Just a squeeze of bright, refreshing citrus can totally transform a dish. (That's why you'll often hear chefs critiquing food on cooking shows comment that a dish needs acid.) In fact, from a healthy citrus smoothie to a roasted chicken and everything in between, there's not much that can't be improved by a hit of fresh-squeezed citrus juice.

Vitamin C: Health Benefits

We all know that citrus fruits pack a big punch of vitamin C, but they're also a great source of calcium, folate, potassium, and fiber. Eating a diet rich in citrus fruits has been linked to everything from increasing cardiovascular health to reducing the risk of asthma, kidney stones, and certain cancers.

Picking the Right Citrus Fruits

When we think citrus, we think lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, but there are many other varieties worthy of your attention. Meyer lemons (a hybrid of lemons and oranges), and Minneola tangelos (a hybrid of grapefruits and tangerines) both offer sophisticated sweet-tart flavor. Blood oranges boast a striking dark red color and bold flavor, while cara caras have a delicate sweetness and rosy-pink hue. Grapefruits commonly come in white, pink, and ruby red varieties, but be on the lookout for the large, pear-shaped pale yellow pomelo, which has a sweeter flavor and lower acidity. And here's a trick: elevate the flavor of a simple lemon by cutting it in half, and grilling or roasting it cut-side-down. The heat caramelizes the fruit's natural sugars, making the flavors more complex. Squeeze grilled lemons over fish or poultry, or use the juice in any recipe that calls for lemon juice to give it extra oomph.

Try these 5 Citrus Recipes in your Vitamix blender:

Try versatile Citrus Butter on steamed veggies, fish, seafood, or chicken. Whip up a refreshing Citrus Carrot Juice or a Citrus Smoothie. Or, taste how homemade dressing like Balsamic Citrus Dressing or Ginger Citrus Salad Dressing can make a salad sing.