It’s Official: Oranges are in Season

The start of the citrus season is (finally!) here.  For me, citrus fruits are a bright spot in the cold, long winter months, and they make a daily appearance on my family’s table.

The Navel variety is the probably most well known type of orange.  But did you know how it got its name?  It’s because the blossom end of a Navel orange resembles a belly button.  See….

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This variety of orange is praised for its sweet taste.  If you don’t mind getting your hands juicy, simply peel the rind and then divide the fruit along the natural segmentation.  I prefer to quarter the orange then cut it away from the rind though.

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Navel oranges are quite versatile.  My favorite uses are:

  • Cut into bite-size pieces for on top of salads
  • Squeezed to make orange juice
  • For my late-afternoon snack (0P+), with a small piece of cheese (1P+) and a cup of coffee (0P+)
  • Quartered in my kids’ lunch boxes (with the rind partially separated, for easy peeling by little hands)
  • Next to eggs and toast for breakfast
  • I could go on and on….

And because I love useless facts, here are some about the Navel orange:

  • The first Navel orange was grown on a Brazilian plantation in 1820
  • The variety is the result of a  mutation that causes an undeveloped “twin” orange to grow inside the blossom end
  • Since Navel oranges are seedless, all trees are propagated through cuttings, so essentially every orange can be traced back to that original tree
  • A single Navel orange contains 137% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C
  • And of course, if you’re a Weight Watchers follower, fresh oranges are 0P+

So, if you haven’t sampled this season’s crop, don’t delay.  There’s no time like the present!

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