Winter can be a time when we lack freshness and diversity in our produce. Farmer’s markets don’t have as much variety, and we begin longing for freshness on our plates. It is time to turn to blood oranges to add zest and visual appeal to our diet. Like other citrus fruits, blood oranges are harvested in winter. They originate from the Mediterranean regions of Italy and Spain. Also, they now grow in California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. They are red or partly red on the outside with beautiful red fruit on the inside. The red pigment comes from high levels of anthocyanins, the same natural antioxidants found in blueberries. In addition to antioxidants, blood oranges also contain the same vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate (B-9), and calories as a regular orange.
As soon as you peel a blood orange, you will know why they have their name. The juice from this delectable fruit is red as a cranberry and tastes very similar to regular orange juice. Try adding the juice to both cocktails and mocktails for a vitamin and antioxidant boost. Some varieties of blood oranges taste a little sweeter and less acidic than regular oranges. You can substitute them in any of your favorite orange recipes. The upside is the instant marvel you will add with their vibrant red color. Some ideas to try are blood orange salsa, blood orange marmalade, or a simple arugula, fennel, and blood orange salad. Remember to remove as much pith (the thick white membrane between the peel and fruit) as possible when segmenting the fruit because the pith tastes bitter. Blood oranges are in season now! We encourage you to add them to your menu this week.
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy blood oranges? Let us know via our Twitter or Facebook page. We strive to help our followers to eat well, live long, and travel far!