Citrus fruits are a treat in our apple-eating household, but come February I stock up on oranges. Oranges are usually plentiful in the stores this time of year and they’re exceptional sources of vitamin C to help get rid of a cold often visiting around now.
They’re far better for us than a lot of the other comfort foods we cuddle up with to feed our winter-starved cravings. If an orange bore a nutritional label you’d know you’re eating just 80 calories per fruit, and a whopping 130 per cent of your daily vitamin C.
Plus, an orange is just pure pleasure to eat on a cold winter day. From that first peel, the scent conjures warmer, greener places with not a snow shovel in sight. If winter wears you down, the aromatherapists tell us the scent of citrus, particularly orange, is an excellent stimulant for fatigue and even low mood too.
Many varieties of oranges, as well as grapefruits, lemons and limes are in season right now — somewhere else.
We’ll soon be outside again, under stronger suns of our own, but while we wait, here’s a few recipes for a taste of someone else’s sunshine and an end-of-winter change of pace.
These recipes are found on the Sunkist website and reprinted with permission. You’ll find many more recipes and ideas for adding citrus fruit to your winter diet online at www.sunkist.com.
California fresh fruit salad
- 1 Sunkist grapefruit, peeled, cut into half cartwheel slices
- 2 Sunkist oranges, peeled, cut into cartwheel slices
- Assorted salad greens
- Any other assortment of fruit (nectarines, plums, peaches, bananas, etc.)
- Citrus honey salad dressing (see recipe below)
On a large serving platter, arrange orange and grapefruit slices on salad greens with any combination of the remaining fruit. Serve with citrus honey dressing.
Citrus honey dressing
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 1/2 Sunkist orange, grated peel
- 1 Sunkist orange, juiced
- 1 Sunkist lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. poppy seed or toasted sesame seed
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
In a jar with a lid, combine all the ingredients; chill. Shake well before serving. Makes about 1 cup.
Grilled chicken breasts with fresh orange salsa
Basted with orange juice, lemon and garlic these chicken breasts and salsa are a wonderful taste sensation.
- 4 small half chicken breasts (about 2 lbs. per 4 breasts)
- 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed Sunkist orange juice
- 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed Sunkist lemon juice
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- Fresh orange salsa (see recipe below)
Remove skin and excess fat from chicken. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In small bowl, combine orange and lemon juices, garlic and pepper. Brush about one-half of the juice mixture on both sides of chicken. Cook chicken in preheated, lightly oiled, non-stick ridged grill pan or barbecue on lightly oiled grill 4 to 6 inches above glowing coals (MEDIUM setting of gas barbecue).
Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with remaining juice mixture, until chicken is no longer pink near bone and juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
Serve fresh orange salsa over chicken. Garnish with parsley or cilantro, if desired. Serves 4.
Fresh orange salsa
- 2 Sunkist oranges, peeled and cut into small bite-size pieces
- 1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley
- 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed Sunkist lemon juice
- 1 small jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients; cover and chill for 30 minutes or longer to blend flavours. Makes 2 servings.
Blender quick orange bread
This is delicious as a dessert or sweet breakfast treat.
- 1 Sunkist orange, unpeeled
- 1/2 c. freshly squeezed Sunkist orange juice
- 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Cut the Sunkist orange into large chunks. In a blender, combine orange chunks and juice; blend until almost smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, and butter; beat until smooth. Add orange mixture and dry ingredients, stirring just until blended. Stir in the walnuts. Pour into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool on a wire rack.
* – If unavailable substitute 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.