In Season: Oranges

By Lisa Turner

Despite its leathery skin, an orange is actually a type of berry, which helps explain its juicy sweetness and long list of health-promoting nutrients. A medium orange contains 62 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and nearly 120 percent of the daily value of immune-boosting vitamin C. Even juicier: Oranges boast a hefty dose of antioxidant compounds called flavonoids, which protect against inflammation and cancer. You’ll find oranges at the grocery store year-round, but they’re at their peak from the end of November through April. Try these simple recipes to savor a sweet burst of this fruit even in the middle of the bleakest winter weather:

Cranberry-Orange Quinoa
Add 1 tablespoon grated orange peel and 2 tablespoons each dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to 2 cups cooked quinoa; add 1/4 cup finely minced red onion and cubed segments of one orange.

Zesty Parfait
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel, 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice, and 1 teaspoon agave nectar with 1/4 cup organic yogurt. Drizzle over a fruit salad of blood orange segments and defrosted blackberries; garnish with fresh mint.

Sweet and Spicy Salad Dressing
In a small jar, combine 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, 1 tablespoon each of grated orange peel, finely grated ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and minced cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. Shake well to blend, season with salt and pepper, and serve over a salad of cold soba noodles, grated carrot, snow peas, and black sesame seeds.