Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Blood Orange

Blood orange season is always too short. With their deep red hues and rich, juicy taste, they easily set themselves apart from the rest of the clan. A cocktail adorned with blood orange is always more exciting, juice splatters of a deep red are way more visually satisfying and being served a salad topped with blood red splattered segments always seems that little bit more special. 

Caused by a pigment called anthocyanin, the red stained flesh of blood oranges is an indicator that they're rich in antioxidants - specifically vitamin C and iron in this case. A coincidence that they're in season though the coldest months? We think not. Both Vitamin C and Iron are great to help boost your immune system and keep those sniffles at bay. Try them fresh, juiced or with your meals - their colour propels a dish from good to great, and their distinct, slightly tart flavour adds a new element to the meal. 

RECIPE IDEAS

- 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! Simply replace the juice and rind of a normal orange in recipes. 

- Looking for a jam or curd replacement that isn't so heavy on the sugars? Our go-to since cutting down the refined stuff has been homemade curds. Simply add 3 eggs, 1/4 cup coconut oil and 3 tbsp sweetener (honey or maple work well) 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. 

- To make the most of their impressive appearance, make blood orange the focal point of desserts. 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 a fresh and tart addition to your meals.

- And they make a great addition to salads - we particularly like the combination of blood orange, roasted fennel and hazelnuts 

pollen + grace