Orange, a favorite citrus that should be part of your diet. Want to know why?

Orange is one of the most consumed fruits in the world and it is no wonder.

Find out what are its health benefits and nutritional values.

We will also advise you on how you can use it in the kitchen.

How about a recipe for homemade candied crust?

You will find all this and much more in our article!

Orange, a juicy fruit full of vitamin C

An orange is a citrus fruit from the Rutaceae family. It is a round, orange, highly nutritious fruit of the Chinese orange tree that has a leathery, oily skin and an edible, juicy pulp. It is popular because of its natural sweetness, the many different types available, and the variety of uses. It can be consumed in juices and jams, eaten whole, or the grated rind can be used to add a tangy flavor to cakes and desserts. This popular fruit is especially known for its vitamin C content.

A fresh whole orange and one halved.

Health benefits of eating an orange

Orange has many health benefits such as:

  • It helps promote heart health and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Protects against chronic diseases , including certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
  • It helps prevent anemia .
  • Improves immunity .
  • It has anti-inflammatory effects .

Nutritional values of oranges vs. orange juice

In the following table, see a comparison of the nutritional values, vitamins and minerals of 131 grams of fresh orange and 240 ml of orange juice – these values are taken as 1 serving.

Nutritional values Orange juice
(1 serving)
Fresh orange
(1 serving)
Energy 110 calories 62 kcal
Fats 0 g 0 g
Carbohydrates 25.5 g 15 g
Fiber 0.5 g 3 g
Proteins 2 g 1 g
Vitamin A 4% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
Vitamin C 137% DDD 116% DDD
Vitamin B1 18% DDD 8% DDD
Vitamin B6 7% DDD 4% DDD
Vitamin B9 11% DDD 10% DDD
Calcium 2% DDD 5% DDD
Magnesium 7% DDD 3% DDD
Potassium 14% DDD 7% DDD

You can also find a comparison of the nutritional values, vitamins and minerals of oranges and other citrus fruits in our grapefruit article .

How to choose a good orange and how to store it?

The wide demand and distribution of oranges means that oranges are available to most of us all year round. They need cooler temperatures to really reach their peak sweetness. It is therefore ideal to buy oranges in December. They will be at their best at that time. At the store, choose oranges that are heavy for their size and have bright, firm skin. Brown, rough spots on the skin are fine, but avoid fruit with wrinkles, mushy spots, and pits. The skins should also not be shriveled.

Three bad oranges next to each other.

In the picture you can see an example of what bad oranges can look like.

To extend the life of fresh oranges, follow these steps:

  1. Do not wash oranges before you plan to eat them, as excess moisture will speed up the spoilage process.
  2. Place the whole oranges in a plastic bag so that air flows towards them.
  3. Place them in the fridge in the fruit and vegetable drawer.
  4. Oranges in the fridge will stay fresh for up to one month, while oranges on the counter will last a maximum of a week.

Store sliced oranges in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator and use or eat the fruit within a week.

How to freeze oranges?

  1. Either peel the oranges or wash the skins thoroughly.
  2. Then cut them into wedges or slices.
  3. Spread the pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
  4. Cover and freeze the oranges for at least four hours or overnight.
  5. Transfer the now frozen oranges to a freezer bag marked with the date.
  6. Store in the freezer for up to one year.

You can also squeeze the juice into ice cube trays. The juice will keep in the freezer for months, and you can add this delicious ice cube to mixed drinks or as a cooling addition to soups at any time.

Types of oranges

Orange trees are divided into 3 groups:

Ordinary oranges

  • Jaffa is an orange variety from Israel that is grown in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is an oval-shaped orange with a thick peel that surrounds a sweet and moderately juicy pulp. It contains only a few seeds and is highly prized for its tough but easy-to-peel skin, which gives the fruit a long shelf life.
  • The Hamlin orange is deliciously juicy and, thanks to its low acid content, is popular as a snack or for making orange juice. It is round with a smooth skin and its color is dull orange to dark yellow. The ripe fruit has very few seeds.
  • The Valencia is a round to slightly oval orange with a thin, golden-orange skin and sweet, extremely juicy flesh. It can be used in salads, desserts and sauces, to make orange juice or you can consume it on its own.
Lots of fresh ordinary oranges.

Blood oranges

  • The Moro is a medium to large sized blood orange with an orange skin with a slight red blush. The color of the pulp varies from orange with a red tinge to maroon, crimson to a rich, almost black shade, depending on the climate in which it grows. The flesh is soft, juicy and almost seedless. Moro has a slightly sweet, floral aroma and a sweet and sour taste with hints of cherry and raspberry.
  • Ruby is a medium-sized, round to slightly oblong orange with few seeds. It has a tender and juicy flesh that is orange and under favorable conditions you will find red stripes on it.
  • Sanguinello is a variety of round, ovoid to slightly asymmetrical shape. The medium-thick, leathery, orange rind is often reddish and has many small oil glands on the surface that create a pebbly texture. Depending on the climate in which the fruit is grown, the color of the flesh can range from orange with a few red spots or stripes to deep burgundy or brown shades. The flesh is juicy, almost without seeds and is divided into 8-10 segments. Sanguinello has a sweet and sour taste with hints of cherry or raspberry.
  • Tarocco has a round shape with a small bump at the end of the stem. The yellow-orange rind shows only occasional pale pink blushes. The bark is smooth with prominent oil glands that create a pebbly appearance on the surface. The flesh can be orange with light blushes of pink to a deeper ruby red. The soft flesh is also almost seedless, juicy and divided into 10-12 segments by thin membranes. Tarocco blood oranges are the sweetest of all blood orange varieties and have a bright and balanced flavor with spicy raspberry notes.
Whole and halved blood oranges.

Navel (Cuban) oranges

Cuban oranges have thick, bright orange skin and sweet, juicy flesh. They can be used in cooking, in salads, desserts and sauces, but you can also eat them fresh as a snack. They do not contain any seeds. Examples of navel oranges include:

  • Robertson Navel
  • Thompson Navel
  • Washington Navel
Lots of whole Cuban oranges.

How to use an orange in the kitchen?

Tips on how to include an orange in your diet:

  • Add a few slices of orange to the salad.
  • Prepare the orange cake.
  • Top the oranges with walnuts or pecans, crumbled cheese and a light balsamic or citrus dressing.
  • Add it to pies.
  • Make homemade juice.
  • Prepare a luxurious duck or chicken on oranges.
  • Add it to soups.
  • Make orange peel tea.
  • Make delicious orange marmalade.
  • Toss sliced oranges into hot tea, water, kombucha, or beer.
  • Eat it fresh on its own as a snack.
  • Try our recipes for Christmas cookies with oranges .
  • While grilling, pour orange juice over the ribs.
  • Make it into an ice cream topping with no added sugar.
  • Brighten up a marinade or dressing with it.
  • Get inspired by our orange smoothie recipes .
  • Make a sorbet out of them.
  • Make delicious muffins.
  • Add it to pancakes.

Get inspired by our 5 best recipes from oranges . We have instructions for you on how to prepare the best jam, syrup and duck on oranges!

How to make orange juice?

  1. Oranges should be at least room temperature before juicing.
  2. This will make it easier to squeeze the fruit and you will have more juice.
  3. If the oranges are not at least room temperature, warm them up by putting them in the microwave.
  4. Pierce the skin first with a fork, being careful not to pierce the skin all the way to the pulp.
  5. Place the oranges in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
  6. Oranges can also be heated by placing them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water.
  7. Let them sit in the hot water for 30 seconds.
  8. Another way to heat oranges is to place them in a preheated oven at 150°C for 3 minutes and then allow them to cool before handling.
  9. After heating, allow the oranges to cool until they are easy to handle, then roll them out on a firm surface with the palm of your hand.
  10. Roll until you feel the flesh soften.
  11. After rolling the orange, cut it in half crosswise.
  12. Place half of the orange on the juicer, press and twist the fruit to remove the juice.
  13. Juice can also be obtained by squeezing an orange by hand.
  14. When finished, remove all seeds from the juicer.
  15. If necessary, some of the pulp that has accumulated at the bottom of the juicer can be added to the orange juice after removing the seeds.
  16. If pulpless juice must be used, strain the juice to separate any pulp that may have entered the juice.
Orange juice in a glass and fresh oranges in the background.

Recipe for candied orange peel

  1. First, wash the oranges thoroughly.
  2. Cut the zest from two oranges using a vegetable peeler or small knife.
  3. Cut it into wide strips, being careful not to cut into the bottom layer of pulp.
  4. If there is any pith on the strips of bark, carefully cut away the pith with a small, sharp knife.
  5. Cut the strips lengthwise to make thin julienne strips.
  6. Place the orange strips in a small pot and cover with cold water.
  7. Cook over medium heat until the water boils.
  8. Continue cooking for 6 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat, drain the strips, then return them to the pot.
  10. Add 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar.
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  12. Continue to cook over low heat until the strips turn translucent. IN
  13. The water and sugar should begin to thicken.
  14. The cooking time will be approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  15. When finished cooking, remove the strips from the pot and spread out on a sheet of baking paper.
  16. Separate the strips and let them cool slightly.
  17. Then roll them in sugar until well coated.
  18. Allow the candied strips to cool completely before storing in an airtight container or bag.
  19. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Candied orange peel in a glass bowl.

Growing an orange

The oranges we know grow on Chinese orange trees, which are evergreen trees growing to a height of 10 meters.

The trees tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, from extremely sandy soils to fairly heavy clay loams; they grow particularly well in medium soil types. Orange groves are generally planted in relatively deep soil where there is good drainage.

They are very sensitive to low temperatures and need a lot of light and water for the fruits to ripen well. They are also sensitive to wind and salinity.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)