All About…Blood Oranges!

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Sometimes during the winter, I find myself daydreaming about freshly picked strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches…all that yummy spring and summer produce that I can’t get enough of! However, I often forget about winter’s produce gift to all of us: citrus! Fresh, delicious, clean, fragrant citrus! I love all the varieties of oranges, but especially blood oranges. Let’s have a little chat and get to know blood oranges a little better.

The name might give you pause-“blood” oranges-but the name is actually a reference to the deep red hue of the orange flesh, which comes from anthocyanins, a compound that helps prevent cancer and eye disease. The redder the orange, the more anthocyanins there are, so enjoy these beauties at the peak of their freshness, which goes through about May.  Look at that beautiful color!

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Nutritionally, these oranges are a great choice. Just one blood orange will give you the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, as well as some folate and fiber, for approximately 80 calories. They’re also sweeter-tasting, and less acidic than regular oranges. Basically, adding these to your cart is an instant win for flavor and nutrition!

Thinly sliced, these look like stained glass almost!  So beautiful!

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To use blood oranges, you can eat them just as they are-peel and enjoy the sweet juicy segments! You can also use them for baking, if you enjoy baking, in muffins, bread, or scone form. You could also make your favorite orange chicken recipe with these, for a sweeter and different flavor. Add them to a salad for a pop of sweetness–pairing them with beets and pistachios is one of my favorite salads. Add a little quinoa, available from HH, for some protein, and you have a healthy and satisfying lunch for yourself.  Or, if you are looking to spice up a traditional recipe, why not try them in sangria?  Perfect for this lovely spring weather we have been having!

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Given the short season for blood oranges, you could preserve the yummy flavor by canning marmalade or jam. You could simply adapt your favorite recipes to include blood oranges, using them in place of regular oranges. This is one of my favorite ways to preserve produce that has a short season.

What’s your favorite way to use blood oranges? Comment below and share with everyone!

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