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Seasonal Eats: Orange You Glad It's Orange Season!

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Blood Oranges at the Hollywood Farmer's Market (Heather Parlato/LAist)
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They’ve made their way into recipes in every post I’ve written so far, and despite the fact that everyone knows exactly how they like them, I wanted to give oranges a spotlight this week, because there are so many ways to use them. Lets get this out of the way: oranges have a glycemic load of 5, and are a great source of fiber, Folate and Vitamin C. If you’re eating the peels, you can add Calcium to that list.

First of all, a raw, peeled or cut orange is a great treat anytime. If you want to juice them up, absolutely delicious! Take them a step further while enjoying their raw goodness by adding them to endive, arugala and orange salad, or this Italian winter salad with oil-cured olives. Having chips and salsa? Throw in some chopped orange sections for a juicy zing in the mix.

If you’re tossing out the peels though, you’re missing out on some potentially great food projects and seasonings. Get yourself a zester, and start zesting every citrus peel you would have normally discarded, put some in the fridge to use fresh, and dry the rest on a plate in the oven with just the heat of the pilot. Alternately, peel the fruit and chop up the orange peels to dry out in the same way for adding to loose herbal teas. Have you ever tried making candied orange peel? Dipped in chocolate!? It’s so easy, I give them as gifts around the holidays. Finally, I’m not going to try to convince haters to befriend the oft-maligned orange marmalade, but for those of us who love it, here’s a slow-cooked chunky marmalade that looks fantastic.