Satsuma Mandarin season is short and sweet. The fruit does not last very long on the trees after it is ripe, so we pick it as soon as possible. Usually Satsuma season only lasts for a month or two, but there are ways to preserve them to enjoy that goodness year round.
We like to peel the Satsumas, section them and freeze them on cookie sheets. Once they are frozen we seal them up in plastic baggies which we tuck away in the freezer to use later in the year. We also squeeze the juice and freeze it in ice cube trays or milk cartons to use later in cocktails or as juice for breakfast.
Gold from the freezer. This is the way to carry mandarin season into the summer!
Our favorite use for the chunks of frozen mandarin juice, or the mandarin sections we have frozen, is to make smoothies. We start with a simple formula, equal parts frozen mandarin juice or frozen mandarin sections and milk. For example use 1 cup milk, 1 cup mandarin sections for 2 servings of about 1 cup each. We like to add a scoop of NorCal Organic (local) whey protein powder before blending it in our blender. This makes it extra fluffy and adds a protein boost for an easy breakfast.
Satsuma Mandarin Whey Protein smoothie. A delicious nutritious way to start the day.
You can use this basic recipe as a base for adding other ingredients. The mandarins are very sweet so no sweetener is needed, although you can add honey if you like. Frozen fruit such as blueberries, raspberries or banana are one way to mix it up. Sometimes we add vanilla or almond extract. Greek yogurt, vanilla flavored or plain, or adds another protein boost. Flax seed, wheat germ or hemp seed also add protein, B vitamins and essential fatty acids. A handful of spinach or kale can give you a full meal in a glass.
During Satsuma season we sometimes sell “seconds” with skin damage, for half price, 80 cents per pound, at our farm. These seconds are perfect for juicing or for peeling and freezing right away to use throughout the year. Contact us to arrange to pick your Satsumas during December and January.