranges might mean that they are under ripened. However, oranges with tinges of green and green lemons are okay as they tend to keep well for longer.

2. Refrigeration

Oranges do best at cooler temperatures and go bad quickly at warmer temperatures.

To refrigerate them properly, place them in a mesh as opposed to a plastic bag. This allows air to circulate and slows down the growth of mold, lesions, or softened rind.

If you place them in the veggie section and turn them occasionally to allow airflow, they should remain fresh for about 30 days.

You can do the same with grapefruit as well.

To refrigerate lemons, however, put them in a sealed ziplock bag before placing them in the fridge.

3. Place on an Airy Counter Top

For oranges and grapefruit that you intend to consume within a week, placing them on a counter at room temperature is sufficient.

The number of days the fruit will remain fresh is, however, dependent on how hot the area you live in gets. Try leaving them out for a few days and pay attention to how well they keep.

Do not cover them with anything. Airflow plays a huge role in maintaining citrus fruit freshness.

4. Keep Them Dry

Whether you refrigerate or keep your citrus fruits on a countertop, keeping them dry is key.

Bundling them together when wet encourages mold growth and lesions which could break down the peel and compromise the flesh of the fruit.

5. Store Citrus Fruits for Longer: Pickling

This is one of the best ways to keep your fruit for up to six months.

Pickling is effective for oranges, lemons, and limes. To do this, make incisions on your fruit and place salt on the incisions before putting them in airtight jars and close tightly.

Something else you can do is to squeeze out the juice and freeze it in cubes before placing them in the refrigerator in zip lock bags. You can then use the cubes as needed.

No More Wastage

With these citrus storage tips, you will not only store citrus fruits for longer but also enjoy fresher, more nutritious fruit and reduce the amount of fruit you throw away.

If you have many oranges, lemons or another citrus fruit around, drinking them might be easier than eating them. Check out these delicious citrusy summer drink recipes to get started!

To grow your own citrus fruits, take a look at our exotic citrus tree collection, delivered straight to your door!

5 Interesting Nutrition Facts About Persian Limes

5 Interesting Nutrition Facts About Persian Limes

Persian limes provide interesting nutritional benefits that make it the perfect plant. You may be surprised by the unique health benefits of this citrus fruit!

Did you know 90% of Persian limes that circulate in the US are grown in Florida?

People in the United States love to eat these limes. In fact, you probably eat Persian limes regularly as well, whether in recipes for food or cocktails.

They also provide a lot of health benefits that may be surprising to you. The delicious flavor, the juicy texture, and the variety of uses make this citrus great to have around.

If you'd like to learn more about some of the nutrition of Persian limes, keep reading to find out how they can help you stay healthy.

Persian Limes: How Healthy Are They?

A Persian lime, also called the Tahitian lime, is easy to tell by its size and shape. It has an oblong shape with almost pointed ends. In addition to this, the rind is often thicker and may even be bumpier in texture compared to other varieties of limes.

At about 20 to 30 calories a piece, Persian limes are a great addition to most types of food and drink. They may help you enjoy what you're eating even more than you would before. What other types of health benefits do they have?

1. Vitamin C

The big contender for healthy nutrition in limes is vitamin C. It is a water-soluble antioxidant that is found in many citrus fruits, but Persian limes carry moderate concentrations of the vitamin. 

Vitamin C is important for many reasons. It helps prevent diseases, such as scurvy or cardiovascular issues, and can help boost your immune system to fight infection.

If you are worried about your skin, vitamin C will help to fight damage to your skin, reduce your wrinkles, and improve your skin texture. 

2. Citric Acid

Lime juice has citric acid in it and this is where the sour taste comes from. Citric acid is found in amounts of about 5 mg in each ounce of lime juice. 

While being a natural preservative, citric acid also is an antioxidant. It helps to dissolve kidney stones made of crystallized calcium and will aid in smoother digestion.

3. Vitamin A

Limes have more vitamin A in them than lemons, making them the better choice for this vitamin!

Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps with your skin and vision. It also has been shown to help protect the body from many environmental factors.

4. Minerals

If you need more minerals in your diet, Persian limes have modest amounts of different minerals the body craves. Iron, calcium, potassium, and copper can all be found in limes.

These help with different parts of the body. For instance, potassium helps your cells, bodily fluids, heart rate, and blood pressure.

5. Flavonoids and Digestion

Flavonoids in limes will help to stimulate the digestive system, which is why Persian lime juice is a common home remedy for these types of problems.

Intake of lime juice will increase your digestive juices and encourage peristaltic motion in the body. The rinds of lime can even help with digestion because they contain volatile oils. 

Eating Persian Limes Regularly

Persian lime health benefits are plentiful, but they aren't the only reason we like to grow and eat limes. They also taste delicious and can even bring out other flavors in certain recipes.

At US Citrus, we offer Persian lime trees for sale, if you're interested in growing your own Persian limes! Here's more about growing Persian lime trees in containers.

Limes have been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be a staple in citrus for years to come. Adding them into your regular lineup of groceries or meal prepping would be a wise choice to make for your health.

If you want to learn more about some of the refreshing cocktail recipes you can try with Persian limes, check out our delicious recipes for the upcoming summer months!

7 Reasons Citrus Fruits Are the Most Nutritious Fruits

Citrus Fruits Are the Most Nutritious Fruits

7 Reasons Citrus Fruits Are the Most Nutritious Fruits

Everyone knows citrus is good for you, but why? Here are concrete reasons why citrus fruits reign as the most nutritious fruits for your health and wellness.

Up to 90% of people aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables. As a result, people are missing out on essential vitamins and minerals.

While all fruits and vegetables provide helpful and healthy benefits, citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are among some of the most nutritious fruits out there.

In fact, adding even a little bit of citrus to your diet can help you lose weight, have more energy, and perform better at work.

Ready to learn more? Here are seven reasons why citrus fruits are the most nutritious fruits.

1. Citrus Fruits Are Full of Vitamin C

Everyone knows that citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. But many people don't understand just how important this crucial vitamin is.

Vitamin C plays a key role in many aspects of our overall health.

It keeps skin glowing and healthy and hair strong and luscious.

Vitamin C is also important for the immune system. A healthy diet of citrus fruits can help you avoid nasty colds and illnesses.

2. They Can Help You Avoid Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are immensely painful and may require hospitalization. Fortunately, the citrate contained in many citrus fruits can break up the formation of crystallized minerals.

Along with proper hydration (something else citrus fruits can assist with), a diet rich in citrus decreases your chance of suffering from a painful kidney stone.

3. They're High in Fiber

If you've ever snacked on grapefruit or tangerine, you were likely surprised at how filling these fruits can be.

This is because they're high in fiber, which promotes good digestive health. And since foods high in fiber slow down the digestive process, you're less inclined to grab that bag of chips or cookie.

4. It's Easy to Add Citrus to Healthy Meals

On its own, citrus is a wonderful, flavorful taste. But when added to your favorite dish? Well, that's a great way to improve any healthy recipe.

For example, you can add a little lemon juice to some fish or chicken for a high-protein, Omega 3-filled meal with a one-of-a-kind flavor.

Or sprinkle some lime on a salad to give that bland bowl of greens a nice zest.

5. Citrus Can Prevent Cognitive Decline

Research has found that a diet rich in vitamin C has the potential to alleviate or even prevent some of the most dangerous cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's.

How is this possible?

Vitamin C prevents inflammation throughout the body -- including the brain. This allows for better cognitive function and overall brain health.

6. They're Great, Low-Calorie Snacks

If you're looking to lose a few pounds, it may be time to hit the produce section of your grocery store. Making citrus a snack staple could help you shed that excess weight.

The average orange only contains about 65 calories. For reference, that's about the same number of calories as a single Oreo cookie.

But, as we mentioned earlier, the fiber in citrus allows you to feel fuller, longer, making it a smarter snack choice. Plus, oranges are high in protein, giving you a nice little boost of energy.

7. They're Low in Sugar

Fruit is nature's dessert. And while fruit doesn't contain as much sugar as a bowl of ice cream or a brownie, certain fruits, such as bananas and grapes, contain more sugar than you may expect.

Meanwhile, citrus fruits contain a reasonable, healthy amount of natural sugar so you can enjoy a sweet treat without ruining your diet.

Final Thoughts on Why Citrus Fruits Are the Most Nutritious Fruits

It's impossible to deny the many benefits of citrus fruits. These tangy, tasty treats aren't just the most nutritious fruits out there -- they're some of the most delicious ones, too.

Want to see how you can enjoy the benefits of citrus for yourself? Create an account today and learn how you can grow citrus fruits in your own backyard!