Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Blood Orange

Fruit and veg excites us, a lot. There isn't a day that goes past without unprecedented levels of excitement over some part of the veg delivery: 'Oh, look how pretty the herbs are', 'The savoy cabbage is so beautiful', 'OMG the kale is purple', 'THEY SENT UT FREE STRAWBERRIES' - and this is just quoting last month alone. But this mornings delivery topped them all: blood oranges. 

These guys are like gold. They're in season for a mere 2 months of the year, and we're currently heading towards the end of the season so they're quite a rarity. There's nothing as satisfying (and exciting) as cutting into the orange and being greeted with beautiful, blood red flesh. They also put your average orange to shame with flavour, offering a richer, even juicier taste. 

Oh, and they're also great for you, most commonly for their high levels of vitamin C - great for avoiding getting sick as the weather starts to change. The red pigmentation in blood oranges also contains anthocyanins, which are basic natural compounds that give it the bright red colour. It's believed that this has anti-inflammatory properties and are good for avoiding diabetes and bacterial infections - basically an all round healer. 

RECIPE IDEAS 

Personally, we love nothing more than blood orange cut into segments and enjoyed as it is, but they're also delicious in salads, cakes and sauces. 

- Orange is best paired with fish dishes. Add juice + slices to the top of cod or halibut before roasting in the oven.

- It also makes a delicious sauce to serve alongside your fish. Just take the juice, then mix with olive oil, capers and parsley. 

- Fresh slices make a great tangy addition to salads - we like ours alongside rocket, fennel, beetroot and puy lentils with a creamy, tahini dressing.

- For dessert, try pairing with other seasonal fruit to make a rhubarb + blood orange crumble with a topping of oats, nuts + seeds. Healthy, naturally sweetened, and so delicious. 

- Blood orange is also beautiful baked into cake - for a sweet extra, we add the juice to our banana bread and place a few slices on top before baking, a great option if serving to guests.