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Buck Brand Citrus Bliss

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Buck Brand Finger Lime at Thrifty Foods

Buck Brand Finger Lime at Thrifty Foods

There is something truly special about tasting fresh produce while chatting with the farmer that brought it to fruition. When I heard that Lisle Babcock of Deer Creek Heights Ranch would be handing out samples of his terrific Buck Brand Organic Citrus at my local Thrifty Foods, I made a date with my mother to meet the man behind the oranges that we can’t get enough of every winter.

Lisle Babcock of Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

Lisle Babcock of Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

With his cowboy hat and many, “Ma’am”s Mr. Babcock was generous and genial with the samples of the many types of organic citrus that are currently in season on their ranch. Thrifty Foods has an exclusive deal to carry Buck Brand Organic oranges and some of their 80 different varieties of citrus fruits in British Columbia.

Buck Brand at Thrifty Foods

Buck Brand at Thrifty Foods

I go through bags and bags of their navel oranges every winter and supplement my citrus cravings with grapefruit, tangerines, pommelos, blood oranges, sweet limes and anything else that is available throughout the citrus growing season.

Buck Brand at Thrifty Foods

Buck Brand at Thrifty Foods

Until February 25th, when you buy a 4 lb. bag of Buck Brand Navel Oranges at Thrifty Foods, they will donate $1 to BC Lions Society’s Easter Seals Camps to fund kids camp fees at Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan and Camp Squamish. Plus you’re supporting a 5 acre family owned organic farm with almost 1000 citrus trees, including many heritage and hybrid varieties.

Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

While all the citrus samples were delicious and juicy, I was most interested to try the Finger Lime, I’d seen all the pretty pictures on the internet and I was curious to see if they tasted as fascinating as they looked. Originally from Australia, Deer Creek Heights Ranch has been growing them in Terra Bella. California for 4 years. Lisle cut one in half and gave it a gentle squeeze to make the tiny little juice packets bubble up to the top, to be enjoyed like an ice cream cone. The flavour is similar to a very floral lime, quite tart and tangy, but it is the texture as the little pearls pop inside you mouth that is so delightful. I bought a 50g package to bring home and enjoy at my leisure and to share with my son.

Lisle Babcock of Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

Lisle and Mary Lou Babcock of Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

We had a great time chatting with Lisle and Mary Lou and I really appreciate that they make such an effort to share their luscious fruits and take the time to interact with Canadian consumers.

Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

Buck Brand Citrus at Thrifty Foods

I now have a nice selection of citrus beautifying my kitchen counter and I’m faced with the delicious dilemma of incorporating them into a recipe or just enjoying them as nature intended.

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Jicama Hi-jinks

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This is the vegetable that I like to make friends and coworkers try. People expect it to taste like raw potato and they are always pleasantly surprised by how crisp and refreshing it is. To me, the flavour is like fresh peas still in the pod. For others, they compare it to an unripe apple or pear.

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Usually, I just munch on it au natural (the jicama, not me), but I also like to squeeze some lime juice over it to give it a citrusy boost. Jicama is loaded with fibre, vitamin C and is a good source of folic acid (extra important for Mamas-to-be).

To add a little more complexity, I hit it with a dash of chili powder. That’s one way they serve it in South America. It would also be great in a salad to add some crunch or it can be cooked as well. Cooking brings out more of a water chestnut type flavour.

Look for jicama or yam bean root, as it’s sometimes labeled, in your local supermarket near the jalapeño peppers. Pick out a smaller one that feels heavy and has the nicest skin(but don’t eat the skin, it’s nasty). Keep it in the fridge wrapped in plastic once it is cut or slice it all up and dip it in lemon water to keep it fresh. Just remember to share it, get your friends and family hooked on jicama!

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