Oranges are deliciously sweet and nutritious, as well as food sources of energy.
As a part of citrus fruits, they are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C and have various health benefits. That’s why the emphasis on eating foods rich in vitamin C has become a common occurrence, particularly for children.
Apart from eating and juicing oranges, you might be confused about how to utilize and preserve the fruits.
Learning how to handle citrus can reduce loss of flavor, prolong their shelf life, and let you maximize the benefits of the fruit.
The determination of the Shelf Life of Oranges
It’s a challenging task to know how long oranges will last. Before you purchase oranges, you can’t be able to tell exactly what time they went to the store.
But, you will be sure of the length of time that oranges last if you’ve picked the fruit by yourself.
Being able to pick the right oranges can also be helpful.
Fresh, ripe oranges are known to be sweet and have a citrusy scent. The skin is bright and glossy. An orange that is ripe should be firm to feel.
However, the overripe orange can easily be scratched, and the skin will show discoloration and bruises in certain areas and emit an odor of fermented and strong.
How to Utilize Oranges
Eat them when they are
- Simply cut them into wedges, or remove the rind.
- For a refreshing drink, squeeze the oranges until they have an unrecognizable pulp.
The zest of an orange is a valuable ingredient for baking. It gives a deep and moist taste to baked products. Make sure to use the rind. The white part (pith) is bitter and unsuitable for eating. The zest is also dried to make the sweet, candied zest.
For Make Marmalade
This preserve is made by boiling slices of oranges, peel, sugar, and water. Spices like cinnamon may be added.
Marmalade is often used as a spread for muffins, toast, or cookies. It can also be used in hot sauces as a glaze.
Oranges go well when paired with roast meats such as chicken, pork, or game meat.
When marinated, The citrus juice and flesh soften the meat and give it a rich taste. It is also possible to cut the citrus into rings and grill them.
If you’ve been unable to find your normal facial cleanser, citrus is a great option for your skin. Just splash some juice from an orange onto your face and massage it gently.
The citrus components work to clear impurities and clogs and also brighten your skin. Mix some orange juice with baking soda to make facial masks and gently exfoliate the skin.
For a refreshing, spring-like interior, try oranges to refresh your home.
The juice, zest, and oil could be added to the usual cleaning products. It is not only antibacterial but also great for air purification.
Essential oils of orange are an adaptable product for the home. It’s a relaxing and therapeutic oil that can be added to bath water to provide a relaxing effect, as well as body creams, lotions, and incense burners for warding away pesky insects and flies.
How to store Oranges
As with all natural products, oranges will inevitably turn brown at an age. The main factor that determines this is the condition of storage.
in The Pantry or Kitchen Counter
A dry, cool area is perfect for most things. The storage of whole oranges in the cabinet or the counter is ideal if you plan to run out of oranges in a hurry.
Oranges can be stored for as long as one week, provided they were firm at the beginning. The prolonged time spent in the refrigerator or at room temperature could result in the loss of moisture, reducing their size.
Dry surfaces prevent an increase in the mold that can accelerate the process of rotting and maturing.
If you have cut the oranges already, the shelf life diminishes rapidly, and they should be consumed within a day when stored at room temperature. It is possible to make an easy shake, juice slices, or bake an orange-flavored cake. You can wrap them in clingfilm and store them in the refrigerator overnight so they can be used the next day.
To keep them fresher for longer, You can freeze whole oranges. Check for bruises on the skin since this could cause the possibility of rotting. Put the citrus in an airtight plastic bag and place them inside the drawer for vegetables in the refrigerator. These oranges will last for up to a month.
Oranges that are well-frozen can last up to a full year. This can be accomplished by cutting the oranges into wedges or slices.
Create syrup using 2/3 sugar and 4/3 of water until it is reduced to an extremely thick syrup. Let the syrup cool before mixing the orange segments into the syrup.
Put the mix in Ziploc bags or sealed containers and then freeze.
One of the most effective methods to use oranges and other citrus fruit is to create Marmalade. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment.
Boil the whole orange, including the peel, in sugar and water. The mixture will reduce to an extremely thick consistency prior to your pouring it into mason Jars.
Let the Marmalade develop overnight before serving.
Like Marmalade, making canned oranges is based on only juice and flesh. The pith and peel of the orange are eliminated completely since they can cause bitterness.
For canning, you’ll need canning jars along with sugar and water. When you have sliced the citrus, put them tightly into the canning containers when they are complete, or cut them into slices with a little space on top.
Make syrup. While it’s hot, pour the syrup over the citrus and close the cans. Set them in a water bath for a few minutes prior to storage.
Another great method of preservation is drying. It can be accomplished by two methods:
Drying Naturally with Sunlight
A long-standing tradition for conserving food items is to use sunlight. To wash oranges, rinse them and cut them into your preferred shapes before spreading them out on the tray or wire mesh.
Put them in the garden, preferring to place them in an area with no obstruction, such as on the roof. Leave them for a couple of days.
Place them in sealable containers or Ziploc bags.
Utilizing a dehydrator
An alternative would be using a dehydrator when you have one in your home. It removes all the juices of the oranges and completely dries them.
The slices are loaded on trays before being placed in the dehydrator. The time range is 5 – 12 hours. Keep them in airtight containers and use them as you want.
When you handle dried oranges, make sure to soak them in water prior to handling them since it helps to get rid of any impurities as well as soften the dried fruit.
How to identify soiled Oranges
Skin that is discolored and wilted
The most obvious sign of rottenness in oranges is their appearance. A ripe orange that begins to turn brown will be dry and wilted skin. It may also be dark black or brown patches.
Another indication that spoilage has occurred is the appearance of a deformed orange that appears smaller than the actual size.
A Strong Odor
A damaged orange gives an odor of ferment when it is not cut.
Blackened, Gel-Like Flesh
Always throw out the flesh of an orange that is turning color and contains an oily, stringy, thick juice. This is an obvious sign of loss of nutrients.
Oranges are extremely versatile fruits to store at home. They can be useful in a variety of ways, so it’s essential to be aware of the best way to store them to prolong their shelf-life.