The first citrus of the season are here: Limes!

key-and-bearss-limes

The first citrus of the season to ripen in our Sierra Foothill Location are limes. These will be followed by Satsuma Mandarins, then Meyer lemons, Oro Blanco Pomelos and finally Blood and Navel Oranges as we progress into the winter. We are now harvesting and selling Key limes and Bearss limes grown on our farm here in Newcastle.

Most supermarket limes are grown in Mexico, harvested when they are barely ripe, shipped to the US and often stored for weeks before purchase. They tend to be low in juice content due to these harvest conditions.

In contrast, our limes are grown right here in the Sierra Foothills of California, using no pesticides or herbicides, and they ripen to perfection in the autumn sun. As limes ripen they color up from dark green, to a lighter green, and then finally yellow. We pick them at the light green stage, sometimes with a touch of yellow, and they are very juicy and flavorful. They are harvested TO ORDER, and when they reach you we guarantee they will be the juiciest limes you have ever purchased.

If you would like to order limes to pick up from the farm, please contact us using this contact information.

You can also order a box of limes shipped to any address in the continental US. Please contact us for more information

Try these delicious recipe for our juicy limes: creamy citrus pops, key lime pie

 

 

Creamy citrus pops

Citrus season on Burgeson Family Farm always starts with the lime harvest. Before the very hot summers have faded to the crisp days of autumn we treat ourselves to cool lime-centric drinks on the porch in the evening: gin and tonic, greyhound and margarita cocktails and sparkling water on ice with generous wedges of lime plucked from the tree just minutes before. When I walk by the trees, laden with fruit, it is almost impossible for me to resist grabbing a lime, scratching the aromatic rind and inhaling the intoxicating aroma.

limes-with-flowers

Limes on the trees at Burgeson Family Farm. Note the bees are at work pollinating a new crop which will be ready in the spring. It is uncommon for us to have 2 crops in one year but it looks like it will happen this year.

This is the pop recipe that “started it all”, the pop obsession in our family. Lime pops are so cool, creamy and tart; it takes only 3 ingredients and minutes to make the mix, and to me they are more satisfying and delicious than a key lime pie.  This recipe will work with any limes, either the small little Key limes with their intense acidity and aroma and multitude of tiny seeds, or the big juicy seedless Bearss limes, or even store bought supermarket Mexican limes. We have also made this recipe with lemons which make a kind of frozen lemon meringue pie pop.key-and-bearss-limes

 

Key limes on the left and Bearss limes on the right

(Many people think that only key limes are yellow but all limes will turn more yellow when they are very ripe. Note the Bearrs limes are actually more yellow than the Key limes.)

If there is a farmer in your area growing limes, I urge you to  buy some at least once to make this, or your cocktails, with them.  Most of the limes in the grocery stores are shipped from Mexico, and they are far from freshly picked. The oils in the zest of a freshly picked lime add so much to the flavor of this recipe. You may want to keep one on hand to “scratch and sniff” for a pick me up.

3 Ingredient Creamy Lime Pop Recipe

For this recipe you need only 3 ingredients:

Limes (4-5 large ones or about 10-14 small ones)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces) (I use organic)

1 ½ cups of non-fat Greek yogurt (I use organic, usually either Straus, Clover or Wallaby because I have actually seen their farms and “happy cows” as I travel about Northern California)

(Note, if you want a creamier, more decadent pop, you can replace some, or all of the Greek yogurt with softly whipped cream. Now you really have an ice cream bar!)

Finely zest the rind from the limes. I love this little tool, a microplane grater, for making a very fine zest:microplane-grater-rind

You should have 2 Tablespoons of zest. Note the beautiful fine zest this tool makes.

a-fine-lime-zest

Squeeze the juice from enough limes to make ½ cup.  This handy citrus juicer makes that task a breeze.

juicing-limes

Put the juice and zest in a bowl. Stir in the condensed milk.  Add the Nonfat Greek yogurt and/or whipped cream and mix well. I use a hand whisk. You can also whip it in a blender which will make the mixture fluffy and the pops will be more light and creamy once frozen.

whisking-ingredients

(I like to mix it in a measuring cup with a pour spout for easy pouring into the molds).

Note: These are high in protein and low in fat (see the analysis below). If you would like the recipe to be even higher in protein and lower in sugar and fat, you can add more of the Greek yogurt. That can be done according to your taste, as it will make them tart.  They also will be a bit less creamy.

Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds. This recipe will make 10 popsicles of about 1/2 cup each.

filling-pop-molds

If you don’t have molds you can use small paper cups, but I urge you to consider buying some popsicle molds. They are the most used piece of kitchen equipment we have purchased in a long time.

Put the popsicle sticks in the molds.

insert-sticks

Don’t shove the sticks all the way to the bottom. That will leave a short stick for eating. The mixture should be thick enough to suspend the sticks at the right depth. If not, freeze for awhile and then insert the sticks about halfway into the molds.

Now put the molds in a flat spot in your freezer and patiently wait for at least 4-6 hours for them to freeze completely all the way through. The sticks must be completely frozen in the middle of the pop.

To remove the popsicles from the molds put some very hot water in a glass. (I heat the water in the glass for a minute or two in the microwave). Dip the pop in the hot water for 10-20 seconds or so, until it slightly releases from the sides of the mold. Now squeeze the mold a bit to loosen the pop, hold the pop with the handle facing down and slide it out of the mold. If it does not come out easily, do not pull too hard on the stick or it might come out of the pop. Instead, heat it in the water again until it releases easily.

You can refreeze the pops on a tray until they are very hard, so they don’t stick together, then store them in a container or plastic bag in the freezer. They theoretically will last a long time, but practically speaking, it is doubtful they will be around all that long. They are that good.

pops

Creamy Lime Pops

Nutrition Analysis per Pop (Makes 10):

152 calories, 6 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat,

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Pomegranates: How to get to the seeds; how to make juice

Pomegranates are such a beautiful, nutritious fruit that it is a shame that so few people get the chance to enjoy them. Many are intimidated by the process of removing the seeds, and obtaining juice from the seeds is even more overwhelming. But the delicious reward for your endeavours is unequaled, and it really can be a relatively clean and painless process if done correctly.

Often the pomegranates you buy in the store have been picked before they are fully ripe. The best pomegranates are the ones that are picked when they are so ripe they have started to crack. Obviously at this point they do not store well but this is when the color is the darkest and they are the most sweet. We try to pick our pomegranates right before they crack. Unfortunately when I picked today we had waited so long many of them looked like this.

perfectly-ripe-pomegranate-1

I won’t be able to sell this pomegranate but it will make great juice and it will be easy to open!

We use most of the pomegranates we grow to make juice. We love to
mix the juice with tonic water, or spirits such as vodka or tequila to make
cocktails. It also can be boiled down to make pomegranate syrup to use in
cooking.

We tried using citrus presses and other easy methods to make
the juice, but we have found that the skin and pulp impart bitter flavors to the juice
so we have gone back to using a somewhat laborious method which involves
first removing the seeds from the pomegranate, then getting juice from the
seeds.

Here is how to get the seeds from the pomegranate:

First remove the skin from the top and bottom of the
pomegranate. Cut around the circumference but only through the skin, not
deep enough to cut the seeds. This will prevent the task from becoming a big juicy mess!

pomegranate-slice-top-1

Cut around the circumference of the pomegranate both top and bottom but do not cut through the seeds, only through the skin.

Now peel off the skin. Notice the seeds are whole.This is because they were not cut with the knife.

peeling-top-off-1

Peeling off the top and bottom to reveal the lovely seeds inside.

There can be some pomegranate spray, so I usually do this step and the steps afterwards holding the pomegranate under a bowl full of water.  The water contains almost every bit of spray. If I do this while watching TV rather than outside or in the kitchen, I cover the sofa with an old sheet as an extra precaution.

Now cut from top to bottom in about 5 or 6 locations around the perimeter of the pomegranate. Again, these are shallow cuts that only cut the skin, not the seeds.

slicing-sides-1

Now  break the pomegranate apart along the natural segments, and remove the seeds from each segment. This is less messy if it is done under water.

breaking-apart-the-pomegranate-in-water_edited-1

Note the natural segments of seeds that have separated from the skin and membrane.  Gently scrap away those seeds from the membrane and let them drop into the water.

The white pulp will float to the top and the seeds will sink to
the bottom of the water. Now skim the pulp off the top of the water,
and strain the seeds, and they are ready to go.

skimming-the-water

If you dry the seeds on a cloth and then store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator, with folded paper towels on the top of the seeds, they can last for weeks. You can sprinkle them on salad, on your yogurt and oatmeal or just grab handfuls for snacks.

If you want to take it to the next level, you can make juice.

Here is a huge soup pot filled with pomegranate seeds ready for making juice.
Adrian often does this job while he is watching TV. He covers the sofa with a sheet because he prefers to not use the water, so it can become a somewhat messy job. Check out that sheet. Sometimes it looks like a massacre has occurred in our living room!the-pomegranate-seeds-1

The juice can be made with either raw or cooked pomegranates. We have found it is somewhat sweeter if we cook them. If you are planning to make juice and do not have a juice press, you should heat them to get the maximum yield. Put a small amount of water in the bottom of the pot, smash them down slightly with a potato masher to release more liquid, put on the cover, and slowly heat the pomegranates, stirring occasionally, until they have come to a simmer and have broken down but have not boiled, and the juice has been released. Then let them cool.

These are the pomegranates after heating and cooling. They are now ready to be pressed.

pomegranates-after-heating-1

Cooked pomegranate seeds ready to be made into juice.

The seeds are then placed into a juice bag which we purchased, along with our little tabletop press, at The Beverage People, which is in Santa Rosa. We have also seen small tabletop presses for sale at O’hara Brew House Supply in Auburn. Ours is an Italian Fruit Press and is made by Ferrari. You can also use a large piece of muslin if you are planning to squeeze the juice by hand.

the-pressing-1 (1)

Pouring seeds and juice into tabletop press

Before we had this tabletop press, we used a large old wine press we had, and before that we just used muslin or a cloth bag and squeezed by hand. The little tabletop press is by far the best way to go when you have a lot of pomegranates and are planning to make juice every year.

If you are doing this by hand, just place the pomegranate seeds in a fine mesh strainer and let the juice run out freely. Then put the seeds in a muslin bag or in the middle of a large muslin piece and twist the top until the juice is squeezed out of the bag. Continue to twist and squeeze the bag or fabric until you can get as much juice out as possible. You can get about 3/4 of the juice out without using a press. We got about 1 cup of juice per pound of seeds squeezing by hand. This is the seeds from 2 large pomegranates.

We put the bag of pomegranate seeds in the press, gradually
screw it down to create pressure on the seeds and the juice runs out of the
spout into our collection device.press-3

This may be the best pomegranate juice you have ever tasted!

From there we pour it into bottles and freeze or can it to use year round.

Nutrition Note: pomegranates are high in phyto-nutrients
associated with a reduction in disease. Much of the strongest research has suggested that eating pomegranates or drinking the juice can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. The research on reducing the risk of prostate cancer has been especially promising.

We have pomegranates for sale on the farm now. Please contact us using this link to place an order.

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Key Lime Pie

The first citrus crop to ripen on our farm are limes. The harvest starts in early Fall.

We grow both key limes and Bearss limes on our farm here in Newcastle, California. Both are tart, juicy and delicious and can be used in this recipe. The Key limes are small, with many seeds, and are a bit more tart than the Bearss limes, which are seedless, large and juicy. Both limes will turn more yellow as the season progresses.

key lime with signature_edited-1

This recipe is for a delicious, easy frozen key lime pie.  It is so refreshing after a rich  meal and it is so simple to prepare.

Easy Frozen Key Lime Pie 

Use any recipe you like, or purchase a premade graham cracker crust:

Mix until blended:

1 Tablespoon grated lime rind

1/2 cup of lime juice

1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

Fold in:

1 cup of whipped cream (or for a lower fat version you can use Greek yogurt to replace some, or all of the cream)

Pour this into the pie shell and freeze until solid (at least 3 hours).

You can also top with more whipped cream and shredded lime rind to pretty this sweet treat up.

Do you wonder how you can purchase our Key Limes? Contact our farm to arrange to pick them up.

 

New Years Cheer: Satsuma Mimosas and Cocktails

When we sort through our Satsumas before boxing and bagging them we pull out all of the seconds that are not of sufficient quality to sell. Some of them have damaged skin, or skin that is very soft, and some have hard green spots on the skin. We sell these
seconds for half price at the farm, 75 cents per pound. They are very perishable due to the skin damage so they should be cut and juiced, or peeled and sectioned soon after purchase.

We often peel and freeze the mandarin sections and used them throughout the year for smoothies. These mandarins are still very sweet and juicy however, so they also make great mandarin juice. We just cut them in half and juice them using a citrus juicer. You can even squeeze them by hand, they are so soft and juicy.

mandarin-juicew

Delicious fresh Satsuma Mandarin juice

This juice can be mixed with sparkling wine for a delicious Mimosa, or can be mixed with sparkling water for a non-alcoholic holiday toast.

We have also come up with some delicious cocktail recipes using the mandarin juice.

Sierra Sunset Cocktail

In addition to using the fresh squeezed mandarin juice, this recipe uses pomegranate juice, sweet sparkling wine such as Proseco, and Grand Marnier. The recipe for our home-made pomegranate juice is here:

https://burgesonfamilyfarm.com/2018/10/05/pomegranates-how-to-get-to-the-seeds-how-to-make-juice-2/

Fill a glass with crushed ice. Fill the glass with slightly less than 1/3 pomegranate juice, then add 1/3 sweet sparkling wine and 1/3 mandarin juice. Finally pour 1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier over the top.

sierra-sunset-cocktailw

“Sierra Sunset Cocktail”

For a non alcoholic version, fill the glass with 1/3 pomegranate juice, 1/3 tonic water, and 1/3 mandarin juice.

Mandarin Vodka Tonic

Fill a glass with crushed ice. Mix 1/2 cup mandarin juice, 1/2 cup tonic water and 1 shot of vodka and pour over the ice.

mandarin-vodka-tonicw

“Mandarin Vodka Tonic”

You can also make a delicious Satsuma Mandarin Margarita.

Satsuma Mandarin Margarita

Mix together :

3 shots fresh squeezed Satsuma mandarin juice

1 shot white 100% agave tequila (such as Patron silver)

½ shot Cointreau

½ shot fresh squeezed lime juice

Pour this over ice in a glass and serve immediately.

mandarin-margarita-close-upw

If you would like to purchase our mandarins, please contact us using this link. We are open weekends from 12-4 and other times by appointment.

© 2013. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written permission of the author is prohibited.

www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

We Now Offer Satsuma Mandarins in Sustainable Bags: These make great gifts!

gift bag with copyright

Our Satsuma Mandarins are now offered in reusable 6 pound bags!  These make great gifts for friends, employees, teachers, coworkers, family, or of course, a great gift for yourself!  These bags were custom made for us in the USA using food grade burlap which is a natural, compostable product.

These bags are filled with 6 pounds of our delicious, freshly picked sweet Satsuma Mandarins and are available from the farm for 10 dollars per bag. If you would like to place an order to pick up at the farm please contact us at this link.

For large corporate gift orders, depending upon quantity, delivery in Northern California can be arranged.  Contact us for more information.

If you would like to order shipped mandarins, we recommend our USPS flat rate box products which are available at this link.

Satsumas and beer

Yesterday after a hard days work picking and packing mandarins we made a delivery to a local brewery, Out of Bounds Brewery in Rocklin. The head brewer ordered some of our Satsuma mandarins to add to a special batch of beer he will be brewing.  We sat down for a tasting of the 12 beers available. We are homebrewers and pretty critical of beer so it is rare that we like all of the beers made by a brewery, but this was an exception. The beers were fantastic! We are excitedly awaiting the first beer made from our Satsuma Mandarins which will be available sometime in January. We will post the minute it is available!