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Spa-inspired recipes with citrus from Canyon Ranch

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Make Spa-food at home

Chef Scott Uehlein, corporate chef of Canyon Ranch Health Resorts and SpaClubs, is known for his all-natural, healthy and immensely flavorful spa-inspired dishes. To celebrate summer, he created a few sunny citrus dishes for you to easily cook-up at home. Here are Chef Uehlein's tips to include fresh citrus and citrus juice in your homecooked dishes plus six citrus-kissed spa recipes.

Citrus Slices

Tips to include citrus in dishes.

Citrus, such as oranges, lemons, and limes add vibrant flavor to meals. The zest is bursting with fragrant citrus oils, the juice adds a distinctive citric flavor, and the flesh, oranges especially, lends brilliant color and texture. Chef Uehlein finds Florida 100 percent orange juice invaluable in many of his spa-licious dishes. He suggests the following ways for you to include citrus in your meals.

1. Use citrus to balance sweet and sour flavors in salad dressings, sauces and beverages. Read Healthy cooking tips for women from Canyon Ranch for more suggestions to balance the flavors in your dishes.

2. Drink orange juice for your health in addition to cooking with it. An eight-ounce glass of 100 percent orange juice is a full serving of fruit!

3. Use Florida orange juice as a marinade for meats by pairing it with garlic, ginger, scallions and soy sauce. After an hour or so, those meats will be grill-ready!

4. Use Florida orange juice as a substitute for wine in sauteed dishes. It will lend that sweet and sour taste to balance the flavors of the dish.

5. Use 100 percent orange juice in a sneaky way to pump up the nutritional value of certain recipes by substituting it for water or milk in baked goods.

Spa-inspired recipes with citrus

Here are a few delectable recipes featuring oranges.

Orange Souffle

Makes 6 servings

Orange SouffleIngredients:
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 6 individual (6-ounce) souffle dishes with canola oil and dust with sugar. Set aside.

2. In a heavy saucepan, bring milk just to a simmer and remove from heat. Beat together egg yolks, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until thick and lemon yellow in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add in cornstarch until fully incorporated. Add hot milk slowly, mixing until smooth.

3. Pour custard mixture back into saucepan and cook on high, stirring constantly for approximately 2 minutes until very thick. Whisk in orange zest and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until cool.

4. In clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt until light and foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until firm peaks form (this can take up to 5 minutes with an electric mixer). Transfer cooled custard to large clean bowl. Lightly fold custard into egg white mixture until fully incorporated. Make sure to not overmix or souffle will fall.

5. Scoop mixture into prepared souffle cups. Bake on baking sheet for 30-40 minutes until soufflé has risen 1 to 2 inches and is nicely golden brown. Serve immediately.

Cook's Note: Can be topped with whipped cream and candied orange peel.

Orange Crepes with Fruit Filling

Makes 4 servings

Orange CrepesCrepes:
4 eggs
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 generous tablespoons flour

Fruit filling:
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh quartered strawberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
Powdered sugar, optional

Directions:
1. In a blender container, place eggs, orange juice, sugar and salt. Cover and pulse 15 seconds until combined. While blender is on, add flour one tablespoon at a time until blended well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Pour 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook until edges are nice and brown and middle is firm to the touch. Loosen edges and flip crepe and cool for approximately 15 seconds. Slide out of pan onto plate, cover with foil while continuing to make crepes with remaining batter.

3. In a medium bowl, combine fruit with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Using a fork, crush the berries slightly to allow the juices to come out. Place 2 crepes on a plate. Ladle 1/4 cup of the fruit mixture on one side of each crepe and roll crepe over the fruit. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

Orange Crab Salad

Makes 6 servings

Orange Crab SaladDressing:
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:
1 avocado, diced
1 Florida orange, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (can substitute any color pepper)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh minced jalapeno or serrano pepper, optional
1 pound lump crabmeat (fresh or frozen)
Lettuce leaves (leaf lettuce or spring mix)
Ground black pepper
Fresh Florida orange segments, if desired

Directions:
1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine avocado, orange, red onion, red bell pepper, cilantro and jalapeno. Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Squeeze all liquid out of crabmeat, removing any shells. Add crabmeat to salad mixture. Arrange lettuce on salad plates. Top with crabmeat mixture and reserved dressing. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Garnish with orange segments if desired.

Orange Cornbread

Makes 12 servings

Orange CornbreadIngredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (16 ounces) fresh corn, lightly chopped (may substitute canned or frozen)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is heating, lightly spray 9-inch square baking pan with canola oil and dust with flour. Set aside.

2. Beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and orange juice and beat just until combined.

3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together. Fold flour mixture into orange juice mixture, just until combined. Stir in chopped corn.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly and cut into 12 squares.

Cook's note: Mix together 1/4 cup softened butter with 2 tablespoons of orange honey. Makes a wonderful butter to spread on the cornbread. Enjoy!

Mint Orange Agave Cooler

Makes 1 (8-ounce) serving

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that has a lower glycemic index value than other sweeteners. It is available at supermarkets and natural foods stores. Read Health benefits of agave nectar for more information on this alternative to sugar.

Mint AgaveIngredients:
8 fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup ice
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup water

Directions:
Place mint leaves in the bottom of the glass. With the back of a spoon, bruise mint to break up slightly to release flavor. Add ice. Combine all remaining ingredients, stir and pour over mint and ice.

Cook's Note: Mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves. Stir. Pour onto plate. Wet rim of glass and dip into mixture prior to adding drink. Adds more of that great minty flavor to this drink.

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