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Sweet & Juicy

Get cooking with oranges

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Sweet & Juicy

These orange-infused recipes add some sunshine to a dull winter day. Try the morning bread, crispy salad, delicate soup, scallop pasta, or lacy cookies.

After all the delicious indulgence of the holiday season, many of us look forward to the New Year as a time of renewal to re-energize body and mind. This year, reinvigorate your palate by incorporating the fresh and lively flavour of oranges into your recipe repertoire.

Most likely originating in Southeast Asia, the orange is believed to be a hybrid between two other citrus fruits, the pomelo and the mandarin. Today, more than 600 orange varieties are grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. In fact, oranges are the most cultivated tree fruit in the world.

From a nutritional perspective, the humble orange is a treasure trove of delicious health benefits. Probably best known for being a rich source of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, one orange will supply your entire day’s worth! Vitamin C helps boost the body’s immune system and attacks free radicals and toxins.

Oranges are also a good source of potassium, an essential mineral in the maintenance of good heart health. If you still need convincing of the virtues of this sunny citrus, consider that oranges are also a good source of vitamin B for a natural energy boost, vitamin A, folic acid, and fibre.

This month, go beyond the juice glass, and get ready to enjoy the tongue-tingling benefits of this superstar citrus.

Recipes

Choosing

  • To ensure that you get the most flavour and health benefits from an orange, choose ones that are ripe.
  • Oranges should be firm, plump, and heavy for their size.
  • The peel should be smooth and tight, and have a strong citrus orange scent.
  • If an orange has any rough brownish patches on its skin, this is known as russeting and does not necessarily affect the quality.

Storing

At home, oranges may be stored, away from heat and moisture, at room temperature for one week or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Sweet and sour

All orange varieties fall into one of two categories, sweet or bitter. Sweet oranges are great for eating or adding to your favourite recipe while bitter oranges are primarily used for cooking.

An orange for every occasion

Though available year round, like all produce, different orange varieties come into season at different times of the year. Use the following chart to stock up and enjoy certain orange varieties at their peak of flavour and health benefits.

Orange variety Flavour profile When to stock up
navel orangewidely considered one of the best oranges for eating out-of-hand, navels are easy to peel and virtually seedless, and have a sweet, slightly tart tasteNovember to May with greatest supply available in January, February, and March
valencia orangevery juicy variety with bright orange flesh; a well-balanced sweet and tart flavourFebruary to October with peak supplies in May, June, and July
Moro orangea variety of blood orange, its crimson pulp is sweet and juicy with a subtle tart flavour of red berriesJanuary to mid-April
Cara Cara orangethe rosy coloured flesh is very sweet due to its low acidityJanuary to April
Seville orangetart and bitter flesh full of seeds; used almost exclusively for cookingDecember to beginning of February
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