For the Love of Oranges

a cut orangeAs I write this (early 9 a.m.), I’ve already had 116% of my recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, 12% of my RDA of fiber, and almost 10% of my RDA of folates. I’ve protected my cardiovascular and respiratory health, possibly lowered my cholesterol and prevented kidney stones and ulcers, and lowered my risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. I did this by eating one orange.

(Info Source: Whole Foods; Image source: Public Domain image from

I also dribbled orange juice on my keyboard, but considering all the other accomplishments, it’s a pretty good start to the day, in my opinion.

As you might have figured out, I love oranges! Besides Christmas, oranges are the best part of winter. Sweet, juicy, healthy, filling, and low in calories (about 75 calories for the one I had this morning)–what’s not to love?

My favorite way to eat oranges is simply peeled and segmented, but I do have a few regular “recipes” in which I use fresh oranges. One is to combine fresh-squeezed orange juice with barbecue sauce (1:3 ratio) for Slow-cooker BBQ Chicken Breasts. Another is to use chopped orange, cranberries, and pecans in a tossed salad. No dressing necessary with all that luscious orange juice dripping all over the place. And, of course, my favorite turkey sandwich, with cranberry orange sauce. (My last batch of sauce used artificial orange sweetener, and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as with fresh-squeezed orange juice and zesty bits.)

Eating Well has an excellent list of recipes using fresh oranges. In fact, I can’t wait to try making some Vanilla-Orange Freezer Pops with orange juice and yogurt this weekend!

My love of oranges is not all about the taste. I love the orange-y smell as well. One tried-and-true home fragrance tip is to toss orange peels, cinnamon sticks and a few cloves in a pot of water and let it simmer on the stove. From what I’ve heard (but not tried), you can also use dried orange peels in the fireplace to serve as both kindling and a nice aromatic experience.

Supposedly ants and other insects do NOT love oranges. One of my great-aunts used to sprinkle dried orange peels in her flower beds to repel ants and some other type bug I can’t remember. I have no idea if it worked; I was just intrigued by the sight of all the orange peels sprinkled everywhere. (But now I wonder what would happen if you pureed the peels with some soapy water and used it around the base of plants instead. Something to consider trying with my two tomato plants this year.)

I could go on and on about oranges, but by now you are probably wanting one (or more) yourself, and I don’t want to keep you from the juicy goodness. If you’d like to share your favorite way to eat oranges before you go, please do!

Or are you like the industrious-but-picky ants who don’t like oranges at all?


24 thoughts on “For the Love of Oranges

  1. Those who know me know I really struggle with fruit. I want to like it a lot more than I do. So while I have one recipe for a salad that calls for canned mandarin oranges, I don’t really eat them all that much. However, I LOVE orange juice. In fact, when I do allow myself to have a bit of orange juice, I pack the glass full of ice to keep it to 8 oz or so, otherwise I could easily drink 24 oz. of it in a sitting!

    Oh, and last spring when I was visiting my daughter in Washington, DC, I had the best Blood Orange Martini, I’ve ever had anywhere. Does that count?

    • Sure, the martini counts! :)

      I’m not a fan of mandarin oranges at all, and I’m not sure why. I have an old Southern recipe for “5-cup salad” that uses mandarins, and I always cut them into teeny, tiny pieces. I’m not sure why I’ve never just used regular oranges. Duh.

      • Cammy, did you know mandarin oranges are actually in the same family as tangerines and clementines – and are sometimes cross bred with them? In other words, exchangeable in recipes!

  2. Hi Cammy. I’ve been on a real orange kick lately. They’re so good at this time of the year! Helen’s comment made me want a martini. And it’s before 9:00am for me. OH dear. Have a good day!

  3. I love clementines. I also adore orange essential oil. This stuff is amazing to take off sticky stuff on glass surfaces (you know like stickers or tape). It smells good. Just don’t get it on pain or varnish – because it removes those, too!

    • Have your clementines been good this year? In my area, they’ve seemed…less flavorful than usual. I usually buy a small crate around Christmas, but I skipped them this year.

  4. I just ate a Cara Cara orange at my daughter’s house. She bought them at Trader Joe’s Wow! Very tart and juicy. Oranges are one of those things I absolutely crave and then get so disappointed when, after all that work of peeling it, it’s dry :( I’m a very picky orange eater.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever had a Cara Cara orange! I’ll have to see if I can find any locally. And since that will probably be at Whole Foods or Fresh Market, I’ll stop at the bank and see about a 2nd mortgage on my house before I go. :)

  5. You had me at “Sweet, juicy, healthy, filling, and low in calories”!! Love oranges and their good-for-you nutrients.

  6. I love oranges! I go through bags of them each year. Wherever I am when I peel an orange, somebody will always say that it smells so good and I will tell them they taste good too. I’ve offered to share my orange but nobody wants to eat one. They just say it smells good.

    My husband usually will not eat an orange but he has recently discovered Cuties and has decided to eat one each day. I tell him they are good for him and they are. :)

    • I’m working my way through a large bag now, and looking at the calendar, I’ll probably be able to get one more bag before the season starts to fade. They’ve been good this year!

  7. Blood oranges (Trader Joe’s) and in season oranges at the Farmer’s market. Fabulous. I’ve had to cut back to half an orange a serving- but oh-so-good.

    I slice them and cut the slices in half and eat. Usually over the sink. Great snack for Jr. Family member.

  8. I love oranges too! Just bought a few delicious ones this week and can’t wait to dig in. I just like them peeled and in segments. Nothing fancy. I am also in love with clementines!!! Citrus power baby! 😉

  9. We have been eating tons of citrus lately and most of it is locally grown. Meyers lemons from my back yard that are sweet enough to eat like an orange, oranges from our neighbors trees, mandarins and grapefruit ias well as blood oranges from the Farmers Mkt. Just peel and eat, toss in a fruit salad and always some citrus segments in our mixed greens salads along with whatever berries we have.

  10. I do like oranges, but I don’t eat them that often. Don’t know why. I used to hate those little canned mandarin oranges when I was a kid. But on our trip to Haiti (on the drive to the SF airport) my friend brought along some little mandarin oranges from her parents tree. Oh my were those good. And so easy to peel. It was hard to stop eating them!

  11. Forgot to say thank you for the linky to the vanilla orange freezer pops. I’m thinking I might use that recipe to make some frozen yogurt, and then freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays (because I don’t have freezer pop molds!)

  12. Hi Cammy! I’ve rediscovered you! (I use to blog in 2009 as Sunny. Back at it all now, using my real name with a new blog.) I LOVE oranges! I have a navel orange at lunch every work day this time of the year! It’s been GREAT for my (uric acid) kidney stone issues!

  13. Hmmmm, let’s see?? Where did I just come home from?? Do I like oranges?? I”m sitting here staring at a three bags of oranges – red navels, honeybells and pineapple oranges (a new one to me this year, but yummy sweet). Also a HUGE bag of red grapefruit. Not to mention the full flat of Plant City strawberries. Can you imagine what my car smelled like by the time I got home? Sure wish you were closer – I’d share!

  14. I also love oranges. I think it’s the best fruit which also smells good and healthy for your body. It helps in detoxifying your body, lower the cholesterol level and sugar level. I always opt for orange juice than any other fruit juice. I am really looking forward to try the vanilla orange freezer pops this weekend.

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