Vitamin-C-rich oranges will keep you healthy during these chilly winter months, says Laura Fudim.
Varieties: There are three main varieties in Australia: Navel, which is seedless with bright orange skin and a small protrusion at one end (which is where it gets the name); Valencia, with a greenish to light orange hue (great for juicing); and Seville, which has light orange to yellow skin, and acidic taste. They are available in winter only.
Buying: Select fruit that has smooth skin, is firm and feels heavy for its size.
Storing: Oranges are generally harvested when they are ripe, however, they can be stored for up to two weeks at room temperature, and even longer when refrigerated.
Preparing: Oranges can be eaten raw – simply peel and eat. They can also be juiced, and used in sweet and savoury dishes, salads and jams. Even the skin can be used: zest it and add to savoury sauces or cake frostings.
4 quick ways with oranges
Add some zest to your chicken: Combine the juice and zest from 2 oranges with 2 tablespoons soysauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 diced chilli. Marinate a few chicken fillets in the mixture and bake for 20 minutes, basting once or twice during baking.
For perfectly poached oranges, combine 1/3 cup water, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup honey in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add 6 peeled Navel oranges and boil for 3 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove oranges and continue simmering syrup until it reduces by half. Serve oranges with low-fat yoghurt and syrup.
Try this immunity-boosting winter salad. Zest 1 orange and whisk zest with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon mustard and pepper. Combine 4 peeled and segmented oranges with 2 thinly sliced fennel bulbs, a red onion and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Dress with orange vinaigrette.
If you buy a big bag of oranges, and find that you have a few left over, make an orange spritzer. Juice oranges and combine the juice with an equal portion of soda or mineral water. Add a few strawberries or pineapple pieces to spice it up.
Did you know? Oranges are high in antioxidants, which means they can neutralise free radicals – helping to slow the ageing process.