Spring has supposedly arrived but apparently the weather hasn’t fully gotten the message. Despite our persistent rosy outlook for those early spring days, April has always been one of those funny months, with weather that fluctuates between elating and downright depressing. This year, some areas got a snow dusting on April 16th! So while I’d love to pack up the cold weather outerwear and I’m beyond excited to say hello to crisp sugar snap peas and berries, we’re not quite there yet.

One foot in the spring door; a toe still stuck in winter. That’s April for you. My kids have been loving citrus all winter and in particular, Cara Cara oranges. These pink-fleshed oranges are sweet, great for snacking and in season from December through April. We’ll be sad to see them go. The kids were game to help me craft an April Citrus Salad using Cara Cara oranges as a celebration of sorts – in with the new, out with the old. The dish is tart and sweet with remnants of cold weather fruit and hints of warmer weather goodies like berries. April, to a T.

We are a device-free kitchen these days, following my appliance accident. This recipe calls for cardamom and instead of using ground cardamom, we used the whole pods. My daughter had such fun opening the pods and crushing the tiny seeds with the back of a wooden spoon. The larger-than-usual bits of cardamom added amazing brightness to this dish.

We packed this April Citrus Salad for lunch with black beans and rice, baby carrots, dried
apricots, sunflower cookies and our favorite lunch notes from Lunchbox Love.
April Citrus Salad 
One pink grapefruit
One Cara Cara navel orange (any navel orange will do)
Juice of ½ Meyer lemon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom (or ½ teaspoon of already ground cardamom)
1/4 tsp salt
3 TB raw pumpkin seeds
Zest of ½ lemon
1/2 cup berries (we have made this several times using strawberries and raspberries)
1/2 c coconut chips (we used Dang)

Peel the citrus and cut into bite sized chunks. Add lemon juice. Sprinkle with cardamom and salt
and mix so that the flavors are evenly distributed. Add pumpkin seeds, zest, berries and coconut
chips and combine. Let it sit for about 20 minutes so that the flavors meld together and serve at
room temperature.


All images are the author’s own.

Gillian Fein

Kidville Member

Gillian Fein


Founder of LaLa Lunchbox, a fun, easy-to-use iOS app that takes the stress out of lunch planning and helps families save money and time. Hailed by The New York Times, Parenting, Swiss-Miss and more, the app empowers kids to have a say in their meals, and makes a game out of what was once a frustrating chore. Gillian worked in the public health sector for nearly a decade after receiving her MBA from Columbia University and lives in New York City with her husband and three kids.