Overlooked Oranges

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Oranges Above and Beyond Vitamin C

Fresh orange with vine Sometimes we need to take a whole new look at foods that have been right under our noses our whole lives. Such as it is with oranges.

In recent years, more has been discovered about the orange and why it is so good for us -- over and above the obvious vitamin C benefit. Oranges also contain a lot of folate and potassium.

In addition, they provide us with antioxidants and fiber, which might reduce the risk of some diseases in including heart disease and cancers. In addition, the soluble fiber aids in the digestion process.

Oranges The two most popular varieties of oranges grown in the U.S. are navels and Valencias. Navels are the good-eating oranges. They are usually fairly large, seedless and peel easily. The Valencia tend to be better oranges for juicing.

Oranges belong to the group of citrus fruits, but they differ from both lemons and grapefruit in that they contain more sugar and less acid. Probably no citrus fruit is used so extensively as oranges. Because of their refreshing subacid flavor, they are much eaten in their fresh state, both alone and in combination with other foods in numerous salads and desserts.

Did you know most of the oranges grown are processed for orange juice? However, the juice version is packed with concentrated sugars, which can cause a spike in blood sugars in some people. Eating a whole orange is just as refreshing and is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream because of the pulp and fiber content.

Select oranges that are heavy for their size and have marks on their skin -- that means they are juicy.

Oranges for Runners

Running can damage muscles, and oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps them heal. Vitamin C can also help you absorb more iron, an important mineral that helps prevent fatigue and low energy. Eat an orange or drink 8 ounces of pure orange juice every day.

An Orange a Day?

A sweet, juicy orange has the power to control the negative effects of sodium in your body. This is because they are rich in potassium, the mineral that helps regulate sodium. An orange a day may help lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and help keep your heart healthy and strong.

The Florida-Style Crepes Suzette recipe (below) is designed as a dessert, but easily could make an elegant centerpiece for a summer Sunday brunch.

Crepes Suzette

Florida-Style Crepes Suzette Recipe

1 cup flour
3/4 cup skim milk
2/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Nonstick spray coating
Orange topper (see following recipe)
2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans

In a medium bowl, combine flour, milk, thawed concentrate, egg product and oil. Beat with a rotary beater until mixed. Spray an unheated 6-inch skillet with nonstick coating. Heat over medium heat. Spoon 2-tablespoons batter into skillet; lift and tilt skillet to spread batter.Return to heat and brown on one side only. Invert over paper towels and remove crepe. Repeat with remaining batter to make 16 crepes, greasing skillet lightly as necessary to prevent sticking.

Fold each crepe in half, browned-side out. Fold in half again, forming a triangle. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Keep crepes warm in a 300-degree oven while making orange topper. To serve, arrange two folded crepes on each dessert plate. Spoon orange Topper over crepes. Sprinkle with nuts.

For the Topper:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 medium oranges, peeled, sectioned and seeded

In a medium sauce pan, stir together sugar, thawed concentrate and cornstarch. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir two minutes more. Add orange sections. Makes about 2 cups topper.

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