What’s the Difference Between a Sugar Belle and Navel Orange?
Ever hear of sugar belle oranges? If not, you’re in for a treat. And if you’re already a lover of the classic navel orange, you’re in for a bigger treat once you actually taste this sweet and juicy little citrus gem!
What is a navel orange?
What’s a navel? Only one of the world’s most popular citrus fruits! On gloomy winter days, just seeing the different navel orange varieties in the grocery store can give you a lift. Flavorful, healthy and refreshing, navel oranges are a universal fruit favorite. But what exactly makes a navel orange a navel orange?
A seedless winter fruit with a sweet-yet-zingy flavor, navels are great to snack on or to use in salads and other dishes. They get their name from the small holes or “navels” resembling belly-buttons at the blossom stem end. These small holes are created by a genetic mutation where an undeveloped, secondary orange grows within the larger fruit. Because they’re seedless, navels are grown by grafting. There are actually many varieties of navel oranges (including the car acara navel and the red navel orange).
What are sugar belle oranges?
Sugar belle oranges are a super-sweet hybrid of Clementines, tangerines and Honeybell tangelos. The sweet sugarbelle has few seeds, is bell-shaped like its parent honeybell, but smaller, with a lovely “zip” to liven up the sweetness. They are a relatively new cultivar that is resistant to the dreaded “greening” disease that has wreaked such havoc among the world’s citrus trees for so long.
What makes a sugar belle different from a navel orange?
Because there are so many different varieties, navel orange size can vary from medium to large in size, averaging from 6-10 centimeters in diameter. In navel oranges, calories average around 70 (when determining how many calories in a navel orange, size must be taken into consideration). Sugar belles are roughly have the size and contain half the calories of navel oranges, which makes them a great choice for a light, packable snack.
One area where a sugar belle is not smaller than a navel orange: nutrition! Sugar belle oranges pack 40% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C in one small serving, and are also excellent sources of fiber, folate, beta-carotene and more (just like navel oranges).
One area where sugar belles and navels are very different is their growing season. Navel oranges will hang around all winter long, but sugar belles are harvested only during the first two weeks of December, so when they’re available, don’t wait!
If you love navel oranges, give sugar belles a try when you have the opportunity! Gorgeous, giftable and delicious, it’s no wonder they’ve been taking the citrus world by storm. With a growing season that’s slightly longer than the honeybell’s, it’s a great way to mix things up.