Oranges, Lemons and Limes
Winter is citrus time.  When wandering the streets with my dog, I’m always on the lookout if any lemons, oranges or mandarins have fallen on the street so I can take a couple home. 
Nothing beats the sweet, tangy delight of freshly squeezed orange juice or a plump mandarin straight off the tree.  And lemons…well they are so indispensible in the kitchen that no back yard should be without a lemon tree.
Here are some of our favourite recipes to help use up your winter citrus bounty...
Moroccan Preserved Lemons

These are incredibly EASY to make and they’ll transform any dish you make into a taste sensation.  The preserved rind adds an intense, concentrated lemon flavour to food without the sour tartness. 
  • Preferably organic Meyer lemons, but Eureka or Lisbon will do
  • Salt
  1. If you’re not using organic lemons, soak the lemons in a vinegar-water solution for a few minutes to clean all chemicals off the rinds, then rinse well.
  2. Trim the nubs off both ends of each lemon.
  3. Slice the lemons into quarters, leaving the ends attached.  So slice down just a little over 3/4 of the way.
  4. Put a teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a preserving jar.  Sprinkle another teaspoon of salt into the quartered lemon.
  5. Stuff the lemon into the jar, open end down, and push hard to squish it and release its juices.
  6. Put a teaspoon of salt over the top of the lemon.
  7. Repeat the process, putting a teaspoon of salt inside the second lemon, and then squish it down hard on top of the first lemon.
  8. You got it – add another teaspoon of salt on top of the second lemon, and repeat the process for the third and final lemon.  Add a teaspoon of salt on the very top.  The jar should be halfway full of lemon juice from having compressed the lemons.  If needed, squeeze some extra lemon juice into the jar to bring it to the halfway point. And don’t waste that lemon – cut it up and stuff it into the jar.  Now pour some water that’s been boiled and cooled (sterile) into the jar to fill it up the rest of the way.  Repeat this process for however many jars you wish to make.
  9. After you add the water, screw on the lid and let the jar sit at room temperature for 3 days, giving it a shake and turn it upside-down/right-side up a few times a day. After 3 days place the jar in the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 3 weeks before using.  Keep the jar in the refrigerator.  Whatever dish you use them in, discard the pulp (it’s the peel that is used) and thoroughly wash the peel to remove excess salt.
 That’s it!  Your preserved lemons are ready.
Use the chopped peel in salad dressings, on seafood and chicken, in risottos and pasta, hummus, dips, sauces, salsas.  Just add it to everything!

Vital Veggies Lemony Lentil Salad
Ingredients for 2 - 4 people:
  • 1 cup raw brown (green) lentils
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stems
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbs Thai sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 – 2 tbs minced onion
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp minced fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Mix together all the dressing ingredients.
  • Soak the raw lentils for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours), then rinse well.  At this point they can be drained and left in a dark spot for a couple of days to sprout if you like or they can be cooked straight away.
  • Place soaked and/or sprouted lentils into a saucepan and cover with fresh water.
  • Bring lentils to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 - 10  minutes.  Don’t allow them to go mushy, they should be ‘al dente’.  The cooking time will depend on how long they were soaked.
  • Drain the lentils and place them into the bowl with the dressing.
  • Add coriander to the lentils and mix everything up well.
  • Serve sprinkled with extra coriander

(Everyone’s favourite gluten free) Orange and Almond Cake
Ingredients for 1 cake:
  • 2 large oranges (any variety)
  • 1 ½  cups ground almonds
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Place whole oranges with their peel intact in a pan and cover with water.  Bring slowly to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until the oranges are very soft.  Drain.
  2. Place cooked oranges with their peel into a food processor and puree until reasonably smooth
  3. In a clean bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick, then mix in pureed oranges, vanilla and ground almonds.
  4. Finally mix in the baking powder.
  5. Place mixture into a cake tin lined with baking paper and bake at 180C for approximately 50 minutes.  Check if it’s ready by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake.  If it comes out clean it’s ready.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely
Serve the cake warm or at room temperature sprinkled with powdered sugar and decorated with whipped cream.
Raw Energy Tangy Lime Tart 
(the dessert that’s healthier than most breakfasts)
This raw dessert tart is vegan, dairy free, gluten free and sugar free. 

It contains healthy fats from avocados and coconut oil, lime which has alkalising benefits and Matcha green tea powder, which is a potent antioxidant.

Ingredients for 1 cake:
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup macadamias
  • 1/2 cup activated buckwheat
  • 1/3  cup chopped medjool dates (packed)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 1 tbs coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbs coconut nectar
  • Large pinch of Himalayan salt (more if you like it salty, taste it and alter to your preference)
  • 3/4 cup fresh organic lime (or lemon) juice
  • 2 medium to large avocados
  • 3/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (you can make fresh by blending the flesh and 1/2 water of a young coconut, I find that this tastes the best)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder/essence
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbs raw cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 2 tbs of lecithin
  • 1/2 tsp Matcha green tea powder
  1. Starting with the base, place all listed ingredients in a foods processor and blend until finely chopped, add the melted coconut oil last and knead in with fingers.
  2. With fingers, press the base into a greased tin (line base of tin with grease proof paper), put aside in the freezer until ready to add the topping.
  3. Next, for the filling add all ingredients except the lecithin, coconut butter, coconut oil and cacao butter into blender, blend until super smooth.
  4. In a small saucepan or double boiler melt the coconut butter, coconut oil and cacao butter. 
  5. Add lecithin, melted coconut butter, coconut oil and cacao butter to the mix in the blender, blend thoroughly.
  6. Pour mixture on top of the base, place in the freezer for 2-3 hours to set or until firm.
  7. To serve allow the cake to melt slightly on the edges, remove the tin, decorate as desired.
  8. The tart can be stored in freezer for a few weeks, though tastes best defrosted, and stores well in the fridge for a few days.
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