Oranges in the Kitchen: Tips and Tricks for Cooking with Citrus

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The orange (specifically, the sweet orange) is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis in the family Rutaceae. The fruit of the Citrus sinensis is considered a sweet orange, whereas the fruit of the Citrus aurantium is considered a bitter orange.

The orange is a hybrid, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata), which has been cultivated since ancient times.

They’re great for adding a citrusy flavor to a variety of dishes, but how do you get the most out of them? 
It’s all about knowing which part to use. I’ll show you the best ways to use oranges in cooking.

How to cook with oranges

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Oranges: The Juicy Citrus Fruit You Need in Your Cooking

Oranges are a type of citrus fruit that belong to the Rutaceae family. They are round or oval-shaped and have a bright orange color. Oranges are known for their juicy flesh and sweet taste. They are a great source of vitamin C and fiber, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

What Parts of the Orange Can You Use in Cooking?

When it comes to cooking with oranges, there are a few different parts of the fruit that you can use:

  • Flesh: The juicy flesh of an orange can be eaten fresh, used in recipes, or turned into juice.
  • Peel: The outer layer of the orange, also known as the zest, can be grated and used to add flavor to dishes.
  • Oil: Orange oil can be extracted from the peel and used in cooking or as a natural fragrance.
  • Vinegar: Orange vinegar can be made by infusing vinegar with orange peel, adding a tangy flavor to salads and other dishes.
  • Dried: Orange slices can be dried and used as a healthy snack or added to recipes for extra flavor.
  • Sprinkle: Orange zest can be sprinkled on top of dishes for a burst of citrus flavor.

How Can You Use Oranges in Your Cooking?

Oranges can be used in a variety of dishes and recipes, including:

  • Salads: Add orange slices or zest to your favorite salad for a fresh and healthy twist.
  • Desserts: Oranges can be used in cakes, pies, and other desserts for a sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Vegetables: Roasted vegetables can be topped with orange zest for a burst of citrus flavor.
  • Fish: Orange zest can be used as a seasoning for fish dishes, adding a bright and fresh taste.
  • Dressings: Orange juice or zest can be added to dressings for a tangy and flavorful twist.
  • Smoothies: Oranges can be blended into smoothies for a healthy and refreshing drink.

Are Oranges Healthy?

Oranges are not only delicious but also very healthy. Here are some of the benefits of eating oranges:

  • Low in calories: Oranges are a low-calorie food, making them a great snack option.
  • High in vitamin C: Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system.
  • High in fiber: Oranges are high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Good for the heart: Oranges contain flavonoids, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

So next time you’re in the mood for a fresh and healthy ingredient, reach for an orange and get creative in the kitchen!

How to Slice Oranges Like a Pro

To start, you’ll need a sharp knife. A heavy chef’s knife is a good option, but a small paring knife will work just as well. Just make sure it’s sharp! You’ll also need a cutting board and a bowl to hold your sliced oranges.

Preparing the Orange

First, wash the orange under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, using a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of the orange so that it can stand upright on the cutting board. Next, slice away the white pith from the sides of the orange, following the curve of the fruit. Be sure to remove all of the white pith, as it can be bitter.

Storing Sliced Oranges

If you’re not serving the oranges right away, store the sliced fruit in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help keep them fresh and prevent any excess moisture from causing mold.

Additional Tips and Techniques

  • If you’re having trouble slicing the orange, try placing it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it up.
  • When slicing, be sure to angle the knife slightly towards the center of the fruit to avoid cutting off too much of the flesh.
  • If you’re worried about the orange rolling around on the cutting board, simply cut a small slice off the bottom to create a flat surface.
  • Note that different types of oranges may require slightly different slicing techniques, so be sure to check which type you’re working with.
  • Don’t worry if your slices aren’t perfectly uniform- as long as they’re fairly even, they’ll still look beautiful and taste super delicious!

Slicing oranges is a quick and easy process that can be done by people of all skill levels. With a little practice and the right tools, you’ll be making beautiful orange slices in no time!

Get Creative with Oranges in Your Cooking

1. Add a Citrus Twist to Your Meat

Oranges can add a nice flavor to your meat dishes. Here are some ways to use oranges in your meat recipes:

  • Marinate your pork or chicken in orange juice, garlic, and herbs before grilling or roasting.
  • Throw some orange slices on the barbecue with your bacon-wrapped shrimp skewers for a delicious and light lunch.
  • Pair tuna with oranges for a midweek supper that’s effortless and tasty.

2. Bake with Oranges for a Perfect Dessert

Oranges can also be used in baking to add a nice citrus flavor to your desserts. Here are some ways to use oranges in your baking recipes:

  • Bake a light orange buttercake or teacake for a nice afternoon treat.
  • Add some orange zest to your shortbread or cookie recipes for a flavored twist.
  • Make a delicious orange compote to serve with your favorite fruit or cake.

3. Use Leftover Oranges for a Variety of Recipes

Don’t throw away your leftover oranges! Here are some ways to use them in your cooking:

  • Make a delicious orange salad with leftover oranges, greens, and a simple oil and salt dressing.
  • Roast some Brussels sprouts with orange slices for a caramelized and porky richness.
  • Make a refreshing orange-flavored cocktail for your guests.

4. Share Your Love for Oranges with Your Team

If you love oranges, share your favorite recipes with your colleagues. Here are some ways to share your love for oranges with your team:

  • Bring in your favorite orange-flavored cake or cookies to share with your colleagues.
  • Start an orange-themed potluck and have everyone bring in their favorite orange-flavored dish.
  • Join the #BestRecipesTeam on social media and share your favorite orange recipes with other food lovers.

Oranges are a versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you’re baking a cake or grilling some meat, oranges pair beautifully with many different ingredients. So, get creative in the kitchen and try out some new orange-flavored recipes!

Oranges: The Ultimate Healthy Ingredient

Oranges are not only delicious, but they are also incredibly healthy. Here are some reasons why:

  • Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and fight off infections.
  • Oranges are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great addition to any diet.
  • Oranges contain antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Oranges are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy.

Healthy Orange Recipes

Now that you know how healthy oranges are, here are some easy and delightful recipes that you can try at home:

  • Orange and Almond Wheat Berry Salad: This hearty salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Simply mix cooked wheat berries with sliced oranges, chopped almonds, and a citrusy dressing made with orange juice, olive oil, and honey.
  • Orange and Walnut Jelly: This delightful jelly is a great way to add some color and taste to your breakfast toast. Simply mix orange juice, sugar, and pectin, and pour the mixture into jars. It’s a great gift idea for the holiday season.
  • Orange Mango Pineapple Smoothie: This refreshing beverage is perfect for a hot summer day. Simply blend together sliced oranges, mango, and pineapple with some ice and orange juice concentrate. Add a splash of rum for an added kick.
  • Orange Caramel Candy: This sweet treat is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. Simply mix sugar, butter, and orange extract in a saucepan and heat until caramelized. Dip sliced oranges in the caramel and let them cool in the fridge.

Using Oranges in Cooking

Oranges are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. Here are some tips on how to use oranges in your cooking:

  • Add sliced oranges to your salads for a bright and appealing color.
  • Use orange juice as a marinade for your meats to add a citrusy aroma and flavor.
  • Add orange zest to your baked goods for a delightful and refreshing taste.
  • Use orange juice to make a light and refreshing dressing for your vegetables.
  • Use orange juice concentrate to make a hearty and warming orange tea.

In conclusion, oranges are not only a great food to eat on their own, but they are also a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. So next time you’re walking home from the grocery store, be sure to grab a bag of oranges and add them to your next recipe. Your family and taste buds will thank you!

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a guide to using oranges in cooking. 

They’re a great source of vitamin C and fiber, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. 

So, get creative and start using oranges in your cooking today!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.