3 healthy recipes featuring summer citrus fruit

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(BPT) - Refreshing, delicious and versatile, citrus is a quintessential flavor of summertime. If you’re looking to enhance and add new depth to your meals and snacks, there's no shortage of options with these three varieties: lemons, grapefruits and Valencia oranges.

Lemons truly are a year-round classic and their bright, floral aroma and tangy flavor can brighten up any dish or drink on a hot summer day. Valencia oranges, also known as the Official Orange of American Summers, are 100% U.S. grown and 100% fresh and juicy. Finally, bursting with delicious juice and boasting a distinct tangy flavor, grapefruit pack a nutritional punch and have many culinary uses.

Fresh in-season citrus is tasty and can be enjoyed alone or in recipes. Plus, because many citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and other key nutrients, it's a smart option for supporting immune health during the busy summer months. Here are three flavorful and nutritious recipe options for summer to inspire your cooking featuring peak in-season citrus, including Sunkist® lemons, grapefruit and Valencia oranges:

Citrus Pasta Salad

This tasty pasta salad is ideal for summer brunches, light lunches or a refreshing side. Serves four.

Citrus Pasta Salad ingredients:

1 pound orzo
2 Sunkist® Valencia oranges, peeled and segmented
2 Sunkist® grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 bunch mint leaves

Vinaigrette ingredients:

2 Sunkist® lemons, zested
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pinch of salt

Vinaigrette directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Set aside.

Pasta salad directions:

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Combine orzo, oranges, grapefruit, feta cheese and mint leaves. Stir in vinaigrette.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes and serve.

Orange Cream Popsicles

The juiciness of the Valencia orange is featured in these flavorful and refreshing popsicles that are great for kids and adults alike. Makes six.

Ingredients:

2 cups Sunkist® Valencia orange juice
2 cups whole milk vanilla Greek yogurt, plain or other vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, optional
6 slices of Sunkist® Valencia orange
6 5-ounce paper cups
6 wooden popsicle sticks

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix the orange juice, yogurt and maple syrup until combined.

Pour evenly into paper cups and top with orange slice.

Poke wooden stick through center of orange. Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.

Lemon Olive Vinaigrette for Grilled Flank Steak

Citrus is the perfect pairing with savory foods. Top your favorite meat with this vinaigrette and see for yourself. Visit Sunkist.com/Recipes for directions on cooking a delicious grilled flank steak that is incredible, especially when paired with this vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pitted and finely chopped olives (Castelvetrano or Kalamata)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Whisk together the olives, parsley, oregano or basil, fresh garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and kosher salt and pepper.

Citrus tips

No matter how you plan to use citrus this summer, you can make sure you get the best citrus with these tips:

1. When shopping for citrus, choose fruit that smells fresh and feels heavy for its size. The heavier the fruit, the juicer it is.

2. You can keep your citrus fresh longer — up to three weeks — by storing in the refrigerator at a temperature below 42 degrees.

3. To ensure you get the most juice, bring citrus to room temperature before cooking.

4. From the zesty peel to the juicy flesh, all parts of citrus can be put to good use.