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What to do with navel oranges

Buying: Pick firm fruit with no bruises or rough patches on the skin. Fruit should smell fresh and feel heavy, which indicates lots of juice.

Storing: Store at room temperature for up to one week, or refrigerate for two.

Preparing: Simply cut in slices and serve. Or when using in cooking or as part of a dish, peel and chop. To add a delicious orange flavour to food, wash oranges, then add finely grated orange skin (zest).

Nutrition: There is considerable evidence that eating fruits helps prevent a number of chronic diseases, and citrus fruits play a role thanks to both their antioxidant capacity (from vitamin C, carotenoids and certain phytochemicals) and their nutrients such as folate and potassium. There is growing evidence citrus fruits are particularly protective against some cancers and increased consumption gives more protection.

  • Glaze ham or marinate chicken or pork before roasting: combine orange juice with zest, chopped garlic, sage or bay leaves, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and a little orange marmalade. Glaze ham or marinate meat before cooking.
  • Combine orange segments with watercress, cooked salmon, sliced red onion, sliced fennel, and a little chopped parsley. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice.
  • For a quick dessert, place a layer of sponge finger biscuits or cubed sponge cake in a serving glass. Top with 2 tablespoons of low-fat yoghurt, chopped navel oranges, sliced strawberries, then another layer of yoghurt. Repeat layers if using a tall glass. Top with chopped nuts and serve.
  • Combine cooked couscous with navel orange segments, chopped pineapple, a little ground cinnamon, chopped nuts, and a generous handful of chopped fresh coriander.

Did you know? The 'bellybutton' you see on the surface of a navel orange is actually a smaller fruit attached to the main fruit. You can sometimes see this when you peel and separate the orange. As the smaller fruit grows, the 'navel' on the orange becomes bigger.

First published: Aug 2009



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