Where Are The Best Citrus Fruit Grown

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioMany people are interested in understanding what makes Southern Florida citrus fruit so exceptionally sweet in comparison to anywhere else in the United States, because there is such a strong difference. We might at first risk an educated guess that it’s the constant sunshine, which is a requirement but only a part of the sweet treat formula. We may even try to explain how the 121 mile long Indian River that runs through the citrus belt is not fresh water, but salt water called a brackish lagoon that creates an extremely fertile beltway drawing every kind of life from wild bear, to oysters and crabs.

How It is Done

Science shows the Indian River District in Florida has the perfect combination that creates an environment for the sweetest varieties of premium citrus fruits. The differences in other regions like Texas, even though they also have consistent sunshine, creating different tasting citrus fruits altogether, is that this state have individual sets of superior environmental conditions specific to certain citrus species, and can grow them as successfully as Florida.

The difference between states is actually the constant regularity of certain humidity levels and, surprisingly, the different degrees of day-to-night temperature changes. These are critical environmental regulators that vary the sugar to acidic ratios in citrus fruit as they grow and ripen. No secret fertilizers or watering techniques can alter these crops the way that Mother Nature does it. Indian citrus fruits of Florida will always have a distinctive sweet as honey flavor.

If a species of citrus fruit is naturally high in acid, the crop will not do well in Texas because the dry heat environment will create an even more acidic content which would not be pleasant tasting. The same happens in Florida, for example, some of their varieties are much sweeter than the same Texas citrus fruit because of the humid environment and temperature variations.

Tart Flavors vs Honey Sweet Varieties

Drier arid areas produce Texas citrus fruit that are brightly colored with thick peels or rinds, and have a stronger acid than sugar ratio. Texas citrus fruit gifts will be more tart in flavor while still having low acidity and outstanding taste, like their fantastic, large Ruby Red Grapefruit; where Florida’s fresh citrus including their grapefruits are sweeter tasting. Indian River citrus fruit gifts are known for their perfect oranges, while Texas citrus is well know for their deep red pulp of its grapefruits. When looking for the perfect grapefruit citrus flavor, you can’t miss when buying fresh citrus from growers in these states.

The next time you want to really please your family, or send gourmet gift baskets to delight friends and relatives, visit online stores like Hale Groves or Pittman & Davis to enjoy the natural goodness of sweet as honey Indian River citrus fruits, like the All American Honeybells or Texas juicy Ruby Red Grapefruit.

Whether your family prefers natural honey sweet fresh citrus fruits or tart and tangy flavors, serving them fresh oranges, tangerines and grapefruit is the healthiest snack you can provide!

Orange Varieties Everyone Should Be Eating More

orange-varietiesEveryone loves oranges because they are the sweetest and better tasting of the citrus fruits. Oranges help boost the immune system and nourish the body with important nutrients it needs to fight off diseases. With a sweet and juicy interior, oranges are perfect for a light and healthy snack. Here are the most popular varieties and their typical availability:

1. Navel Oranges – Navel oranges are large and round with a deep yellowish-orange color. The skin is stony with a medium-thick peel. Navel oranges are usually seedless and really easy to peel and are in season from November through February. Other types of Navels are the Holiday Red Navel Oranges, in season November through December, and the Western Navel Oranges from growers in California’s San Joaquin Valley, which are in season January through May.

2. Temple Oranges – Temples are Florida’s finest eating oranges, with an oval shape and deep orange color. They have a rich sweet and tangy flavor, are easy to peel or section, and few seeds. Temple Oranges are in season from January through February.

3. Valencia Oranges – Valencias have a juicy, rich flavor and aroma. It is medium to large in size, a round-to-oval shape, and a yellow to orange color that sometimes can be tinged green. The Valencia Oranges has a smooth texture with a thin peel and are in season from March through June.

4. Clementines – Small oranges with a deep and glossy orange exterior that is a relative of the tangerine. Clementines are a small and usually seedless variety of the mandarin. They are refreshing, both sweet and tart, and best whole or in salads. They are usually available November through January.

5. Tangelos – Known by their distinctive bell shape, tangelos are the result of a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit for a remarkably sweet and juicy fruit. They are loaded with sweetly tart juice and have a stony texture skin, which is fairly easy to peel. Tangelos are in season November through December. The most popular tangelo variety is the Minneola Tangelo, often called the Honeybell Tangelo. Honeybells have a deep red-orange color with a very sweet flavor, high juice content and only a few seeds. Honeybell Tangelos are in season from December through February.

6. Tangerines – Tangerines are a small, dark orange fruit with an easy-to-peel or “zipper” skin, and a rich and honey sweet juice. Tangerines are ideal for desserts or as a sweet nibble. Some of the tangerine varieties available nationwide are Sunburst or Treasure Coast Tangerines, in season November through April, and the Murcott or Honey Tangerines, available February through April.

7. Ortaniques – Ortaniques are a rare cross between a sweet Valencia Orange and a Tangerine. They have a bright orange color, a rich sweet flavor and are easy to peel and section. This hybrid blend received its unique name from OR-orange, TAN-gerine, un-IQUE. Richly luscious and loaded with Vitamin C, the Ortanique is perfect for eating fresh as a snack and for juicing. These oranges can only be found online, directly from Florida growers. Available March through April.

Citrus Fruits You Should Be Eating More

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioPeople of all ages love Florida oranges because they are the sweetest and better tasting. But the usual oranges like Navels, Valencias and Temples, are not the only citrus varieties offering wonderful health benefits. Explore other varieties from the citrus family tree, sensations of health that are richly luscious and loaded with Vitamin C:

  1. Clementine – A relative of the tangerine, this small, sweet, and usually seedless variety of mandarin is best whole or in salads. They are available November through January.
  2. Tangelo – The most popular Florida tangelo variety available is the Minneola Tangelo, often called the Honeybell Tangelo. Known by its distinctive bell shape, the result of a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit for a remarkably sweet and juicy fruit. Honeybells are in season from January through February.
  3. Tangerines – Tangerines are small, dark orange fruits with a smooth, easy-to-peel skin and a deep orange color. They have a richly sweet flavor and are easy to pull-apart due to their naturally formed segments. Tangerines are ideal for desserts or as a sweet nibble and are readily available November through April. 
  4. Ortaniques – The Ortanique is a cross between a sweet Valencia Orange and a Tangerine. Ortaniques are bright orange color with a rich sweet flavor, and are easy to peel and section. This wonderful hybrid blend received its truly unique name from OR-orange, TAN-gerine, un-IQUE. Like other premium citrus, they’re simply not available in supermarkets, but are found online directly from Florida growers and are available March thru Mid-April.

Grapefruit

Grapefruits are known for their tangy sweet taste. Interior fruit colors range from bright pink, deep red to white. Perfect for peeling, cutting, sectioning and juicing, the grapefruit can be eaten as a refreshing snack, in salads and recipes or just drink their wholesome juice. The Florida grapefruit varieties available nationwide are:

  1. Dark Red Grapefruit – Also known as Flame, Ray or Star. The fruit is known for its exceptionally intense dark red, seedless interior and sweet flavor with hardly any bitterness. The rind is smooth and yellow with blush pigmentation.  This grapefruit variety is in season from October through June. 
  2. Red Grapefruit – Often called the Ruby Red Grapefruit, this type of grapefruit is known for its lighter red interior color and also for being seedless. The rind is smooth and yellow with a red blush. Ruby Red’s sweet flavor and seedless characteristics make it perfect for sectioning. They are in season from October through April.
  3. White grapefruit – Sweet White Grapefruit are a welcome guest at any connoisseur’s table. Known for their thin smooth skin and big roll-up-your-sleeves flavor, filled with an abundance of sweet invigorating juice, they are perfect for fresh eating, salads and refreshing juice. They are in season from November through April.

Why Florida Oranges Make an Excellent Gift

July 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Florida Oranges

Florida OrangesAll around Florida, visitors may see citrus fruit such as the Indian River oranges being sold. These fresh citrus oranges are some of the healthiest fruits on the planet and make delicious pure orange juice. For those who have not tried these Florida oranges, you should definitely buy them because they are amazingly sweeter and better tasting than others on the market.

Fresh fruit like oranges are extremely healthy for everyone, which makes them an ideal staple at home and as citrus gifts. Juice that is made from premium grade Florida oranges makes an excellent nutrient-rich beverage. If you are thinking of something to give your clients, boss, friends, or loved ones, you may want to consider giving them the gift of health and you can order oranges online from the comfort of your home.

Premium citrus from Florida is rich in antioxidants; in fact, just an 8-ounce glass of orange juice made from Florida oranges already contains 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C. Antioxidants are crucial for helping the body delay signs of aging as well as fight chronic diseases by fighting the presence of free radicals. When you send fresh oranges, you are giving a fruit gift that has the highest Vitamin C content. Your recipients will love a gift basket overflowing with a variety of freshly picked oranges.

Buying Florida oranges online is an excellent gift for any occasion and provides incredible health benefits with an extremely delicious taste. When you mail order oranges from Florida, you are also helping others have better heart health. Consuming pure orange juice helps normalize cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure functions, and it may ease inflammation. If you rather have a lighter version of the orange juice, use a fresh fruit infuser to combine both juice and water, and add orange slices.

Shipping fruit from Florida is a great and convenient gift idea that is also healthy and affordable. When you buy Florida fruit gifts, you are already getting the best citrus. So, if you are not sure about what gift to buy for a special occasion or the holidays, remember that citrus fruit baskets are a unique way to surprise your recipient who will surely enjoy them!

The Gift of Health: Navel Oranges

navel-orangeThere are many occasions throughout the year, which are excellent opportunities to show you care with hand-selected orange gift baskets, especially those that contain Navel Oranges. People enjoy receiving fresh citrus basket gifts, specially oranges because they are the ideal variety for that perfect glass of orange juice.

The Navels are sweet and have a thicker skin, which makes them easier to peel for consumption or juicing. The appearance of a navel on the orange is the result of a mutation dating back to the 1800’s in Brazil. This first navel orange was then sent to the USDA in Washington, D.C. and from there throughout the United States. Essentially, all navel oranges can be tracked to the original in 1800’s.Navel Oranges are one of the most sought-after orange varieties. Round or oval, this seedless orange variety is propagated through cuttings. Fresh Navel Oranges are readily available throughout the winter until late spring. Ideal for fruit baskets to be consumed fresh or in fruit salads, as well as for extracting their juice. They are also often processed as jams and preserves.

As is the case with other citrus fruit, Navel Oranges are rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. They are a great source of beta-carotene and dietary fiber, with considerable amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and B Vitamins. Best for a healthy diet, Navels are low in calories and very low in fat and cholesterol, yet rich in nutrients.

The high levels of Vitamin C boost the immune system to fight diseases. It enables the body to absorb iron and calcium more efficiently. The high dietary fiber content in Navel Oranges helps control diabetes and lowering cholesterol levels. Beta-carotene is good for preventing cell damage and calcium promotes bone health. Vitamin B6 increases the production of hemoglobin in the blood, while the high levels of potassium aid in maintaining electrolyte balance in cells. Lastly, the magnesium in Navels is good for regulating blood pressure.

It is greatly beneficial to consume fresh Navel Orange juice rather than consuming the store-bought kind. This is due to the preservatives added in commercially prepared juice, which diminish or cancel most of the health benefits offered by this type of oranges.

Florida Navel Oranges are an ideal holiday gift because of their festive freshness and rich, sweet juice. The Sunshine State of Florida provides the ideal conditions for a great tasting orange that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Navels are hand-selected at the peak of flavor, as all  premium Florida citrus fruits are, during their season that starts in November through January. 

Florida Orange Gift Baskets

July 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Florida Oranges

abundance-citrus-basketThere are many occasions throughout the year that provide excellent opportunities to give orange gift baskets, especially those that contain premium Florida citrus. People enjoy receiving fresh fruit because they are healthy, delicious, and make great tasting juice. Florida oranges are always a favorite because no other place in the world produces fresh oranges as sweet as this location.

Florida oranges are an ideal gift all year round and can be enjoyed in many different ways. Oranges can always be enjoyed on their own any time of the day and are a great complement to salads and other refreshing dishes. For the health-conscious recipient who enjoys drinking smoothies and shakes, oranges make a great addition because they can be used in many smoothie recipes.

Anniversaries are a popular occasion to give premium citrus gift baskets. Whether it is your anniversary, a close married couple that is dear to you, or a company anniversary, Florida fruit is always a good choice. Oranges are the perfect snack and drinking their freshly squeezed juice every day will help the recipient strong and healthy.

Your relative, client, boss, or friend’s birthday is a good time to send the gift of health with a citrus fruit basket. Write a short note when you gift oranges, perhaps a recipe idea to go along with them. They will know that you care by gifting healthy, hand picked Florida oranges. 

The holidays are a perfect time to give fruit basket gifts to friends and family. A beautiful basket of fruit overflowing with fresh oranges offer a unique, yet healthy alternative that will definitely set you apart in the mind of the recipients. Winter season is an ideal time to send citrus fruit, especially oranges, to ward off illnesses. Gift baskets of fresh, hand-picked oranges and gourmet treats are great for the entire family.

There is no better way to show people that you care about them than giving them a gift of Florida oranges. Citrus fruit baskets are affordable, easy to find, and healthy. People of all ages will appreciate it when they receive sweet, juicy oranges, especially from Florida. Some online companies offer basket of oranges in several sizes and varieties, so you can choose the perfect citrus gift for the intended recipient. When it comes to giving gifts for any occasion, a basket of premium citrus Florida oranges will put a smile on anyone’s face.

 

Shop and Send Premium Citrus Fruit

Citrus Fruit BasketIt’s a good idea to make sure that the website you are ordering from has a stellar reputation to ensure a good experience not only for yourself, but also for the person who will be receiving the gift.

Here are just a few places where you can go to shop for and send fruit as a gift to that special someone.

Edible Arrangements

Edible Arrangements is an option for sending fresh fruit that can really make you stand out from the other people sending gift baskets. Each “arrangement” is designed to look like a different object. Maybe that’s a bunch of oranges that are served in the shape of a flower vase. Maybe a bunch of strawberries have been placed together just so in order to take on the form of a cupcake. Edible Arrangements is very creative with their fruit designs.

Harry and David

Harry & David has been in business since 1934 and now has a website as well. They have one of the largest selections of gift baskets and will work with you to find a basket that is within your price range and has the exact items that you want. You don’t stay in business since 1934 unless you are doing something right, and this company’s customer service always gets high marks.

Hale Groves

Hale Groves is a company mainly known for their premium citrus fruit, but some people are finding out that they also have a treasure trove of great fruit basket gifts for every ocassion as well. Because Hale Groves is a company that has been in business since 1947, Hale Indian River Groves has earned a reputation as America’s foremost source for Florida’s finest citrus – whether you send fine fruit as gifts, or order for your own household. You can rest assured that your order is in good hands and you or your family and friends will receive a truly unique gift.

The Best Websites for Sending Christmas Gifts

Sending Christmas gifts is a smart way to do your holiday shopping. Instead of wasting time and money by driving all over town chasing deals or hunting down the perfect gifts you can sit at home and shop online. You can get amazing gifts that your loved ones will really enjoy sent directly to them. Just be sure that you are sending Christmas gifts from sites that are reliable. If you don’t order from reputable sites your gifts might arrive damaged or not arrive at all. If you want to streamline Christmas shopping this year and shop for Christmas gifts at home here are some of the best sites for sending Christmas gifts:

Hale Groves– When it comes to fruit baskets and fruit gifts no one beats Hale Groves. The fruit is delicious and is shipped at the peak of freshness. The site is easy to use and there is always customer service just a click or phone call away if you need help. You will find great gifts in a wide range of prices so that even if you are shopping on a tight budget you will be able to find great holiday gifts. Fruit baskets filled with fresh Florida oranges, grapefruit and specialty fruit like Honeybells are always popular holiday gifts.

Gift Basket Village– Gift Basket Village has a huge variety of gift baskets for all occasions. Special holiday gift baskets filled with a huge assortment of treats like nuts, cookies, candy, and fruit are a big hit with families, office groups, or holiday parties. The easy to use site makes sending Christmas gifts around the country easy. You can also order last minute gifts that will ship the same day if you forgot to get a gift and are in a hurry.

FTD– FTD ships gift baskets and gourmet food gifts as well as flowers. Their large network of affiliate shops makes it easy to get gifts to your loved ones fast. FTD is a one-stop shop for sending Christmas gifts because you can send gift of flowers, gourmet food, candy, and other gifts.

Gourmet Gift Baskets– If you are looking for family friendly Christmas gifts order from Gourmet Gift Baskets. Gifts of candy, popcorn, and other treats are packaged in simple family-friendly containers and are a good choice for family gifts. The site has a lot of choices for seasonal gift baskets so you have a lot of choices when it comes to sending Christmas gifts.

 

 

Where to Find the Best Fruit Baskets for The Holidays

Fruit baskets are gifts that are commonly associated with Christmas. Ever since people started celebrating Christmas fresh fruit has been a part of the celebration. Giving fresh fruit is also a great way to give a healthy gift when people are already surrounded by sugary sweets and treats. Originally fruit was given as Christmas gifts because it was healthy, sweet, and hard to get during the winter.  Keeping the tradition of giving fruit alive by giving fruit baskets is very important to a lot of people. If you want to find the best fruit gifts for your friends and family these are the best websites to buy fruit baskets from:

Hale Groves— If you want the best quality citrus fruit in the fruit gifts you give order from Hale Groves. Famous for great quality and great service Hale Groves is the best place to get fruit baskets for the holidays. All of the fruit is grown in the Indian River fruit district. It’s picked just before shipment so it’s always fresh. Hale Groves’ fruit is very affordable. There are fruit baskets in every price range from budget friendly baskets of oranges and grapefruit to luxury baskets filled with Honeybells, Clementines and other high-end gifts. You can also customize baskets by adding on items like fresh fruit preserves or cakes. The best holiday fruit baskets come from Hale Groves.

Edible Arrangements— Edible Arrangements fruit baskets are great for the holidays. They offer several types of fruit baskets that contain everything from simple fruit assortments to chocolate dipped tropical fruit. They also offer other types of gift baskets that contain unique treats. Edible Arrangements are great for budget conscious shoppers. Just be aware that the fruit baskets don’t contain a lot of fruit in most cases unless you spend a lot of money. Chocolate dipped fruit and other treats also may be subject to special shipping regulations based on factors like the time of the year or the shipment address.

Harry and David— Harry and David fruit baskets filled with their signature pears are as much a part of Christmas as oranges in the Christmas stockings. Leave a few Harry and David pears out for Santa instead of cookies if Santa is on a healthy diet this year. The juicy and sweet taste of Harry and David pears will make Santa’s day. Harry and David fruit baskets can be expensive, but their pears and other fruits are always high quality.

Warm The Winter Blues With Fresh Honeybells

It’s freezing outside! The polar vortex has people around the nation feeling the sting of severe winter chills. But short days and gray skies take more than just a physical toll. Depression, anxiety, and feelings of fatigue are common complaints during wintertime, but they’re not without a cure thanks to citrus fruit like Honeybells.

Florida Honeybell oranges and Honeybell tangelos are a great way to inject some lively color and nutrition into the wintertime blues. Their nutritious potential is also great for those seeking to keep their new year’s fitness and diet resolutions. Packed with vitamins and easy to enjoy either as a fruit or by pumping their super sweet juices, tangelos and oranges are like a “vacation” to Florida’s warm climate and clear blue skies.

A Ball of Vitamins

The Honeybell tangelo has so much nutritional value thanks to its high and mineral quotient that they’re often described as a “ball of vitamins.” For those on a fitness plan, tangelos and oranges–especially used in conjunction with grains and other fruits–make the perfect breakfast or lunch.

Stopping the Afternoon Letdown

The sugar crash (or afternoon letdown) remains one of the biggest obstacles to staying on track with your diet. But doctors and nutritional experts unanimously agree that such fat-absorbing temptations can be dodged by snacking on fresh citrus fruit. They provide energy-boosting shots of Vitamin C, to better help the afternoon continue without the dragging, drowsy feeing so common during the winter months.

Vitamins, Minerals in the Honeybell Orange and Tangelo

The Honeybell orange is also rich in Vitamin A, which along with Vitamin C helps build a strong immune system and help the body more efficiently convert food intake into energy. The Honeybell orange also includes a strong dose of fiber, which better promotes strong muscle and tissue growth throughout the body.

Meanwhile the Honeybell tangelo is a great fruit for people on medications that prevent the eating of grapefruit. USDA reports show that Honeybell tangelos are perfectly safe and compatible with all kinds of drug treatment regimens.

Don’t Let Tangelos Pass You By

The Honeybell tangelo has a very short growing season and is only available for a few weeks in the beginning of the year. When ordering, please make sure to provide ample time for order processing and delivery from  a reputable grower such as Hale Groves‘ and its Florida based orchards.