Are Navel Oranges Good for Juicing?
Winter season can be bleak, boring, and dragging s it may not come as a big surprise when some of us wish for summer to come sooner rather than later. That wish might not be granted but what we can have is a taste of sunshine when we drink freshly squeezed sun-kissed, sweet, and flavorful Navel Orange Juice.
Buying fresh orange juice from a restaurant or juice stall can be quite pricey but if you make your juice at home, you do not only save money but you can be sure that the fruit you are juicing is fresh and of top quality.
How Did Navel Orange Come About
The Orange Navel is a spontaneous mutation found growing on a sweet Selecta Orange tree planted in a monastery’s orchard in Bahia, Brazil in the early 1800s. The mutation caused the fruit to be seedless and develop a secondary immature twin fruit at the apex of the fruit opposite the stem end and inside the peel of the primary fruit. This secondary fruit is the reason for the navel-like formation on the fruit which gave it its name, “Navel Orange”.
Since Navel Oranges, including red Navel Oranges, are seedless they can only be propagated via cutting and grafting techniques. All Navel Orange trees are technically clones of the original tree found in Brazil. The same is true for the first twelve Navel Orange trees that were grown in the US. Cuttings from the original Navel Orange tree in Brazil were shipped to Florida with some sent to California. These cuttings were grafted onto compatible sweet orange trees and started bearing sweet, juicy, and flavorful fruits that are less acidic than other orange cultivars. The cultivar became an instant hit and has been grown Southern California for more than a century.
Juice That Navel
Orange Navel is a great choice for juicing because its large size can give you more juice than other varieties. The typical Navel Orange size is 3 to 4 inches across. This cultivar is also easier to prepare because of its easy-to-peel skin, plus it is seedless which makes it easier for us to collect its juice. On top of that, Navels are exceedingly sweet and flavorful and can be taken on its own or can be mixed with tangier oranges to tone down the level of acidity. Furthermore, Navels are inexpensive and easy to find because they are mostly available in many grocers and fruit stalls.
Keep in mind though that we should drink Navel Orange juice right away because limonin, a natural compound found in citrus that when exposed to air turns the fruit bitter, is found in Navel fruit’s flesh which when juiced turns the flavor bitter and somewhat sour in less than an hour.
Navel Oranges, especially the Cara Cara Orange, are a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, and one fruit can provide 90 to 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance. It also contains potassium which is good for the heart, dietary fibers that can promote appetite control, and at the same time help reduce the risk of acquiring diabetes. Navel Oranges are also packed with vitamin A, B6, calcium, and folate. With all the health benefits you can get from eating or juicing Navel Oranges it is only right that you consume them during the Navel Orange season while they are at their premium condition.