This Month's Fresh Fruits...
Cara Cara Oranges
Cara Cara oranges are deliciously juicy pink naval oranges. They have a deep orange flesh with a sweet cherry or grapefruit undertone. They are a seedless variety, making them very popular among mothers with small children. They are great for snacks, lunch boxes, salads, garnishes or for an on-the-go treat. They are packed with vitamin C, making them great for the cold season. Cara Cara oranges are one of the best oranges of the season.
Feijoas are sometimes referred to as ‘pineapple guavas’. They are actually in the same family as a regular guava, cloves and the eucalyptus. Feijoas are grown around the globe with New Zealand being the top producer. Feijoas are small, oval shaped fruit that are generally used in desserts, fruit salads or jellies. They are often pureed for use in ice cream, sherbet, and pudding. Feijoas can be used in place of apples in many recipes.
Feijoas should be stored at room temperature and are ripe when soft to touch. They will turn brown once cut open, so a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice will help prevent the oxidation. Feijoas are relatively low in calories with about 50 calories per 3 ½ oz. serving.
Melissa’s Blood Oranges are currently grown in California. These delicious sweet oranges get their name because of the red juice that turns the flesh, and sometimes the rind, a deep “blood” red. The juice is delicious and often served in fine restaurants instead of regular orange juice. Most blood oranges are seedless, but some varieties contain seeds.
Blood oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C. They are best when kept in the refrigerator and eaten within several days of purchasing.
Originally introduced in the mid-19th century to the U.S., this ancient fruit has been familiar in Japan and China for thousands of years. These tiny citrus are bright orange and shaped like an egg. They are completely edible. The sweet, thin rind offsets the tart flesh. They are great as a snack or even candied. Kumquats are generally available year-round with a few gaps in growing regions.
Kumquats are best when kept refrigerated. They should have bright skin with no blemishes. They are very low in calories and have about 50 calories in a 3 ½ oz. serving. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Also called Prickly Pears, Indian Figs or Tunas, cactus pears are a fruit indigenous to Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. They are now grown across the country and are becoming more and more popular among consumers. They are an egg-shaped fruit full of thorns or pricks, which are carefully removed before you purchase them. However, caution should still be taken when handling them. Cactus pears are delicious cut in half and scooped out. The vibrant red flesh is full of edible seed and can be used in jams, sauces, salads or drinks.
Cactus pears are low calorie and a good source of vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of magnesium. Ripen fruit at room temperature, and then refrigerate until ready to use, no more than a few days. Cactus pears have a limited shelf life, so they are best when eaten as soon as they are ripe.
Chestnuts are generally grown in northern climates, although they can be found from Alaska to the Middle East. In the past, most chestnuts were ground to make flour for breads, while today, chestnut flour is used primarily for fancy cakes. Chestnuts have been associated with good digestion when eaten. They have an extremely high sugar content, which makes them excellent for cooking and baking. Italian Chestnuts are a holiday favorite for roasting. Chestnuts should be cooked before eating to bring up the sugar content; otherwise they are starchy and often bitter.
Chestnuts can be microwaved or roasted. They are a good source of B Vitamins and iron, and they are low in sodium.