Are you from the generation that saw ‘A Clockwork Orange’ in the cinema? Do you belong to the group of nostalgic people who still get goosebumps when listening to the name of ‘Naranjito’? Are you or have you been hooked on the series ‘Orange is the new black’? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, it is very likely that orange is your favorite citrus fruit. And if not, too.
Because this fruit, in addition to being visually very attractive, has everything it should have: it is sweet, juicy, slightly acidic, refreshing, satiating, super versatile,… And it contains plenty of vitamin C! We don’t think you need more reasons to stay to discover its properties, the different types of orange that exist and how to incorporate it into your recipes.
Surely you already know some of the properties of this orange fruit sweet belonging to the large family of Rutaceae (note that this family has 1,600 members), but today you will also find out about others that you did not control.
We will start by remembering what they are excellent source of vitamin C, since it gives us about 93% of what is needed in a whole day. On the other hand, this fruit, thanks to its high water content, is suitable for diets (a medium-sized fruit provides 60 calories). Also, there are about 170 kinds of phytochemicals and 60 kinds of flavenoids that are present in them. It should be noted that these compounds are beneficial for reducing inflammation or for prevent and fight cancerbesides being of great help in cases of osteoporosis and asthma.
It is also proven that consuming an orange a day helps level cholesterol and blood pressure. And that its high levels of potassium, necessary for the transmission and generation of nerve impulses, and magnesium, which improves immunity and has a mild laxative effect, can be highly recommended for a person of any age.
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The most common orange varieties
As far as the types of oranges out there, you’re probably going to be blown away the same way we were. Surely you think that there is only one type (at most two, if we let you include tangerines). But the truth is there are many more (around 300), which fortunately can be grouped into two large groups: sweet oranges and bitter oranges. By the way, the tangerine is not a type of orange, although it is also a citrus fruit.
If we tell you that navel means “navel” in English, we are already giving you a very interesting clue to learn how to differentiate this orange from others. Its main characteristic is that it has one of the ends finished off by a kind of navel closure. In terms of appearance, they are usually large and with a skin that is rough to the touch and of considerable thickness.
If we focus on the pulp, we find some large, meaty wedges loaded with juice that are more interesting to use as a table orange than to make. Another of their great advantages is that they rarely have those awkward nuggets that we find in some varieties when biting.
As expected, within the navel group there are different varieties, which occur at different times of the year. The Washington, which is collected at the beginning of November, is the oldest. It is characterized by being very fleshy and sweet, but having little juice, so rather than being consumed in Spain, what is done is exported abroad.
In our country we have replaced it with other oranges that spread more. It is the case of the navelate, which is smaller and more resistant to cold, which begins to be harvested in December and ends in early May. And there is also the naveline, which is surely the most commercialized table variety today and is characterized by being very early (it is harvested from the beginning of October to the middle of the month). It has a thin skin and plenty of juice, but no seeds. Come on, it’s a wonder made orange.
white or smooth
No, they are not white, but they do stand out for covering a range of colors that goes from pale yellow, typical of some varieties, to the intense orange of valence or valence beats. In this case we are talking about oranges that do not have a navel and because they have a smoother skin and not as thick as the previous ones. In addition, they usually have more seeds in the segments, although not always, and their maturation is later than that of the navel.
In principle, they can be used both for table oranges and for making juices, but the varieties designed for juice stand out, such as the Valencia, which is also very acidic. is the typical orange for juice that we find in the mesh of the supermarket. The late valence, which is a derivative of this, ripens from mid-spring to mid-summer, but is also acidic and ideal for juices.
We go to the Salustiana, another smooth variety that is gaining market share. It is an orange with a flattened shape, sweet juice and few seeds, as well as little flesh (also ideal for juices). Finally, the berna is a 100% Spanish variety, medium to small in size, with a high juice content. It is the latest in White’s group, being harvested in late summer.
Firstly, they will attract your attention due to their color, between reddish and purple, but later they will do so due to their special flavor, which it will remind you of strawberry or raspberry. These are collected in late winter and early spring, but beyond April it becomes very difficult to find them, although it will depend on how cold it has been.
They are characterized by being oval and small, with rough skin and hard meat full of juice, which is why they are again indicated for juice. In addition, they do not usually contain too many nuggets. The most cultivated variety in Spain and Morocco is the sanguinelli, which is of Israeli origin and very striking because both its pulp and its juice are red to purple. It barely has seeds and needs the cold to reach its full potential.
The best recipes with orange
And it’s time to see what we can do with that huge box of oranges that we have at home and that we can’t wait to start spending… Blessed problem! Next we leave you a series of recipes that you will be able to use with any of the oranges that we can find in all greengrocers or supermarkets, whether navel or white.
Do you think we start with an orange llanda coke? You already know that it never hurts to claim our mediterranean cocas, which have little or nothing to envy to the popular pizzas and focaccias. Of course, we are going to do it by recovering the sweet side of coca, baking a citrus cake to accompany coffee and brighten up breakfasts at home for a few days.
Before you put on your apron, you should know that it is still a variant of sponge cakebased on eggs, sugar, oil and flour, which in this case we enrich with plenty of orange juice and grated fruit.
Coca of orange llanda
Preheat the oven to 170ºC with air or 180ºC with top and bottom heat. Grease or line with parchment paper non-stick a medium llanda or rectangular or square oven dish, approximately 40 cm long if you want a flatter cake.
Arrange the eggs with the sugar and finely washed orange zest in a large container or the glass of a stand mixer. Beat with electric rods for several minutes until it exceeds twice the initial volume and is fluffy.
add the strained orange juice and beat some more. Add the oil and repeat the operation. Sift the flour mixed with the couple of sachets of raising agent on top (or use 1 sachet of chemical yeast) and mix gently with the spatula, little by little, until incorporated homogeneously.
Pour into the pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the pan, until golden brown and prick the center come out clean with a toothpick. Wait a bit outside before unmolding and cooling on a rack.
Full recipe | Coca of orange llanda.
More recipes with orange
What is promised is debt, here are nine other orange recipes with which to conquer both sweet and savory palates:
In DAP | Citrus salt: how to take advantage of the skin of oranges, lemons and limes to flavor the basic condiment of the kitchen
In DAP | How to extract more orange juice with the same pieces of fruit: the microwave trick