Oranges, the Taste of Sunshine

Oranges, the Taste of SunshineOranges are one of the most popular fruits Worldwide. They are available all year round, taste wonderful, are very versatile and are less expensive than most fruit.

They originated in Asia thousands of years ago and the Spanish explorers took the seeds to the New World. This led to to Florida and California being the major producers of oranges they are today. Other major producers are Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Israel and China.

As most people know, oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins A (beta carotene) and B1 (thiamin), folate, calcium and potassium. Oranges contain many phytonutrient compounds as well.

Healthwise, one orange a day will satisfy your daily vitamin C requirement. The vitamin C and the phytonutrients in oranges will build your immune system and protect your body against free radicals. Research has shown that fresh orange juice is far more effective than vitamin C supplements.

The dietary fiber in oranges also helps with lowering cholesterol levels, balances blood sugar levels and helps prevent atherosclerosis. The citric acid in oranges also helps in the prevention of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Orange peel itself contains PMF's which are said to lower cholesterol levels more effectively than medicines. So add some orange zest to your drinks and salads.

tend to have the most juice. The more ripe they are, the more antioxidents they contain. Always buy organic, locally grown oranges where possible. Firm, heavy, smooth skinned orangesOranges can be stored at room temperature for about two weeks. The juice and zest can be frozen in ice trays for later use.

Excellent as segments added to vegetable and fruit salads, juice added to salad dressings, when cooking pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes. We must not forget either how wonderful orange marmelade or orange muffins are.

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"Champagne and orange juice is a great drink. The orange improves the champagne. The champagne definitely improves the orange."
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

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Orange Tahini Dressing
From the Raw Gourmet
A delightful light dressing that only takes a few minutes to make.

2 tbsps tahini
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
pinch sea salt
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dulse flakes
1/8 tsp curry powder

In bowl, add orange juice gradually to tahini, stirring after each addition. Add salt. Dressing tastes fine as is, or add spices to taste. Yields approximately 1/2 cup.
Variation: Try adding 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and 1-2 teaspoons tamari. Or, add 2 teaspoons poppy seeds and 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder.


Tuscan Orange and Fennel Country Salad
From Kyle Phillips of Your Guide to Italian Food at About.com

3-4 Oranges
salt
olive oil
1 medium-large fennel bulb
balsamic vinegar

Peel and slice oranges. Salt the oranges and drizzle generously with olive oil. Put aside while you cut the fennel to allow salt to bring out the juices. Clean, quarter and slice fennel. Toss it with the oranges and season with some more salt, and also pepper at this point. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss one more time.


Carrot and Orange Soup
From the Vegan Village
This soup is easy to make and tastes delicious. The orange taste is a surprise at first, but stay with it!

25g/1oz vegan marg
500g/1lb carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
900ml/1½ pints water
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
juice of 4 oranges
grated rind of 1 orange

Melt the marg in a pan, add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic and cook gently for 10 mins. Add the sugar, water and season to taste. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the carrots are tender. Cool slightly. Whizz in a food processor until smooth. Add the juice, decorate with the orange rind and serve.

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