Delicious Orange Treats for Summer

June 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Living

Summer is coming which means it’s time to start thinking about healthy summer snacks. You can use fresh oranges and citrus fruit to create healthy treats everyone will love. No one wants to spend a lot of time cooking or baking when the weather is great. But with lots of picnics, barbecues and summer parties coming up you will need to be making some cool summer desserts. You also will need healthy but delicious and cool treats for the kids when they are out of school. Here are some easy to make summer treats that are made with real Florida oranges so you know they are healthy as well as tasty.

Orange popsicles – Kids love popsicles in the summer but popsicles have a lot of sugar. You can make natural popsicles by squeezing fresh orange juice into plastic popsicle molds and freezing them. You can also mix orange juice with other types of fruit juice to create different flavors. If you don’t have popsicle molds you can also use ice cube trays. Just pour the fresh orange juice into the ice cube tray, cover the top with plastic wrap, stick a popsicle stick or toothpick into each cube and then freeze. These frozen treats are fantastic for birthday parties.

Citrus sorbet – sorbet is perfect anytime of the day. A light orange sorbet is a cooling treat on a hot summer night. It also is fantastic for dinner parties. If you want to keep punch or drinks cool at summer parties you can fill a punch bowl with orange sorbet which will slowly melt into the punch adding a refreshing hit of citrus. To make sorbet you can use an ice cream maker. You can also make it by hand by boiling sugar and water together to get a simple syrup. Add plenty of fresh orange or even grapefruit juice and then refrigerate in a very cold refrigerator until it has the consistency of slush. If you want to freeze it add a touch of alcohol like vodka to the mixture to keep it from becoming a solid block of orange ice.

Candied orange peel – Even though most people think of candied orange peel as a Christmas food you can make candied orange peel or candied grapefruit peel as a summer dessert as well. The light and crisp taste of the candied fruit peel is a nice change from heavy chocolate desserts.

Using Citrus Seeds to Grow Your Own Citrus Fruit

May 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Gardening, Lifestyle, Living

Closeup of Citrus Seeds

Closeup of Citrus Seeds

Have you thought about growing citrus by planting your own citrus seeds?

Citrus plants are very fragrant, have beautiful flowers, and usually grow very well indoors. Citrus fruits are a healthy and delicious snack and can also add a lot of flavor to various gourmet dishes. But if you live in an area where citrus fruits aren’t in season all year round, or if you want to have control over what fertilizers and chemicals are used on the fruit that you eat, you can grow your fruit indoors at home using citrus seeds. Make sure that the seeds you use to start your plants are from a high quality supplier so that they have a better chance of growing properly. 

You don’t have to have a green thumb in order to successfully grow your own citrus at home.  If you are diligent about protecting the seeds and later the plants from drafts, direct sunlight, and other things that can kill or hurt newly grown plants then you should be able to successfully grow your own citrus fruit all year round. The first thing that you will need to start growing your own citrus fruit is seeds.  You can get seeds from a piece of fruit that you’ve eaten, or you can buy seeds from a nursery or home and garden center.

Once you have some high quality seeds you can start the seeds growing by planting them in a small pot using a mixture of potting soil and mulch.  To help the growth process of the plants place a cover of clear plastic wrap over the plants when they are not being watered. This helps to protect the growing plant from the cold and will make the citrus seeds germinate faster. The plants should be kept in a room where the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  It will take a few weeks for the plants to really start growing but after about three weeks you should start to see leaves growing.  When the plants are well established it’s time to transplant. 

Move the plants to bigger pots and use a good quality potting soil to make sure the plants get the nutrients they need.  Place the plants in a location where they can get plenty of sunlight but make sure it’s not direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight can be too harsh for young plants and can burn the newly developed leaves.  As the plant grows you will need to keep repotting it into bigger containers but the plant should always be kept in an area with bright sunlight and a temperature of about 70 degrees in order to get the best fruit.

The quality of the potting soil and even the water that you use can make a difference in whether or not the citrus seeds that were planted grow properly and eventually bear fruit.  Remember that because the plant is being grown indoors all the nutrients it needs have to come from the potting soil and choose a potting soil that is recommended for citrus plants. It’s best to use distilled water to water the plants so that the leaves aren’t harmed by any of the chemicals that are usually in tap water.

Tips on Growing Organic Citrus Fruit

May 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Living

Over the last decade more and more consumers have demanded organically produce meat, dairy, produce and citrus products.  Organic products are healthier for consumers, and better for the environment. Most people who eat a lot of organic food swear that organic food, especially product like citrus fruit and dairy products, taste much better than other food.  Because of these benefits most customers who want organic citrus products are willing to pay a premium price for items that have been certified organic. But what does “organic” really mean? 

When a food item is certified organic it means that an overseeing FDA agency has looked at the farmer’s farming methods, checked out the pest control methods that were used on the item, made sure that no chemical fertilizers were used on the item, and that the item was grown in accordance with the rules and regulations that govern organic farming. Some famers claim their fruit is grown organically but have not been certified as organic farms which means that no outside agency has verified their claims of using only natural products to produce the fruit.

When it comes to citrus fruits “organic” refers to how the fruit is grown.  Organic farming uses only natural pest control and fertilizers and never uses chemical weedkillers or pest killers on the citrus trees as they are growing.  Fertilizers are usually mixed right on the premises and consist of potting soil, compost, hay, and other natural materials.  Growing citrus organically presents some unique challenges to citrus farmers because of the processes that they need to use in order to control pests and fertilize their citrus trees.

When people think of a citrus grove they usually think of a commercially managed grove full of well manicured citrus trees, but an organic citrus grove is a little more chaotic looking than a traditional commercial grove.  An organic citrus grove will usually have some type of ground cover plant hovering near the trees and there will be weeds everywhere. Weeds and ground cover encourage insects which are the natural predators of insects that destroy citrus trees to make their homes in the grove. Then those insects keep the pests that would ruin the citrus trees under control which eliminates the need for commercial pest control.  The ground cover plants also help insulate the citrus trees in case there is a cold snap or some other inclement weather that could damage the trees.

Another problem that organic citrus farmers face is the issue of how their final products look.  Commercially grown fruit is treated with preservatives and often covered with a thin layer of wax to prevent damage and to make it look more attractive. Organic fruit doesn’t have those cosmetic touches. Some buyers are put off by citrus fruit that can have dents or minor cosmetic flaws even though the organic fruit is healthier for consumers to eat.  Without preservatives organic fruit also must be rushed from the field to the market, which increases the cost of the fruit.  Even though organic farming is more time intensive and more expensive, which means the final product is more expensive, many farmers are switching to organic farming methods.

Health Benefits: The Fascinating History of Navel Oranges

Pictured: Oranges Preparing to Be Processed for Fresh Squeezed Florida Orange Juice

Pictured: Oranges Preparing to Be Processed for Fresh Squeezed Florida Orange Juice

Oranges are among the most popular fruits worldwide because of their unique, sweet and refreshing taste.  Also, because not only can they be found in great abundance and varieties, oranges have many important health benefits to the human body.  The navel orange, also known by its scientific term citrus sinensis, is one of the most popular of the orange tree varietals and also one of the most unique. 

Navel oranges are seedless, and once the peel is broken, the flesh inside is naturally very sweet and juicy.  From the outside, the blossom end of a navel orange looks like a human navel, which is how it acquired its name.  Inside, when a naval orange is broken or peeled, you can see a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit on the blossom end. 

The antioxidant vitamin C is a main nutritional ingredient of navel oranges.  Millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges daily as a source of vitamin C.  Vitamin C not only helps keep the human immune system strong, but it also helps the body absorb iron, works to heal wounds, and can even help prevent heart disease.  The human body does not naturally produce vitamin C on its own, so one of the best ways to get the right amount of this essential nutrient is to drink a fresh squeezed juice from a navel orange or to eat it right off the peel.

Other nutrients in navel oranges are also known to help to prevent cancer as well, such as stomach and esophagus cancer.  The high fiber content in navel oranges can help improve cholesterol ratios in the body, which is important in controlling diabetes. 

Beta-carotene is another antioxidant found in navel oranges which helps prevent cell damage.  Navel oranges also contain calcium, which promotes strong, healthy bones and vitamin B6 to boost production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. The high potassium content in navel oranges helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in cells, and its magnesium helps keep blood pressure at an acceptable level.

But one of the most unique things about the naval orange is its history.  To this day, all navel oranges are clones which still originate from a tree in Brazil from almost 200 years ago.  This single tree propagated spontaneous clones and led to being grown in other regions. 

These mutations can only be cultivated through tree cuttings and being grafted onto other trees.  Producing navel oranges is considered a very big industry in the United States and economically important to California, Florida and Arizona where they are primarily grown.

Essential Nutrients Make Navel Oranges One of Nature’s Most Important Foods

Red Navel Oranges, often called "Ravels"

Red Navel Oranges, often called "Ravels"

The citrus sinesis, also known as the Navel Orange, is one of the most popular, unique and versatile of the orange tree varietals.  The navel orange can be cut open and eaten right off the peel, squeezed and drunk as a juice, a favorite addition to fruit salads, or even turned into preserves or jams, such as the ever popular orange marmalade.  Orange oil from naval oranges is a byproduct of the orange peel which is used to flavor food and drink as well as for fragrance in perfumes and aromatherapy.  Gardeners often use orange peels as a slug repellent.  Orange blossoms can be dried and then used to make a delicious, aromatic tea.

Fresh navel oranges are available from winter through late spring, depending on your region of the country.  When you go to the market, the kind of navel orange you should look for is one that feels heavy for its size and has no soft spots, outward pitting or mold. 

Navel oranges are seedless, and the flesh inside is naturally very sweet and juicy.  From the outside, the blossom end looks like a human navel.  When a naval orange is peeled, there is a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit on the blossom end on the inside. 

Although navel oranges originally came from Brazil, today they are grown primarily in Florida, Arizona and California, and the navel orange cultivation industry is very important in the United States.

In addition to their sweet, refreshing taste, navel oranges are also well known and considered very important for their health benefits, especially the antioxidant vitamin C, their main nutritional ingredient.  Every morning millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges as a source of vitamin C. 

The human body does not naturally produce vitamin C on its own.  Vitamin C not only helps boost the human immune system, but it also prevents heart disease, aids in healing wounds, and helps the body absorb iron.  One of the best ways to get the right amount of vitamin C is to drink a fresh squeezed juice from a navel orange or to eat it right off the peel.

There are other health advantages to consuming navel oranges as well.  The fiber content in navel oranges can help improve cholesterol ratios in the body.  Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in navel oranges which helps prevent cell damage.  Other nutrients in navel oranges are also known to help to prevent other types of cancer as well, including stomach and esophagus cancer.

Citrus & Improving Your Weight Loss – Two Tips For Success

April 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Living

Losing weight by running is a great idea – it works quite well. On top of that not only can you lose fat but running also improves your cardiovascular system, improves your stamina and is generally a great exercise for your heart and lungs. However as anyone who has ever tried to lose weight by running can tell you, it seems to work very well when you start but as you continue to run your weight loss starts to decline. The reason for this is that your body has adapted to doing that particular physical activity and doesn’t need as much energy as before.

What this means for you though is that while you are losing fat really fast for the first few days or weeks, the results soon become less than impressive to the point where you hardly see any results at all. This is very frustrating since you know it worked great before, in fact this frustration can cause someone to abandon the idea of running for weight loss altogether, which would be a mistake. So how does one solve this problem and get great results once more?

Increase Intensity

Assuming that your diet is in order and no changes should be made to it. There are only two ways to get better results from doing a certain exercise – increase the amount of time spent doing it, or increase the intensity. Since running already takes a fairly long time I am going to guess that most people aren’t looking forward to a 2 hour long daily run, which leaves the other option. By increasing intensity, in this case running faster you can get a large increase in amount of calories burned.

Take Supplements

Taking supplements can also improve your weight loss results. For example acai berry can detox your body, which is great as it will make you feel better and more energetic. It can also improve weight loss and decrease appetite, which could be very helpful because when you increase intensity of your runs, you will burn more calories and feel more hungry, it is important to not over eat and appetite suppressants make doing so much easier.

Ready to get great weight loss results from running once again? Get your free trial of acai berry and learn more about running for weight loss.

About the Author

Jone Dow has a lot of weight loss experience and is now interested in acai berry products and how acai can help you lose some weight

Use of Essential Oils Especially When Caring For Skin

April 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Living

Vegetable, nut and seed oils are called “carriers” because they are used to “carry” or to transport a substance such as an essential oil to another place. In this case the essential oil is added to the carrier oil for the purpose of applying the essential oil directly to the skin. The oils used most frequently are Sweet Almond, Sunflower and Olive.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Once essential oils have passed the epidermis and the underlying structure of the skin, they are carried in the blood circulation to every cell of the body. Studies have shown that once essential oils have passed through the skin most can be detected in exhaled air within 20 to 60 minutes.

Essential oils are basically oil extracts from naturally found and grown ingredients like nutgrass, sage, fennel, palm, and shea nut. There are many more such ingredients and they are found in live stock too. One of these is fish oil and wrinkles can be effectively treated by using this particular oil.

Other common ingredients that are used in the form of essential oil and wrinkles treatment are lemon, patchouli, lime, myrrh, neroli, orange, oregano, palmarosa, thyme, vervain, violet leaf, yarrow, rose, and rosemary. These oils are sold in aromatherapy centers as individual compositions also. However if you find it too laborious to choose and pick an oil or a combination of oils, then you can try the natural wrinkle creams which have these ingredients as contents. The natural oils which are sold have all or few of these ingredients in high concentrations and usually prove to be more effective than using individual oils as an everyday treatment.

Using essential oils for cellulite treatment is not a new idea. Companies who sell cellulite treatments have been using these oils for years. The types vary depending on what company is selling the treatment, but they typically include any oils that will make the skin plumper and more moisturized, softer, and tauter. Essential oils may include juniper, clary sage, grapefruit, black pepper, ginger, lemon, orange, fennel, tangerine and cypress. In addition, common oils such as olive oil can help to nourish and smooth the skin.

You can use essential oils in the same way that you would use a massage oil or a lotion. The massaging action may even help to stimulate the skin and surrounding cells when you are rubbing it into your problem areas, so you can provide a double dose of treatment.

Fungal infection of the nails is the one of the most difficult of all disorders to cure. Both fingernails and toenails may be affected, although toenail fungal infection is the most common type. There are a number of oral medications that have been promoted as effective cures, and, indeed, many of these medications eradicate nail fungus. However, all of these medications have the potential of causing significant toxicity, including liver damage. Oil of oregano aids in the cure primarily through topical application, although internal consumption may be necessary however, this must be under the direction of a professional health care provider. The oil has a deep penetrating power, which aids in the destruction of nail fungus, since this fungus infects the root of the nail bed as well as the surface. Regarding essential oils, oil of oregano’s ability to destroy nail fungus is unmatched. Rub oil of oregano liberally into involved nails as often as possible. Be sure to reduce sugar intake.

FUNGAL INFECTION OF SKIN AND NAILS

Fungal infection of the skin & nails is one of the most difficult of all disorders to cure. Tea Tree and Oregano essential oils aids in eradicating primarily through topical application. These oils have a deep penetrating power, which aids in the destruction of nail fungus, since this fungus infects the root of the nail bed as well as the surface. These oils are included in our Healthy Nail Blend along with 5 other powerful essential oils.

Read About Beauty Tips Also Read About Aromatherapy and Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Herbs