Juicy and refreshing, these sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel oranges are perfect for eating out of hand or in salads, desserts and other dishes. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fibre and folic acid.
Navel oranges are in peak season from December through March.
Choose firm, smooth-skinned oranges that are heavy for their size. Avoid any with soft or mouldy spots.
Colour does not indicate quality or freshness. Fully ripened oranges may have brown-speckled skin or turn green again.
For maximum freshness, store oranges in the refrigerator, away from vegetables, for up to 2 weeks. Or, leave them out at a cool room temperature for 1 week.
Wash oranges thoroughly before cutting, peeling or zesting - even if the peel is discarded to remove any wax or pesticide residues.
Most of the flavour is in the peel. To grate the zest (or coloured part) of the peel, use the fine holes of a grater. A vegetable peeler removes long strips of peel that can be cut into thin strips for a garnish or minced. Be careful to remove only the coloured part of the peel - the white pith tastes bitter. One medium orange yields about 1 tablespoon grated zest.
Before juicing oranges, bring them to room temperature and roll them on the countertop while pressing down. This breaks the juice sacs inside the fruit so that more juice is released. One medium orange yields 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice.
1 medium orange is equal to: - 10 to 11 sections - 1/2 cup bite-sized pieces - 4 tsp. grated peel - 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice
Float orange slices in punch bowls or perch on the edge of a drink glass.
Stir grated zest into cake, muffin and quick bread batter. Mix into softened butter for an orange-flavoured spread.