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Cooking With Navel Oranges

 


Navel oranges are easily identified by a slight knob (or navel) at one end. Delightful on its own, the navel orange is ideal for cooking because it peels easily, is sweet and usually seedless.

 

In savoury dishes

The navel orange lends a fresh taste to sauces and dressings.

 

  • Peel and remove the pulp from oranges and serve them quartered and placed around a terrine or a pâté.
  • Add quartered oranges to chicken, shrimp, garden or rice salads.
  • Use orange juice and zest in sauces and dressings.
  • Add fresh orange juice and zest to carrot soup or a squeeze to vichyssoise.
  • When cooking rice, replace part of the liquid called for with fresh orange juice.
  • Pan-fry some chicken strips and sprinkle them with fresh orange juice. Cook until caramelized. Deglaze with flavoured vinegar and serve it all with orange rounds and fresh spinach leaves.
  • The flavour of oranges goes with a variety of meats. Try roast pork with spinach stuffing and orange sauce, sautéed beef with orange, sweet orange chicken or veal cutlets with orange sauce.
  • Make a mango orange onion chutney and use as a condiment for grilled meats and vegetables.
  • Use orange to perk up seafood, such as orange haddock fillets or orange sesame scallop brochettes.

 

In sweet dishes

Navel oranges are great for enhancing or flavouring a dessert.

 

  • Peel oranges and remove pulp. Drizzle pulp with a hint of Grand Marnier, then sprinkle with nutmeg, fresh chopped mint and candied ginger. Serve as is or use to top a crêpe.
  • Add orange quarters to yogurt or a chocolate mousse.
  • Use orange quarters as a topping for waffles or pancakes.
  • Place juice from an orange and lemon in the bowl of a blender. Add 4 cut mint leaves and pulse a few times until smooth. For a special touch, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve well chilled.
  • Mix 1/4 cup (60 mL) of fresh orange juice with 1/4 cup (60 mL) of Champagne or sparkling wine and serve in a Champagne flute for a classic mimosa.
  • For a more colourful drink, mix 1/4 cup (60 mL) of fresh orange juice with 2 tbsp. (30 mL) of fresh lemon juice and 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of grenadine syrup. Finish with a little Champagne or sparkling wine, and you have a beverage fit for a weekend brunch.
  • Make gourmet orange tarts for a special occasion or orange cookies for an everyday treat.

 

Flavoured zest

The zest of navel oranges has plenty of zingy citrus flavour. Cook the peel in a marmalade or cut in thin strips and use to boost savoury dishes, desserts, drinks and herbal teas.

 

It’s best to wash oranges in hot water and give them a gentle scrub before grating or zesting. Orange zest can also be frozen and kept in a tightly sealed container.

 

Storage

Oranges keep five to seven days at room temperature. Extend their shelf life up to two weeks by putting them in a vegetable tray in the refrigerator. To avoid condensation, make small holes in plastic storage bags or leave airtight bags slightly open.

 

Tips and advice

  • If you keep oranges in the refrigerator, leave them out at room temperature before eating or serving for the best taste.
  • Roll oranges gently against a countertop before extracting the juice. This breaks up the fruit’s internal membranes, so you’ll get more juice out of each orange.
  • For perfect orange rounds, peel the orange and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes before slicing it.

Try oranges in these recipes


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