This is the citrus time of year. In Florida, the trees have oranges ready to be harvested and eaten as a fruit or as juice. Learn about citrus fruit and a new citrus quinoa bowl recipe you can try with oranges.
Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes all are classified as citrus fruit and they are in season this time of year. They are in season mostly November through April.
In central Florida, the groves are ripe with oranges. The pickers have arrived and the truckloads are shipped to Lake Wales, Florida- Natural Juice Cooperative to be made into orange juice.
Most of the oranges in central Florida are turned into juice. The farmers in the area plant, raise and care for their trees and then process and package their fruit juice. You can get more information on their juices and history from Floridasnatural.com
The towns in central Florida are surrounded by orange groves and I am told the smell in the fall of orange blossoms is delightful.
Nutrition Composition of an Orange
1 small clementine: 30-35 calories.
1 medium orange: about 60 calories
4 grams of fiber in one orange and contain Vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids
Benefits of Oranges
Oranges have a great benefit to the immune system. This is why everyone says take your vitamin C when you get sick. Just one orange supplies the recommended amount of Vitamin C for a day.
Vitamin C also helps your skin maintain its elastin. This is especially important as you age. Many facial product manufacturers put Vitamin C in their ingredients, but eating foods with Vitamin C is also important.
Oranges or any citrus are low in calories and make a good snack. This makes them good for weight loss. Just think about it, a 60 calorie orange or a 150 calorie cookie? It is recommended to not drink any more than ½ cup of fruit juice a day since you can overindulge on calories and not get the fiber which will make you feel full.
I do limit myself to ¼ cup of juice a day and eat some type of orange about 3-4x/week. I love when it is orange season. They make the perfect snack in the afternoon or dessert after dinner.
Citrus fruits also protect against cancer. There is a reduced risk of cancer because of the antioxidants and flavonoids in the fruit. It has also been shown to improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure mainly because of the potassium and fiber.
Monitor the number of citruses you eat because a higher amount can increase cavities in your teeth due to the citric acid and sugars. Grapefruit should be monitored for intakes if you are on medications that interact with it. See blog on Grapefruit.
Here are some of the popular citrus fruits grown.
- Sweet oranges: Navel, Valencia, Caracara, and Blood orange
- Mandarins: Clementine and Tangelo
- Limes: Key lime and Persian
- Grapefruit: Ruby red and white
- Lemons: Eureka and Meyer
Recipe for Orange Citrus Quinoa Bowl
This is a recipe I put together while we were in Florida last week. I came up with this recipe from a variety of recipes I had made and seen. I tried it with the family for a quick lunch after church and everyone loved it. I like the citrus taste in the quinoa. If you would like to add a dressing to this you can get a dressing recipe from my blog called Winter Quinoa bowls and use the Cilantro lime dressing on it.
Orange Citrus Quinoa Bowl
- 3 oranges (Juice of one orange and one grated orange peel and two oranges peeled into slices and halved
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ cup finely chopped Cilantro
- 1 tsp Cumin
- ½ cup shredded carrots (partially cooked)
- ½ cup chopped green onions or red onions
- 2 cups precooked or rotisserie chicken
- 1 cucumber diced
- ½ cup frozen peas (defrosted)
- 1 avocado cubed
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 cups uncooked Quinoa
Bring to simmer in a Saucepan 2 cups Quinoa and 4 cups chicken broth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Grate 1 orange and juice it. Combine juice, orange peel, and spices in a bowl. When quinoa is done add the bowl of juice/peel/spices to the quinoa and the chopped cilantro and onion. Mix well.
To make a Quinoa Bowl put ½ to ¾ cup warm quinoa mixture in bowl, then divided between 6-8 servings- and add chicken, carrots, peas, avocados, cucumber, and orange slices to each bowl. If you would like to add a dressing or cilantro lime dressing. I enjoy it as is, tasting the orange citrus in the quinoa. Makes 6-8 servings.
How do you like to eat oranges?