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.

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.

The Nutritious Value of Fresh Citrus Fruit

You’ve probably heard since elementary school that fruit and vegetables are possibly the most important food groups. They carry essential vitamins and minerals, while also supplying calcium, fiber, and other benefits.

Citrus fruits, particularly Honeybells, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are in many ways like the “all stars” among fruits. To put it simply, they are jam-packed with vitamins and other nutritional requirements.  These fruits, often found in citrus fruit baskets and other gift packages, offer a great way to enjoy superb taste while reaping the benefits of their incredible health advantages.

Everyone Benefits from Citrus Fruit Nutrition

It’s a simple fact that citrus fruit benefits people of all ages. Basically, if you eat, there’s a benefit from citrus fruit. In particular, citrus fruit is beneficial to the very old and the very young. The elderly can benefit from oranges and grapefruit’s rich stockpiles of calcium and other important minerals to help them stay active and pain-free. Additionally, the Vitamin C and Vitamin A found in the fruits’ juices help boost the immune system. Bones grow brittle as the body ages, so the calcium can protect older men and women from serious injury caused by falls and other accidents.

The benefits to children are much the same. Children, especially infants, need Vitamin C and calcium to help better build their rapidly growing bodies. Children are especially susceptible to sickness during the cold winter months. Keeping them well-fortified with citrus fruit, such as sweet and juicy Honeybells, and their healthy properties keeps their immune systems in top running order.

Benefits to Grownups

But teens and adults also benefit from the nutritional value of fresh citrus fruit. Additionally, fresh fruit citrus gift baskets are perfect gifts for any occasion. Especially for those seeking to improve their physical fitness or to lose weight, the gift of fresh citrus fruit makes a welcome and rewarding surprise.

Help Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyles

When you give the gift of fresh citrus fruit baskets or other arrangements, you help your recipient avoid the unhealthy choices of candy, snack foods, and other “indulgences” that can inhibit a healthy lifestyle. But when ordering from Hale Groves’ huge selection, please remember to include ample delivery time. Some orders, such as the Honeybell tangelo, are also available only at certain times of the year. Fresh citrus fruit gift baskets make the perfect gift for everyone, all the time!

Make Citrus Fruit A Part of Your Fitness Plan

A new year is a clean slate for everyone, and the perfect time to begin new diet and new exercise commitments. If you’re trying to boost your body’s metabolism while helping build healthy muscles and tissues, citrus fruit remains one of the most effective ways of making sure your body has the fuel it needs.

The most common- and popular – forms of citrus fruit include the orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. Another hybrid citrus fruit, the tangelo, combines the tangerine with the pomelo or grapefruit to blend the benefits of both together.

Simple Origins Produce Big Results

Honeybell tangelos – so named for their bell shape – are also called Minneola tangelos. They were first bred in Minneola, Florida in the 1930s. The farmers of the area wanted to combine the two popular citrus fruits so that the nutritional value could be kept from both but that would produce a sweeter, more robust juice.

Their hard work paid off. The honeybell tangelo is one of the juiciest, tastiest of the citrus fruits. It’s also rich in important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. In fact, it’s so rich in nutritional value that many of its fans call its juice “multivitamin in a glass.”

Plentiful Nutrition

Honeybell tangelos are rich in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, meaning they’re a great means of building the body’s immune system. These vitamins also help the body more quickly and efficiently convert fuel into energy.

The pulp of the honeybell tangelo is rich in protein and fiber, which are vital ingredients to healthy muscles and tissues. Finally, tangelos also pack plenty of calcium to help develop good bone and teeth strength.

Plentiful Taste

Tangelos have a sweet, full-bodied taste that comes in part from their carefully bred hybrid makeup. One honeybell tangelo packs plenty of juice, too, offering one of the most succulent citrus fruits available. They’re so flavorful and robust, in fact, that they can even serve as a filling breakfast or afternoon snack all by themselves.

But Don’t Wait

Honeybells actually have a very short harvest season, occurring for just a few weeks each January and February. Hale Groves’ farms, located in central Florida, can ship gift baskets and cases nationwide. Please allow ample processing and delivery time when placing your order, as shipping can sometimes be delayed by inclement weather.

The Best Sites to Buy Fresh Fruit From

Buying fresh fruit online is a great way to get the best quality fruit. Whether you are buying fresh fruit to make your own fruit baskets or just buying fruit for your family to enjoy it’s worth taking the time to get the best fruit around. Once you have tasted fruit that is fresh and hasn’t been sitting in a truck or in a supermarket bin for a long time you will never want any other kind of fruit. Treat yourself and your loved ones to some fresh fruit from these sites when you want to experience the best quality fruit:

Hale Groves— If you want the best quality fresh citrus fruit Hale Groves is the place to get it. For more than 70 years Hale Groves has been producing top quality Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and other citrus fruits. Hale Groves sits in the Indian River fruit district of Florida. Indian River fruit is world famous for great taste. Hale Groves has fruit baskets, fruit gifts, and fruit assortments for every occasion so you can order gifts for your loved ones and pick up some delicious fresh citrus fruit for yourself also. Fruit is shipped at the peak of freshness and can be sent anywhere in the country.

Wine Country Gift Baskets— Wine Country Gift baskets has beautiful gift baskets filled with a wide variety of items including some fresh fruit. If you are looking for fruit gifts along with wine gift baskets, gourmet gift baskets and other high end gifts this is a good site to shop on. While the fresh fruit offerings aren’t always plentiful they are high quality and you can usually find some great deals on high end gifts baskets. 

Harry and David— Another great site to shop for fresh fruit is Harry and David. Harry and David pears are famous for their superior and unique taste. You can buy baskets or boxes of fresh pears along with gift baskets that contain specialty cheeses that complement the pears, chocolate, and other treats. Harry and David pears are perfect gifts for the holidays. You can find fruit gifs in a wide range of prices so even if you are on a budget you can find afford some fresh fruit from Harry and David. Just be aware that some of their nicer gifts will be on the pricey side. You can find a lot of other gifts on the site as well including baskets of organic fresh fruit.

 

Where to Buy Fresh Fruit Gifts

Fresh fruit gifts are more popular than ever before. Fruit baskets have always been a part of Christmas celebrations but they are also popular gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations and other events. Whether the fruit is gourmet fruit like Honeybells, or organically grown, or just good wholesome fruit that the whole family can enjoy fruit gifts are always a hit. When you order fresh fruit online you should be sure that you are ordering from a reputable company that has a reputation for high quality. That way you can trust that the fruit you are sending to your loved ones is the very best quality that you can get. Here are some of the best places to buy fresh fruit gifts:

Hale Groves– Located in the famous Indian River fruit district in Florida the independently owned Hale Groves produces some of the best quality fruit in the US. More than 70 years it has been selling delicious oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits in fruit baskets and assortments. Seasonal fresh fruit from Hale Groves is always delicious. The site is easy to use and has great customer service too. Hale Groves is one of the best places to buy fresh fruit gifts for the holidays and throughout the year.

Harry and David– Harry and David pears are famous for their unique taste and quality. Fresh fruit gifts from Harry and David are very popular as corporate gifts or for holiday gifts. Harry and David sells many different kinds of fresh fruit gifts but they are most well known for the special pears. They also have a good selection of USDA certified organic fresh fruit baskets and gifts for people that want to send only organic fruit to their loved ones. Fresh fruit from Harry and David can be a bit pricey but is good quality.

Cherry Moon Farms– Another independent site where you can buy fresh fruit gifts is Cherry Moon Farm. You can get more than just fresh fruit from Cherry Moon Farm. They have gift baskets filled with fruit and gourmet treats, chocolate dipped fresh fruit, and other treats. There are also baskets filled with coffee and chocolate as well as cheeses and premium meats. If you are looking for a wide variety of different gifts this is a great site for you. Cherry Moon also has wine gift baskets, although be careful when you order wine because some states do not allow the shipment of alcohol.

What are the Best Citrus Fruit Companies to Order Fruit Gifts From?

There are a lot of choices when it comes to buying citrus fruit and citrus fruit gifts. But not all citrus fruit companies are created equal. Ordering fresh oranges, grapefruit and specialty fruit directly from the grove is a great way to get the best quality fruit. Just make sure that you are ordering from one of the best citrus fruit companies so that you can be sure you will get great fruit, great service and a great price. The companies listed here are the best citrus fruit companies for fruit baskets, fruit assortments, fruit towers and other fruit gifts. You can also order fruit assortments for your family or for holiday decoration and be sure that you are getting great quality fruit at a great price.

Hale Groves– Hale Groves is an industry leader. This small and independently owned grove has been shipping out some of the best Florida citrus fruit for more than 70 years. When it comes to great tasting Florida citrus it doesnít get any better than fruit from Hale Groves. You can find a huge selection of oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and even specialty fruit like Honeybells and Clementines at Hale Groves. Just be sure that you order early. A lot of the most popular holiday gifts sell out quickly each year. Hale Grove also offers a lot of budget friendly citrus gift choices.

Cushman’s– Cushman’s citrus fruit is operated under the umbrella of Harry and David. Harry and David pears are a Christmas tradition for many people. Cushman’s citrus fruit offers Honeybell citrus fruit gifts and other fruit baskets that contain fresh Florida citrus fruit as well as Harry and David pears and other treats. You can order these treats easily online but Honeybell gifts often sell out months ahead of time so if you want Honeybell gifts you need to order early. Honeybell gifts tend to sell out at all the best citrus fruit companies so a good rule of thumb is to order any Honeybell Christmas gifts early.

Indian River Fruit Company– The Indian River Fruit Company, like Hale Groves, is located in the famous Indian River fruit district in Florida. Fruit that comes from the Indian River is well known for being the best tasting citrus fruit. The unique growing conditions in the region create some of the best fruit you will ever taste. If you want to order from the best citrus fruit companies choose a company in the Indian River fruit district.