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Oranges Healthy Food Guide

Peak season: Winter

 

Most varieties of oranges are available year-round, but they’re starting to peak now—just in time to shake up your palate with a jolt of zesty flavor. Look for the Valencia orange, a late-season favorite known for its sweetness and great juice. Excellent sources of vitamin C, oranges are also high in fiber, folate, vitamins B1 and A, potassium and calcium. The white pith has nearly as much vitamin C as the fruit, but is bitter and largely inedible; to get the most out of your orange, grate the peel for “zest” to add a splash of flavor and color to your dishes. Try one of these mouthwatering recipes for something different.

Tips

Shopping Tip
Look for richly colored oranges with smooth, firm skin free of blemishes and scars that can indicate improper handling during transportation or insect damage. A little bit of green is OK, and does not necessarily indicate an immature fruit. Choose fruits that yield only slightly to firm hand pressure and feel heavy for their size, a good indicator of the potential juiciness that lies within.
Storage Tip
In general, oranges can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. It is important to prevent oranges from freezing—the juice will turn to ice crystals and burst the thin membranes, with mushy, unpleasant results.
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