clementinetree_closeup_cutie Cutie_closeupSun Pacific Cuties® , a delicious sweet clementine from family farms located in the San Joaquin Valley of California are in! You can find them in your local grocery store in 3lb bags or boxes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that “clementines are clementines”. One need only to peel – and easily peel – the perfect fruit to smell, then taste the candy that nature created to be assured that the best clementines, or Cuties® , come from California.

Cuties®  are only available November through April, but December is the optimum time for these little orange jewels. They should be available on the east coast very soon.

For parents of allergic children, Cuties® have a lot of vitamins, are free of the top 8 allergens as defined by the FDA, and are gluten-free. Additionally, they are packed with a number of fantastic vitamins and fiber. The company sent my family a 3lb box of Cuties® to review on Friday and they were completely eaten by Monday.

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But what if you purchase 3lbs of Cuties® and they start to turn? I juice them and add them to my morning orange juice (if there’s just a bit) and to recipes in place of water or milk alternative. If they are not moldy, one can dry them whole on your heater and freeze for later use. The dried peel is delicious microplaned in cornbreads, pumpkin breads, quickbreads and more. The whole dried Cutie can be made into an orange tea – make sure to poke holes in it with a knife before pouring hot water over it.

If you’re feeling really decadent, try making my Allergy Free Clementine Olive Oil Cakes to give for gifts at Christmas – here’s the recipe:

Allergen Free Clementine and Olive Oil Pound Cake

* Free of the top 8 allergens as defined by the FDA and Gluten Free

Recipe ©2009 – ©2013 by Heidi Bayer all Rights Reserved.
Inspired by CafeFernando.com

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour

½ Cup Corn Flour

¼ Cup Tapioca Starch

¼ Cup Glutinous or White Rice Flour

½ Tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Crème of Tartar

¼ tsp Crème or Tartar for oil mixture

1 TBSP Rice Protein Powder

1 tsp Calcium Powder

Pinch of Salt

1 Cup Sugar

½ tsp Xanthan Gum

2/3 C Extra-Virgin olive oil

2 tbsp Clementine zest

1 Cup Apple Sauce (as egg replcer)

1 Cup fresh squeezed Clementine Juice

(Depending on size and juicy-ness you may go through 5 – 10 clementines)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or 350 with convection). Grease and flour one 12 x 4 inch loaf pan – or two smaller pans (I prefer the smaller pans).

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl combine sugar, and clementine zest, mixing with your clean hands to extract oil from the zest – do not skip this step!. Add olive oil  (make sure it’s a really good olive oil) and mix on high speed until combined, add the reserved ¼ tsp crème of tartar to this mix, and continue, add the applesauce until mixed well. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on slow speed, add half of the Clementine juice and continue mixing, alternate flour and juice until well combined.  At the final stage, add the Xanthan Gum – do not overmix.

Pour batter into a prepared pan (or pans) – Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove cake from the oven, wait 10 minutes for it to cool down and then remove from the pan.

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