Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Blood Orange
What is it about fruit and veg different to the colour we expect, or are used to, that fascinates us so much? Take blood oranges - there’s nothing more exciting that cutting into an orange to find bright, blood red stained flesh. Similar to your usual orange in appearance, but much more exciting! Their bright red colour is due to a pigment called anthocyanin, which is commonly found in fruit and veg, and is also an indicator that they’re rich in antioxidants.
Originating from Sicily or Spain they’re high in vitamin C and iron, amongst others, making them the perfect addition to our winter diets - boosting our immune system when it needs it the most. Try them fresh, juiced or used in baking - their colour propels a dish from good to great, and their distinct, slightly tart flavour adds a new element to the meal.
- Add blood orange to bakes as you would normal oranges - try blood orange and polenta cake, blood orange and poppy seed loaf, blood orange and chocolate cake, blood orange, pistachio and rose loaf - the flavour combinations are endless! If you have your fail-proof cake recipe, then just add the rind and juice, then up the flour quantity a fraction.
- Looking for a jam or curd replacement that isn't so heavy on the sugars? Our lifesaver since cutting the refined stuff has been homemade curds. Simply add 3 eggs, 1/4 cup coconut oil and 3 tbsp maple/honey/coconut sugar to a pan over a low heat. Add the zest and juice of 2 blood oranges then whisk continuously until thick. Remove and chill - keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- The best use of blood orange in a dessert is where the fruit is centre stage - impressive, yet so simple. Tarts and galettes are a great way to show off beautiful slices of blood orange. Simply make (or buy) a pastry base - shaped for a tart of cut rough for a galette, then fill with blood orange curd and sliced blood orange to top. Cover with a sugar syrup (we like watered down honey), bake, then broil for the last 2 minutes.
- Blood orange isn't just limited to sweet either - try adding it to dressings, marinades or oils for s fresh and tart addition to your meals.