During the winter months when local fruit is scarce, citrus fruits are readily available. They bring sweetness and brightness to our meals and snacks. It is interesting to note, that although they are orange on the outside, on the inside they can come in many shades of red. Nutritionally, they are a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fiber. Once purchased, store in a cool, dry area. Intact citrus fruit can have a shelf life of several weeks.
Some of the varieties of oranges that we will be using today include:
- Navel Orange: Most common variety of orange, characterized by “navel” on one end; thick skin and easy to peel; less juicy so they are easy to eat out of your hand
- Cara Cara: A cross between two different navel oranges; also known as “red navel”; less acidic and slightly sweeter taste; edible portion looks similar to pink grapefruit; lycopene gives the flesh the pink color and also provides some vitamin A. Lycopene is the same pigment that is in tomatoes and watermelon.
- Blood Orange: The skin can have a reddish tint; deep red flesh from anthocyanins, an antioxidant and the same pigment in red cabbage, beets and berries; flavor is “tart-sweet”. Best for eating, rather than juice. Adds striking color to a salad.
- Clementine: A type of mandarin orange; mostly seedless; portable and easy to peel- perfect to eat out of your hand. Has a “honey-sweet” flavor.