Trick your brain into thinking it’s summer with these kitchen items and tips | WOWK 13 News

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by: Laura Duerr, BestReviews Staff

by: Laura Duerr, BestReviews Staff

According to the calendar, winter has only recently started, but the long weeks of cold, wet weather have us longing for brighter days and lighter fare. Luckily, winter gifts us one of the brightest, freshest flavors in a cook’s repertoire: citrus. By harnessing this tangy, mouthwatering seasonal flavor and mastering a few easy recipe swaps, you can enjoy summer flavors even on the darkest winter days.

In this article: OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Peeler Set, AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light and Lodge Cast Iron Square Grill Pan.

Citrus is in season during winter, so lemon, grapefruit, orange, kumquat and more are now at their best and brightest. Along with starring in sweet and tangy desserts, citrus can brighten up heavy, rich dishes. Plus, many citrus fruits have a long shelf life if stored in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Some fruits can last up to three weeks.

To cook with citrus, use a microplane or vegetable peeler to shave off the zest, which contains the compounds that give citrus its distinctive aroma. Be careful to only remove the colorful part of the zest and avoid the white pith underneath, which can be bitter. Remember to wash the fruit thoroughly first to remove the waxy protective layer added for transport.

A hearty salad made with fresh produce is an easy way to capture the feeling of summer in the depths of winter. Mix in-season ingredients with spinach, lettuce or other greens, or try using fresh-squeezed citrus juice in a homemade vinaigrette. 

Other simple swaps and cooking techniques can give your go-to winter dishes a much-needed summer lift:

OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Peeler Set

Peel just about any produce with ease with these three peelers from a trusted brand. The set includes an all-purpose swivel peeler, a serrated peeler for soft fruits and a julienne peeler for thin, precise strips.

The broad surface and non-slip components of this zester make grating effortless, not to mention safer. The etched metal cutting edges stay sharper for longer. It comes with a snap-on cover for safe storage.

Zulay 2-in-1 Lemon and Lime Juicer

Easily extract juice from lemons and limes and filter out seeds at the same time with this juicer. It’s made from sturdy, rust-resistant industrial aluminum with a durable coating. Its ergonomic handles make squeezing citrus halves easy and fast.

AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light

Sold with everything you need to start growing up to nine plants indoors, this hydroponic kit lets your herb garden flourish up to five times faster than in soil. It comes with seed pods, a trellis and more.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Mindful Design Indoor Herb Garden Grow Light

This compact herb garden can fit three or four small pots of herbs under its full-spectrum LED light. It has a timer so you don’t have to remember to turn it on and off.

Camp Chef Reversible Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle

One side of this sturdy cooking surface has a flat griddle, while the other side has ridges to give food barbecued grill marks. It fits most standard stove burners so you can replicate barbecue flavors indoors.

Lodge Cast Iron Square Grill Pan

This convenient pan is easier to store than a large griddle, while still allowing home cooks to enjoy seared barbecue from the comfort of their kitchen. It arrives pre-seasoned and can be used on all cooking surfaces.

Nordic Ware Baker’s Delight 3-Piece Pan Set

These aluminum baking sheets are must-haves for everything from roasting vegetables to baking cookies. They conduct heat well and feature galvanized steel rims that resist warping. The set comes with half-sheet, quarter-sheet and jelly roll pans.

Sold by Kohl’s

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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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