4/25/2013 10:51:00 AM Bring a little sunshine into your kitchen
What do you know about oranges, beside the fact that they are juicy, taste good and are full of good nutrition? I found a little clipping in my “orange file” that had some interesting info that I never thought about. Besides providing heaping helpings of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, an orange also contains lots of folic acid (vitamin B), potassium and fiber; the good stuff that helps to keep us healthy.
Christopher Columbus brought orange seeds to the New World. By the 1800’s when Florida became a United States territory, orange groves were growing in the southern region of the Sunshine State. Florida growers are known to produce this juicy fruit with thin skins, while California oranges tend to have a thicker skin and be more flavorful. Whether they’re stored in the fridge or at room temperature, oranges retain nearly all of their vitamin content for up to two weeks. Keep in mind that an 11 oz. can of mandarin oranges can be substituted for one large sectioned orange.
I hope you have taken advantage of the oranges on sale at our grocery stores lately. Put a bowl of them on the counter and bring a little sunshine and nutrition to your kitchen. Heavens knows we need it!
ORANGE APPLE SALAD 2 oranges, peeled, pith removed, cut in bite-sized pieces 1 red apple, unpeeled, cut in bite-sized pieces 1/2 c. sliced celery 1/4 c. raisins or blueberry or cranberry craisins Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1-1/2 T. bottled juice
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Chill and serve in lettuce cups or in a pretty bowl. Makes four servings.
MANDARIN BEEF STIR-FRY 1 c. orange juice 1/3 c. soy sauce 2 T. Worcestershire sauce 1 t. garlic powder 1/4 t. ginger 1 lb. round steak, cut in thin strips 2 c. frozen or fresh snow peas 1 medium onion, cut into 10 wedges 1 medium sweet red or green pepper, julienned 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms or 1-4 oz. can mushrooms, drained 2 T. olive or canola oil 1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained 2 T. cornstarch Hot cooked rice
In a one-cup measure, combine first five ingredients; remove half and set aside. Put remaining half into a medium bowl and add beef strips; cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. In a large skillet or wok, stir fry veggies in oil for two minutes; remove and keep warm. Drain and discard marinade from beef. In same skillet, stir-fry beef until no longer pink. Add veggies and oranges. Combine cornstarch and reserved marinade, mixing until smooth; add to skillet. Bring to a boil; lower heat, cook and gently stir for two minutes or until thickened. Serve over hot rice. Makes six servings. Serve with a spinach and romaine salad topped with pineapple tidbits or chunks, garnished with toasted almonds, sunflower seeds or bacon bits.
ORANGE POPPY SEED CAKE 2 oranges 1-1/4 c. milk 2-2/3 c. cake flour 1 t. baking soda 1/4 t. salt 3 T. poppy seeds 3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened Scant 2 c. sugar 3 eggs 1 t. vanilla
Frosting: 1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened 6 T. butter or margarine 2 c. powdered sugar
Wash oranges; grate 5 t. of zest from oranges; set aside 1 t. to use in frosting. Juice the oranges enough to get 1/3 c. of juice, save 1/2 t. to use in the frosting. Combine the rest of juice with milk and set aside. (Don’t worry if it curdles.) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds. Cream butter in large bowl of electric mixer. Add sugar gradually while beating. Beat several minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and 4 t. of the zest; beat well. Add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with milk mixture and beating after each addition until smooth. Pour into greased and floured 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Frosting: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter; beat until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar; add 1/2 t. juice and teaspoon of orange zest. Beat until creamy. If needed, more juice or milk may be added for the right spreading consistency. Frost cake when cake is completely cooled. Makes 16 servings.
Note: Before I peel or cut an orange, I grate the orange zest over a large piece of wax paper, moving the grater around so the zest doesn’t land in one place. Set the wax paper aside and let it sit until the zest is dry. Transfer to a small container to be used when a recipe calls for orange zest. Of special interest: Be sure to wash fruits of any kind before peeling or grating or eating out of hand as one never knows what’s been running around on the fruit or who has handled it before you used it.
Thought for the Day: You can’t lose weight by talking about it. You have to keep your mouth shut!