Cold season is time for novelty of navel oranges

March 02, 1994|By Karla Cook | Karla Cook,Knight-Ridder News Service

The navel orange is one step from the tangerine -- in the peel department, anyway.

What other type of orange can be accessed so easily? And seedless to boot! And though its taste isn't as intense as the fragile tangerine, it's a worthy splash of flavor that carries us through these lingering days of the cold and flu season.

The vitamin-packed orange also offers some protection for those prone to cataracts, according to one U.S. Department of Agriculture study. Researcher Paul Jacques found that people with little vitamin C in their blood were 11 times more likely to have a certain type of cataract, writes Jean Carper in "Food -- Your Miracle Medicine" (HarperCollins, $25).

When shopping for oranges, don't be as concerned with skin color as thin skin and heaviness, both harbingers of maturity.

Florida navels are big, sweet and fairly juicy, with thinner peels compared to the West Coast siblings, because of Florida's generally hot days and warm nights.

Endive, spinach and orange salad

Serves 4

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3/4 cup virgin olive oil

1/4 cup snipped fresh chives

1/8 teaspoon salt

coarsely ground fresh black pepper

1/2 pound spinach

1 small red onion, finely julienned

3 large navel oranges, separated into segments

2 large heads of Belgian endive

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and chives. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium-size bowl, combine the spinach, onion and oranges. Add dressing and toss.

Arrange Belgian endive with points outward on serving plates. Distribute the spinach mixture in the center of the endive.

(Nutrition information per serving: calories, 434; protein, 3.34 grams; carbohydrates, 17.7 grams; total fat, 40.9 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; fiber, 4.73 grams; sodium, 119 milligrams; sugars, 12.1 grams; vitamin C, 80.7 milligrams; calcium, 119 milligrams; iron, 2.21 milligrams.)

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