5 Health Benefits of Florida Citrus

citrus-fruitsCitrus is one of the most delicious types of food on the planet, but few people realize just how good it is for you as well. With its nutrient dense properties citrus can really pack a lot of nutrition and health benefits into your daily life. Florida is one of the largest citrus producing regions in the world. Its subtropical climate and rich soil combine perfectly to create citrus that is sweet, thin-skinned and loaded with juice.

Following are the top five health benefits of citrus:

Nobiletin

Nobiletin is a flavonoid, which can be extracted from tangerines and has been proven to fight obesity. Nobiletin found in citrus is also believed to help fight off type 2 Diabetes often associated with obesity. This is a great reason to increase citrus fruit in your diet.

Reduce Stroke

Research conducted by the American Heart Association shows that women who consumed large amounts of flavanone by means of oranges and other fresh citrus were able to cut their stroke risk by 19 percent. Adding Florida citrus to your diet can have a dramatic effect on long-term health.

Prevent Cancer

Japanese researchers have proven that certain compounds found in Satsuma mandarins can slow down or prevent tumor growth in the tongue, colon and lungs. These compounds are also found in other types of citrus Florida as well.

See Better With C

Most people are aware of the huge health benefits of vitamin C which is found in abundance in Florida Citrus Fruit, however, what many people do not know is that Vitamin C is also necessary to proper eye sight as well. Nerve endings in the retina require vitamin C in order to function properly. This adds a whole new layer of reasons for not only consuming citrus, but also for giving citrus gift boxes to others. Florida citrus fruit gift baskets not only show your love but may also help to improve the health of your loved one.

Aromatherapy

The aromatic compound found in lemons and other Florida citrus called linalool, has been found to reduce stress levels in research studies. Essential oil therapists often use citrus oil to create calming compounds for patients.

Purchasing citrus online can give individuals a multitude of options which help them find fun and creative ways to consume and use Florida citrus fruits to improve their health.

Brighten Your Winter With Citrus Fruit

Florida OrangesDuring the winter months it is easy to find yourself longing for the fruits of summer. Watermelon and cantaloupe are still months away from peak taste, so how can you satisfy your craving for fresh, in season fruit at the peak of their taste? Well, winter is actually high time for many types of Indian River citrus fruits such as Clementine citrus and Honeybell citrus.

Taking advantage of the availability during the winter of Indian River citrus is a great idea not only for your budget but also for your mood. Citrus is proven to provide a huge dose of vitamin C when consumed fresh and vitamin C has a huge influence on mood and overall health. Citrus fruits are not just great tasting, but they can actually make you feel better as well.

Citrus fruits make a great gift too. Citrus gift baskets are a long-standing winter tradition that can really brighten the day of a friend or family member. Purchasing a citrus gift box for someone is a great way to help him or her with the winter blues. Seasonal Affective Disorder is an actual change in chemical levels that many people experience during the long winter months. The diminished hours of sunshine in most parts of the world during winter can have a huge effect on both mood and health.

Citrus gifts cannot only brighten those long winter days, but could actually help someone get through their winter blues. When you purchase Florida citrus gifts you send the message to a loved one that they are cared about on many levels. A citrus gift basket says, “I am thinking of you, and I want you to be happy and feel better.”

When you pass on these positive messages to someone with a citrus box they are more likely to pass them on to someone else as well. Also when you make the effort to brighten someone else’s winter your own day will be brightened as well. Doing something nice for others is the best way to make your own self feel great too. If you are feeling the winter blues yourself some citrus for you and your loved ones can go a long way to changing your mood.

How To Store Your Citrus Fruit

June 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Citrus Fruits, Citrus Varieties

candied-grapefruit-peelsStoring fresh citrus fruits can sometimes seem mysterious. Even when you think you have properly handled and stored your Florida citrus fruit, it spoils and you are left wondering what you did wrong.

Citrus fruit, like all fruit, has certain requirements to ensure that it stays fresh for the longest period possible. Learning these few simple tricks will help you make the most of orange citrus fruits. If you have recently received citrus fruit gift baskets you will want to follow these tips to make sure you get the most out of your lovely Indian citrus fruits.

Storing

Most of the items you would receive in Florida citrus fruit gift baskets can be stored at room temperature for several days. This is a bonus, and can make storing Florida citrus fruit gifts quite simple at first. However, if you find that you and your family do not eat all of your exotic citrus fruit at once, you will want to store the rest of the fruit in a plastic bag to expand its longevity. Also placing your fruit in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator is also recommended for items received in citrus fruit baskets

Long Term Storage

If you feel that you have a large amount of citrus fruit which you want to store for longer periods of time then you may want to consider freezing your citrus. Many people do not realize that citrus can be frozen for later use.

Juicing the fruit and freezing is one way to make sure you get use out of the fruit much later. Peels or zests can also be refrigerated or frozen for cooking purposes later on. Although whole citrus fruits cannot be frozen, you can create delicious healthy deserts with your citrus by using it in sorbet recipes.

 Other Ways of Preserving

There are other methods of preserving citrus fruit as well. If you are willing to invest the time and energy you can turn your citrus fruits into delicious fruit leather. Fruit leather is a type of dehydrated fruit, which can provide healthy snacks for kids and grownups alike.

Certain types of citrus such as grapefruit and mandarin oranges do well canned as well. Use a trusted canning recipe and be sure to follow directions precisely to ensure the life of the fruit.

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.

 

Best Ways of Delivering Fruit Baskets

Are you looking to send a gift basket to someone special in your life? There are plenty of options on the Internet for sending gift baskets, fruit baskets and more. If contemplating to get a traditional wood basket or keepsake basket filled with gourmet oranges or grapefruit and other healthy premium citrus, you’ll want to look at your options for delivery of your shipment. Here are three great options!

iGourmet: This website features fruit baskets with gourmet fruits from all around the world. If you’re looking to give a basket filled with some unusual fruits that you won’t find anywhere else, this is the best option. Artisan food from the U.K. and the rest of Europe are available. Delivery options vary, but you can generally pay to get it to its destination as quickly as you want. This website also offers the alternative to mix in some vegetables with the fruit as well, for an even healthier gift.

Design It Yourself Gift Baskets: This company can deliver a fruit basket that is exactly as the company name says. If you have a friend that really loves a specific fruit, you can load up the basket with more of what he or she enjoys. Many of the site’s products offer free ground delivery if your purchase reaches a certain amount of money. It is possible to mix and match different items as well. For example, you could add some cheese or some chocolate to your traditional fruit basket to try and add a nice extra touch.

Hale Groves: Hale Groves’ fruit is truly fresh and delivery takes up to 14 days “from tree to doorstep”. Once citrus is prepared, is then expertly packed into gift baskets and shipped in climate controlled trucks to the USPS office nearest the final destination. Best way of delivering the perfect fruit basket! Hale’s unique baskets, filled with premium citrus for the entire family, will add sunshine to your recipient’s life. They offer baskets filled with just fresh fruit or a combination of fruit and sweet gourmet treats.  Make your gift an even sweeter surprise adding Chocolate Dipped Coconut Patties, Orange Marmalade, Grapefruit Marmalade, and Orange Blossom Honey. These delicious treats – expertly arranged and shipped make a mouthwatering gift.