Sunday, February 5, 2017

Navel oranges: an annual heart healthy treat

Around our house, navel oranges are an annual treat. When I worked in produce back in the late '60s, the business owner confessed navel oranges were his favorite. Valencias were nice but navels were the best: sweet, seedless, with an easy-to-peel skin. (To peel: quarter the orange and peel the skin free starting at the pointed ends.)

I love 'em, and so does my wife and granddaughters. Navels make a good afternoon snack, are wonderful accents when mixed into a green salad and they even make a great heart-healthy dessert when served alone or mixed with other fresh fruit. According to the Cleveland Clinic, orange coloured fruit such as oranges, cantaloupe and papaya are all rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.

In doing a little research to write this post, I've learned that there are a number of varieties of navel oranges. I gather, the Washington navel orange is the original and best known navel orange. And many folk claim that California oranges bearing the heritage sticker are the best of the best. I gather that oranges, like tomatoes, have been bred more for ease of handling and shipping than for flavour. The heritage oranges harken back to a time when flavour was king (or queen). For more info on heritage oranges click the link:
What is the Difference Between Heirloom and Regular Navel Oranges?

Here in London, Ontario, I buy my navel oranges at the Remark store on Hyde Park at Oxford Street. Often their oranges carry little, black, oval stickers emblazoned with the word "Heritage". If memory serves me correctly, these oranges are available each year mainly from January through April. It seems they are gone from the shelves by May at the latest.

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