Once a month I am going to give you the straight up ole facts about a fruit and veggie that are in season. I really wish that stores would tell you what is in high season when you shop, even though I know that would be one counter-productive marketing effort. Just a dream…
I will also be incorporating them into an exciting featured dish. So stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath it might be a week or so.
Let’s start first with the fruit of the month, oranges.
Oranges, and I hope you already know this, are a HUGE source of vitamin C (you can get more than your daily vita-C dosage in an 8oz cup). Vitamin C in turn helps boost your immune system and aids in the absorption of iron in your system. It should also be noted that consuming an orange (and all other fruits and veggies) is proven to be healthier than taking an actual supplement for your vitamin dosage.
Fresh squeezed orange juice is a top 5 drink for me (not concentrated you crazies, thank goodness I have a juicer!), but consuming the full orange has more benefits than you would think. What remains, in the pulp and peel of the orange that you consume, are flavonoids. That strange-sounding word is something that, in oranges, can help you digest properly, has anti-inflammatory properties, AND is proven to help lower cholesterol. You go orange, you go.
Some kinds of O’s:
- Valencia – you’ll find most store bought OJ to contain this type of orange. They have thinner skin and are good for snacking, just watch out for seeds. Boooo seeds.
- Blood – these aren’t too popular in N. America but they are pretty cool to serve since they have such a nice color inside (think succulent red, without the gore). Serve on top of a salad for extra punch to those greens.
- Cara cara- I’ve never heard of this kind but apparently these lil guys are lighter on the size, seeds and acidity
- Mandarin – too many seeds for my busy schedule
- Navel – muy popluar, mi amigo. These are a great snack to break up your day.
- Clementines – I have a problem, I can’t buy a crate and make it last more than 4 days. That’s a weee bit more sugar intake than I need.
- Tangerines – not as addicting as Clem’s, IMO, but they are small and still snack worthy
- Seville & Sour Oranges – Huh, what? All you need to know…if making marmalade is in your future, these are your friend. (hey maybe a future blog post)
And then there’s KALE…
It’s mean, it’s green, and it isn’t that popular. But it should be.
According to WebMD:
One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
That’s a whole lot of good stuff. And to really see some of the benefits, like reducing your risk of cancer & lowering your cholesterol to name a few, you’ll need to consume cruciferous vegetables like kale, at a minimum of 2-3 times a week. (Brussel’s qualify too!)
Some people aren’t that open to kale, so in addition my upcoming recipe, here are some easy ideas that sound great and have good reviews:
Note: While I encourage and practice eating almost as much organic as possible, it is especially important with kale because it is on the lower end of the Environmental Working Group’s list of produce with high pesticide residue .