Add juicy oranges to your shopping list this month.
The main varieties of orange in Australia are navel oranges and Valencia oranges. Navels are available in the winter months, from June to October, and are a perfect vitamin C-rich snack. They are usually seedless, with thick, pebbly skins, very sweet juicy flesh, and a small protrusion at one end (this is where the name ‘navel’ comes from.) Valencias are sweet and juicy, and are often used for juicing as well as eating. They have a thin and slightly pebbly rind and bright orange flesh. You’ll have to wait until summer to taste this variety, in season from November to February.
Select fruit that has unblemished skin, is firm and feels heavy for its size.
Oranges can be stored for up to two weeks at room temperature, and even longer when refrigerated.
Oranges are usually eaten raw – simply peel and eat. They can also be juiced, used in both sweet and savoury dishes, salads and jams. Even the skin can be used: zest it and add to savoury sauces or cake icing.
3 ways with oranges
Add a dash of orange to your favourite fish dish. Bake or pan fry your favourite white fish fillets with orange zest and juice, crushed ginger, freshly ground black pepper and a spray of olive oil. Serve with steamed Asian greens and brown rice.
Make a fruity frappé: combine about 5 strawberries, 1/2 banana and two ripe, peeled, chopped peaches or nectarines. Place into a food processor and blend until puréed. Blend in 1 cup (250ml) freshly-squeezed orange juice and a few ice cubes. Enjoy for breakfast or as a healthy snack.
Try this citrusy couscous – combine 4 tablespoons orange juice and 2 tablespoons lime juice with 1 cup cooked couscous. Add chopped, roasted pumpkin pieces, a little crumbled reduced-fat feta and some chopped sundried tomatoes. Add a small handful of chopped walnuts and a little balsamic vinegar. Toss to combine.