Healthy California clementine recipes

In season from November to April, Cuties are the perfect winter sweet treat. Bursting with zesty flavor and 300 percent of your daily value for vitamin C, these California mandarins, also called clementines, are easy to peel, naturally seedless, and a tasty addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Kids love them because they are cute; parents love them because they are delicious and beneficial for health. Here is more on California Cuties and a few fabulous citrus-kissed recipes.

California Cuties

Clementines are ripe with nutrition

Citrus in general is revered for its zesty flavor, refreshing juiciness, and health-promoting nutrition. California mandarins are especially ripe with delicious nutrients. According to Maricopa
Packers at, two clementines provide 290 percent of your daily value for vitamin C, 15 percent of your daily
requirement for folate, 11 percent of your recommended daily intake of potassium, four grams of fiber, and a juicy medley of other vitamins and minerals, all for only 80 calories.

Mandarins are appealing

Though they resemble miniature oranges, Cuties are actually a cross between the Clementine mandarin and Murcott mandarin. They have very distinct characteristics that make them so appealing: super
sweet, easy to peel, naturally seedless, and their small size makes them a perfect snack for the kiddos.

Cuties lend culinary versatility

A natural as a conveniently packaged snack, throw a few Cuties in your purse, backpack or lunch bag, and simply peel when ready to eat. Mandarins also have an affinity for being a part of a sweet
treat or savory meal.

Serving suggestions for clementines:

  • Stir chopped Cuties into yogurt for breakfast or snack.
  • Mix clementines with a little honey and cinnamon and serve over pancakes, waffles or French toast.
  • Toss mandarin segments into a green or fruit salad.
  • Chop clementines into a salsa or sauce.
  • Puree mandarins with savory ingredients to make a vinaigrette or light sauce for fish and chicken.
  • Blend Cuties with sweet ingredients to drizzle over cakes, tarts and fruit-based desserts.
  • Segment clementines and stir into muffin or cake batter.
  • Decorate custard tarts or cheesecake with mandarin segments (add the zest to the custard and cheesecake fillings).
  • Use Cutie segments as a pretty garnish for any plate.

Once you have a bag of clementines, you’ll find many mouthwatering uses for them.

Clementine recipes

Recipes courtesy of California Cuties

Cuties Mandarin Parfait

Serves 2

Juicy mandarin segments play a starring role in this elegant but simple to make dessert or breakfast treat.


3 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 (6-ounce) container lowfat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup granola or crumbled oatmeal cookie

1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves, stirred to thin consistency


In clear glasses or goblets, layer ingredients in this order: segments of mandarin, almonds, yogurt, granola or cookie and preserves. Repeat twice.

Ginger Cuties Bites

Makes about 44 pieces

An impressive cocktail party nibble (or yummy after-school snack), these gingery bites are easy to prepare and quick to disappear.


8 ounces spreadable cream cheese

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

4 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments

Fresh mandarin peel, thinly sliced, for garnish


1. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar and ginger.

2. Spread about 1-1/2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture on each mandarin segment.

3. Arrange on a serving plate and garnish with mandarin peel. Serve with cocktail toothpicks.

Grilled Shrimp & Cuties Black Bean Salad

Serves 4

Fresh mandarins add a blast of sweet-tart juiciness to this memorable combo of flavors, colors and textures. Put this soon-to-be-family-favorite salad on the table in just minutes. Need another
shortcut? Substitute a pound of cooked frozen shrimp, thawed under cold water, for the grilled shrimp.


2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments

1/2 each sweet red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Spicy Vinaigrette (recipe below)

4 cups baby greens or butter lettuce leaves

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and grilled or broiled

Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


1. In large bowl, gently toss beans, mandarins, peppers and onion with Spicy Vinaigrette.

2. Line four dinner plates with greens and portion salad onto each plate.

3. Top each salad with grilled shrimp, garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Spicy Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons fresh mandarin juice or cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, sugar and
salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

Cuties Chicken Couscous Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

Serves 4

This stunning entree salad tossed with a lively curry-spiked vinaigrette comes together in just minutes when you start with super-fast couscous and ready-to-serve chicken. Frozen grilled chicken
strips get this on the table in just minutes, or you can substitute 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, if desired.


1 (10-ounce) package plain couscous

3 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced, including some green top (about 1/2 cup total), divided

12 ounces frozen grilled chicken strips, heated according to package directions

Curry Vinaigrette (recipe below)


1. Prepare couscous according to package directions, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir mandarin segments, cranberries, nuts and half of the green onions into couscous. Add half
of the vinaigrette and toss well.

2. Arrange couscous on a large serving platter and top with chicken. Drizzle evenly with remaining vinaigrette and garnish with the remaining green onions. Serve immediately.

Curry Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup mandarin juice or white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/3 cup canola or other vegetable oil.

More clementine and citrus recipes