Did you know that the USDA recommends consuming 1 to 2 cups of fruits a day depending on your age, sex, and level of physical activity? Oranges, one of the most popular fruits in the world, are a great source of vitamins and minerals and provide numerous health benefits. Over 68 million tons or 137 billion pounds are grown world-wide (primarily in Brazil and the US). They are fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free. One medium orange provides only 62 calories. Oranges are a good source of dietary fiber which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They are also high in vitamin C which helps heel cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. A diet high in citrus can also prevent certain types of cancers. The most common oranges in the US are navel and Valencia.
When selecting oranges, choose those that are firm, have smooth skin, and heavy for their size. Store oranges at room temperature for 5 to 7 days or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The oranges will retain the same level of vitamin content whether they are stored in the fridge or room temperature. To prevent mold from developing, store them loose rather than wrapped in a plastic bag. Practice the FIFO Rule…First In, First Out and use the oldest fruit first and rotate your produce to guarantee the freshest.
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Oranges
- A Fruit-Full Dessert! Add peeled, sliced oranges and grapefruit, orange marmalade, and vanilla extract. Serve topped with low fat lemon yogurt and shredded coconut.
- Orange Salsa. Grilled fish or chicken topped with orange salsa is sure to be a success! Combine orange peel, chopped oranges, tomato, cilantro, green onion, walnuts, and lime juice. Spoon over fish or chicken.
- Warm Your Day. Eating oranges added to oatmeal is a great way to start your day.
- Try an Asian-Inspired Chicken Wrap. Sauté chicken, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and ginger in a little lemon juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Stir in chopped orange pieces and serve wrapped in iceberg lettuce leaves.
- Make fruit kebobs! Add peeled orange wedges, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, bananas, and pineapple onto a wooden stick. Dip kebobs in chocolate pudding or low fat fruit yogurt and enjoy.
- Spice Up Your Fruit Salad. Be sure to include oranges in your next fruit salad. Mix orange slices, mango, and strawberries with a sprinkle of chili powder, a dash of fresh squeezed lime juice, and honey. Serve topped with low fat yogurt.
- Orange Lemonade! Does your orange juice need a tangy twist? Try making orange lemonade! Combine freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice, water, sugar, and fresh orange and lemon slices in a pitcher. Mix well and chill. Pour over ice for a refreshing mid-day pick me up.
- Add to Salad. Add oranges slices, strawberries, and walnuts onto a bed of your favorite field greens for a salad that’s sure to please.
- Popsicles … for Springtime or Anytime! Try making orange popsicles. Dissolve orange gelatin into orange juice and water and pour into popsicle molds or small plastic drinking cups. Freeze until hard. If you use plastic drinking cups, freeze until firm, insert popsicle sticks, then freeze completely.
- Slice It or Just Peel and Eat! Whatever your favorite way to eat an orange is, just take a bite into this delicious citrus fruit.
Cabbage Fruit Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 6
Cups of Fruits & Vegetables per Serving: 1
- 2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 2 oranges, peeled, sectioned, seeded
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 medium apples, chopped
- 4 tbsp plain, low-fat yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- Wash hands and clean cooking area.
- Wash and prepare cabbage, oranges,and apples as directed.
- Mix all ingredients. Serve.
- Calories: 70
- Carbohydrates: 17g
- Total Fat:0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Saturated Fat:0g
- Dietary Fiber: 3g
- % of Calories from Fat:0%
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Protein: 1g
Recipe Credit: Georgia Cooperative Extension
Caribbean Bean Salad
Makes: 4 servings
- 4 cups romaine lettuce (chopped)
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 1 cup black beans (canned, drained and rinsed)
- 1 orange (peeled and diced)
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
- black pepper (to taste)
- Toss all ingredients together in large salad bowl.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate up to one hour.
- Calories: 100
- Total Fat: 3.5 g
- Protein: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- Dietary Fiber: 5g
- Saturated Fat: 0.5g
- Sodium: 270 mg
Sources: Fruits & Veggies More Matters, USDA, SNAP Ed, and Whole Foods