Known for their juicy sweetness, oranges are loved by adults and kids alike. These yummy fruits serve as excellent on-the-go and sack lunch treats.
Navel: These large, thick-skinned oranges are easily identified by the "belly-button" found at their blossom end. Navels are seedless, almost effortlessly peeled, and easily segmented--qualities that, along with their sweet flavor, make them excellent eating oranges. They can be used for juice, but should be squeezed as needed because the juice turns bitter over time, even when refrigerated. Season: November through April
Valencia: These are the most widely grown oranges; they account for about half the crop produced each year. Medium- to large-sized, Valencias have a smooth, thin skin and an oval or round shape. They are dual purpose oranges, because they can either be eaten whole or squeezed for juice. Florida Valencias, which are available in the middle of the orange season, are considered the best juice oranges. Season: April through October.
Green Giant® Fresh Oranges are available year round.
Care & Handling
Choose oranges that are firm, heavy for their size (they will be juiciest), and evenly shaped. The skin should be smooth rather than deeply pitted, although juice oranges are generally smoother than navels. Thin-skinned oranges are juicier than thick-skinned varieties, and small- to medium-sized fruits are sweeter than the largest oranges. There is no need to worry about ripeness--oranges are always picked when they are ripe.
Oranges keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. But they keep almost as well at room temperature, retaining nearly all of their vitamin content even after two weeks. (They will also yield more juice at room temperature.) Their sturdy peel protects them and they require no further wrapping. In fact, if oranges are placed in unperforated plastic bags as the moisture trapped inside may encourage mold growth. If you like to eat oranges chilled, by all means refrigerate them.
Halve unpeeled oranges crosswise for juicing, or halve them either crosswise or lengthwise and then cut each half into thirds, for a juicy snack to be eaten from the peel. For garnishing, halve an orange lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into slices. Navel oranges peel easily if you insert your finger into the opening and pull back the peel. To peel other types of oranges, cut a disk of peel from the top, then cut slices of peel longitudinally from top to bottom. Finally, cut the remaining peel from the bottom. Or, peel spiral-fashion (as you would an apple) after removing a slice from the top. Separate the orange segments by cutting between the membrane and flesh with a sharp knife. Work over a bowl to catch the juices. For orange “cartwheels,” just slice the peeled fruit crosswise.
Nutrition & Health Benefits:
When you think of the popular orange, it’s likely the citrus fruit’s vitamin C content that comes to mind. And that’s a certainly a worthy attribute since oranges are, in fact, the primary source of this immune boosting vitamin for the majority of Americans. But oranges have more to offer nutritionally than just this one nutrient. A small orange (about five ounces) contains generous levels of folate (folic acid), potassium, and thiamin, as well as some calcium and magnesium. BUT WAIT! Let’s not forget that they’re so darn delicious!