Easy, no-recipe-required ways to enjoy one of our favorite citrus fruits.
Credit: Hannah Hayes @hayeshannah

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and it's not because of the holidays. No, it's because of citrus. While the rest of the nation sees crates of turnips as their available fresh, local produce, we are blessed with a bounty of lemons, oranges, limes, kumquats, grapefruits, tangerines, and mandarins—all bright, brilliant orbs of edible sunshine in an otherwise dreary, gray season.

One of the most special offerings we lay claim to is the Satsuma, Louisiana's answer to the clementine with an easy-to-peel rind and a mellow, honeyed taste. For those of us that don't live closer to the Big Easy, Satsumas may not be as readily available, but that doesn't mean they don't pop up in grocery stores across the South. Just be on the lookout. Occasionally, they are available with their stems and leaves; other times, you'll find them boxed up in cardboard boxes. Either way, take advantage of them with these five easy, no-long-recipe-required ideas.

Satsuma Gin and Tonic

Add a few tablespoons of Satsuma juice to your gin and tonic. If you want to follow our favorite ratios, try 2 oz. of Bristow Gin, .75 oz. of Jack Rudy Tonic, and 4 to 5 oz. of soda water. Take it one step further and add a sprig of mint or a teaspoon or two of grenadine or El Guapo's rose cordial.

Satsuma-Banana-Vanilla Smoothie

Add a peeled Satsuma to equal parts almond milk and Greek yogurt or kefir. Throw in a banana for some thickness and give it a subtle floral note with a smidge of vanilla bean paste. Have some raspberries or strawberries on the precipice of over ripeness? Throw them in too.

Satsuma-Cranberry Relish

Buzz up a 12 oz. package of cranberries, two or three peeled Satsumas, and a peeled apple in a food processor.  Sweeten to taste with sugar, and boom, a much fresher cranberry side dish to add to the holiday table that people will actually want to eat.

Satsuma Salad Ideas

Try Satsuma sections in a classic spinach salad with some chopped bacon and poppy seed dressing or toss them into a savory faro or couscous salad for a bit of sweetness. You can even use their juice in the dressing.

Satsuma Garnish

If you find Satsumas with their leaves and stems still attached, use them to score presentation points on anything from a roast chicken to a citrus-themed dessert.