You can tell blood oranges are good for you simply by their colour. That is because the dark tones of their flesh are caused by anthocyanins, which are antioxidant pigments that are common in flowers, vegetables such as red potatoes, and fruit – although not normally in citrus fruits. This type of orange is also sodium free, cholesterol free and fat free and they are a very good source of healthy vitamin C. One orange can provide you with over a quarter of the dietary fibre you should eat each day, along with beneficial calcium, folate and thiamine.
Buying and storing blood oranges
If you have been tempted by their nutrition value – and their great taste, you should choose fruit that haven’t got any soft spots and those that feel heavier than they look for their size. They will keep for around a week at room temperature or for up to three weeks in the fridge. To ensure you always have to fruity tang of these oranges to hand, they are excellent for making marmalade.
More blood oranges nutrition facts
There are three main varieties of this type of blood oranges that are widely available in late winter. There are Taroccos, mainly grown in Italy, Sanguinellos, from Spain, and the newest, the Moro. Other varieties include the Khanpur, Maltese, Ruby Blood, Delfino, Vaccaro and Red Valencia. Do not mistake Vainiglia Sanguignos and Cara Cara Navels with the typical blood orange as their pigment is created by the addition of lycopene and not anthocyanins. The seedless Tarocco variety is renowned for having more vitamin C in it than any other type of orange grown in the world today. This is put down to it growing in the fertile soil around Mount Etna. A scientific study of the juice of the Moro found that it could improve liver steatosis, although the test was carried out on mice. There are some people, however, who believe that drinking this juice or eating the fruit could help to prevent a fatty liver from developing.
The blood orange in cooking
Blood orange marmalade is particularly tasty, benefiting greatly from the raspberry tones in the oranges, and the zest is great used in cakes, cookies and even stir fries. The sliced fruit can make a mouth-watering addition to salads, such as a Sicilian winter salad made up of sliced orange, fennel and olive oil, and they can be used to make vinaigrette-style dressings and even sorbet, soda and beer.