King Vitamin C, one of the juiciest and sweetest fruit of them all, the orange, a perfect snack and tangible to numerous recipes; making it one of the most popular fruits in the world. Known as a hybrid a mix of the pomelo and mandarin, oranges are known as a citrus fruit and are about two to three inches in diameter with a finely-textured skin. First discovered in southern China, the orange date by to 2500 BC. From there it was introduced to Europe in Spain during the 10th century but didn’t become sweet until the late 15th century when the Italian and Portuguese merchants brought orange trees into the Mediterranean area. It’s was shortly after that the orange became an edible fruit.

It has been known that the Spanish travelers introduced the new sweet fruit at the time to America. And as a result of the expeditions in the mid-1500’s the fruit was brought to South American and Mexico and to Florida in 1565. Isn’t it fascinating to see how a fruit can travel thought-out history? Other places the fruit traveled to is Arizona in 1707, San Diego in 1797, Los Angeles in 1841, and later found in Louisiana in 1872.

It’s was known that since oranges are rich in Vitamin C, many sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy. Scurvy is the disease due to the lack of Vitamin C. Symptoms includes feeling extremely tired and sore arms and legs. Who knew oranges were so important, other health benefits of oranges include, providing antioxidant protection and immune support. Lowering cholesterol, protecting the respiratory system and reducing the risk of stomach cancer, to say the least.

Outside of its history and health benefits, oranges can be a great addition to both food and beverage recipes.

Ideas for recipes include

Orange Chicken
Brussels Sprouts with Orange
Orange Granita
Green Salad with Citrus Salad
Sweet and Sour Orange Chicken
Orange Mimosa Orange Marmalade
Chicken with Couscous and orange
Orange Ice Cream
Watermelon, Orange and Feta Salad

That’s a wrap for 31 Days of Fruits and Vegetables, please let us know if you like this project. Let us know what you would like to see through-out this series.