Sunkist asked me to tell you a little about Valencia Oranges, also called summer oranges. This is their peak season which means they are at their best. Not only do they make the perfect for delicious, sweet, and healthy summer snack, but they are also perfect for making fresh fruit juice. They are not only tasty but a healthy addition to your family's diet.
They naturally ripen on the trees and turn bright orange, but sometimes the warm weather will cause them to re-absorb chlorophyll. This process causes their skin to appear partly green. I always thought that the green skin meant that the oranges would taste bad and only bought bright orange oranges. However, when it comes to these oranges, green is good. Even though the outside skin is a little green, the inside is ripe and yummy! The green skin has no effect on the flavor or nutrition of the orange.
To learn more about why green is good and other helpful hints from Sunkist's own Chef Robert Danhii, please watch the Sunkist Valencia Oranges Re-greening Video
Valencia Oranges are not just for snacking, they are also the main ingredient in this re-freshing summer salad.
• 3 Sunkist® Valencia oranges, segmented and zested
• 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 lb. tub Bocconcini mozarella
• ¼ cup Opal (purple) basil, shredded into small pieces
• 20 whole wheat crackers
• Salt to taste
• ¼ cup fresh rosemary
• ¼ cup fresh thyme
• 1/8 cup fresh oregano
• 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. black pepper
Instructions: (Makes 10 servings)
• Cut the Bocconcini into halves.
• Zest the Valencia oranges using a micro plane or fine grater and set aside. To segment the oranges, cut off the top and bottom.
• Lay the orange on a flat surface, using a pairing knife remove the skin and white pith. Carefully cut and release each segment from between the membranes and set aside.
• In a blender, add the olive oil, orange zest and fresh herbs. Pulse until blended, continue to blend on medium speed until the herbs and zest are finely chopped, add the pepper and pulse quickly. Pour into a jar or plastic container. Leftover oil can be kept refrigerated for up to one month and used as a marinade for fish, poultry or vegetables.
• Toss the orange segments, cherry tomatoes, Bocconcini and basil lightly with ¾ cup of orange scented herb oil and season with salt.
• To Serve: Top each cracker with the mixture and serve.
I'm always looking for new recipes and was thrilled to learn that Sunkist has lots more recipes on their website: additional Sunkist citrus recipes
Here's some other helpful hints and tasyy tips from the people at Sunkist:
Fresh Valencia juice may be squeezed and refrigerated overnight. If tightly covered and immediately chilled, no loss of flavor or Vitamin C will occur.
-Smoothies are a popular snack out our house and fresh juice adds both great nutrition and great taste. Start with 1/2 cup of juice and 1/2 cup of diced orange in a blender. Add a peeled banana, some frozen berries and 1/2 cup of yogurt. Your body will thank you!
-Say "Valencia!" Valencias especially good to eat when cut into "smiles." Cut fruit in half crosswise; then cut 3 or 4 wedges from each half. My kids love these while playing sports or on trips to the park, especially on hot summer days.
-Peeling Valencias is easy: trim a thin slice from each end of the fruit, then set orange on one end. Cut away strips of peel from top to bottom, until all peel is removed. You can even get a handy tool on their website.
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