It’s a great time for citrus! Grapefruits, lemons and oranges are in season!
There are three types of grapefruits white, pink/red and star ruby/rio red. They are all known for being super juicy and tangy. Grapefruits are delicious warmed or cold. They are fat, cholesterol and sodium free, have Vitamin C and are loaded with potassium.
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Plus, they are a cleansing food. Squeezing a slice of lemon into a glass of water each day can aid digestion problems and remove impurities from the body. Adding a little slice of lemon to your kid’s water can be a great way to get them to drink more water. You can also squeeze fresh lemon juice over vegetables, poultry and fish.
Americans consume most of their oranges in the form of juice. In fact, about 90% of the Florida’s orange crop is processed into orange juice. More than any other fruit, the orange is associated with–and valued for–its vitamin C content, and a single serving of juice provides 140% of the current suggested daily intake of vitamin C. Oranges have more to offer nutritionally than just this one nutrient. A small orange contains generous levels of folate (folic acid), potassium, and thiamin, as well as some calcium and magnesium. And if you choose to eat a whole orange instead of drinking a glass of juice, you’ll get the added benefit of dietary fiber.
Age to introduce: Over 12 months. All citrus fruits are recommended for late introduction, because they are known to be high allergens.
Oranges are always picked when they are ripe. Choose ones that are firm, heavy for their size (they will be juiciest). The skin should be smooth. Thin-skinned oranges are juicier than thick-skinned varieties, and small- to medium-sized fruits are sweeter than the largest oranges.
Storage: 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 if kept at room temperature.
There’s not much better than fresh-squeezed orange to wake up your morning. Get your kids involved by teaching them how to squeeze the oranges – even tiny toddler hands can do it. Here are other ideas for your family to eat more oranges in your meals:
Orange Pancakes: For a nice, fresh, eye- opening flavor, replace half of the liquid needed in your favorite pancake recipe for orange juice.
Orange Zested Muffins: Add 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest to a basic muffin mix. Dried cranberries and almonds taste excellent with orange flavor, so you can’t go wrong by adding a ½ a cup of each to the recipe too.
Citrus-y Spinach Salad: Add drained mandarin oranges (buy the kind in juice, not syrup), toasted almonds, chopped hard-boiled egg, and thin slices of red onion to a mound of fresh baby spinach. Toss with a poppy seed or sesame ginger vinaigrette dressing.
Mediterranean Salsa: Combine 1 cup of orange sections or mandarin oranges (in juice), ½ cup green or black olives, and ¼ cup of thin sliced red onion with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Serve over fresh grilled fish. Garnish with chopped mint.