Zesty Kumquat Quinoa Salad & Kumquat Nutritional Benefits!

Last week, I received a call from Dole. As you know, I’m creating the recipes for their monthly newsletter (have you signed up yet?), and on the call, they told me the featured food for the February newsletter would be kumquats.

Sure, no problem. I’ll get started on the recipe right away,” I said, hanging up the phone. And then: What the heck are kumquats?!


I knew they were a fruit, but that’s about all. One of the best things about this Dole partnership is that I’ve been challenged! I love trying new foods — especially nutritional superstars like kumquats and persimmons (January’s featured food).

Introducing kumquats:


Aren’t they cute? They are a citrus fruit, look and smell like baby oranges (with a thinner peel), and taste like a combination of an orange and lemon. So interesting!

Did you know that kumquats:

  • Are a rich source of dietary fiber
  • Are packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants, like carotene, lutein, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, and vitamins A, C, and E

  • Are eaten along with the peel



The peel adds extra nutritional benefit, tooapparently compounds found in the peels of citrus fruits may even fight harmful pathogens! Normally you could reap these benefits by adding orange, lemon, or lime zest to recipes, but in the case of kumquats, you can make it one step easier and just eat the entire peel! Sweet :)

So, how the heck do you eat kumquats? Well, you can just pop them in your mouth. Or… there’s always this:


Oh, yes.


I’m proud of this one :) Super flavorful and super nutritious. Win/win!


Zesty Kumquat Quinoa Salad (vegan)

[Makes 3 servings]


  • 1 C quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 C veggie broth (low sodium if possible)
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 C arugula
  • 1 C kumquats, chopped and deseeded (leave the peel on!)
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice (the yield from 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper


In a medium sized pan, heat the veggie broth and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the quinoa. Cooked covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add in remaining ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!


Enjoy as a side dish or a light winter lunch or dinner. You can even add some cannellini beans in to give it a little more oomph!


Promise me you’ll try it? :)

I’m off to class — I have Medical Nutrition Therapy and Food Service Systems Management on the docket for today. Have a good one!


  1. 1

    I will be trying this one! Great recipe!

  2. 2

    Wonderful recipe. I have never tried kumquats, only because I am not as adventurous as you. I promise I will try this delicious looking salad.

  3. 3

    Looks yummy! I’ve never tried kumquats!

  4. 4

    Looks delicious!! Kumquats are so yummy!

  5. 5

    That is so vibrantly beautiful! I knew they’re often zested but I didn’t know you could just eat the peel!

  6. 6

    I really like them!

    To me they taste like a spicy orange :)

    In school we talked about how candied peels on kumquats would taste so good!

  7. 7

    I just made quinoa for the first time the other night (I’d tasted it before but never made it) and I loved it! I’ve never had a kumquat but have been intrigued by them. I will definitely be making this recipe.

  8. 8

    I’ve never heard of kumquats, but I will definitely be trying your recipe.

  9. 9

    I’ve never heard of them, but they sound fun! I have medical nutrition therapy today too, I’m really excited for that class.

  10. 10

    If someone had asked me to pick up kumquats for them from the store, I would have had no idea what they were talking about. Honestly, I thought they were a vegetable! (Probably because in my mind, veggies sound scarier than fruits???)

  11. 12

    That’s really interesting. I’ve never tried kumquats before so I’m going to keep my eyes open for them in the grocery store. I love trying new things!

  12. 13

    I’ve never tried kumquats before. But I really like citrus so maybe it’s time to give them a shot.

  13. 14

    I’m so skeptical about the leaving the rinds on. But I’ll have to try to make sure!

  14. 15

    This looks delicious! I’ve called someone “my little kumquat” before, but I’ve never actually eaten one. ;) And I had no idea that the peel was edible. As part of my 2011 resolutions, I’m going to try a new food every month. It might be kumquats this month!

  15. 17

    Too awesome! And here I thought the term kumquats didn’t represent anything! Thanks!

  16. 18

    Looks delicious! :D I’ve never had a kumquat before, but I think this would be a great way to try it!

    Also, your classes at the end sound interesting! Give us a sneak peek one day about what they are about? ;)

  17. 19

    I loove persimmons! I used to pick them when I was a child with my cousins. I’ve never tried a kumquat before… delicious looking quinoa salad though!

  18. 20

    Holy moly that salad looks delicious. I guess I need to hit up the local grocery store and find some kumquats.

  19. 21

    Reading these comments, I feel like I’m the only person who’s ever had kumquats! They’re so delicious I’m glad others are jumping on the kumquat bandwagon. And yeah, that salad looks AMAZE.

  20. 22

    I have never tried kumquats, nor have I seen them in the grocery store. What do they taste like?

    PS: I tagged you in a Stylish Blogger Award on my page! congrats

  21. 23

    I lovvve kumquats and I have a bag of arugula just waiting to be used up. This sounds great!

  22. 24

    I love the texture of kumquat peels — and mixed with quinoa, you’ve got yourself a super healthy immune boosting meal!

  23. 25

    I grew up picking kumquats (Florida), not to eat, but to toss into the road and watch cars squash them. It never dawned on me that people actually ate them!

  24. 27

    This salad is right up my alley! Just stocked up on my quinoa and arugula… now to find some kumquats…

  25. 28

    I can’t wait to try your Kumquat Quinoa Recipe. It looks so delish!

  26. 29

    Kumquat is the funniest word, ever. I know, I’m like 7 and find the weirdest things funny. But your pictures are gorgeous, again, as always :)

  27. 30

    I just found this recipe looking for something to do with the kumquats that have just ripened on my own tree. I love them so much that I planted a tree. Anyone who has a kumquat tree knows they are VERY prolific. This was an excellent use of the fruit. But somewhat overpowering with the intense kumquat flavor, I’d reduce the amount of kumquats next time. I added some fresh chopped mint and loved the added flavor. Thanks for a great, healthy recipe.

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