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Refreshing Summertime Orange Recipes
Simple recipes for the entire family using a summertime favorite.


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Summer is the perfect time to explore the great possibilities of oranges


Once considered a delicacy and quite expensive, the orange holds the prominent position of the third most popular fruit in the U.S. (apples are first and bananas are second).

Age to introduce: Over 12 months. All citrus fruits are recommended for late introduction, because they are known to be high allergens.

Toddler Treat: Orange Julius
Growing up in California brings back many memories of oranges, but one that is particularly vivid is walking down the road to the Orange Julius stand with my brother and sister and buying an Orange Julius to quench our thirst. There is nothing like the taste of this delicious drink on a hot summer day. This recipe is simple and comes very close to recreating our childhood memories. We hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:

* 1 cup French vanilla soy creamer (Silk brand is great)
* 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (2-4 oranges)
* 6-8 ice cubes

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve in a cup with a straw.

More Orange Treats

At the market: Oranges are always picked when they are ripe. Choose ones that are firm and heavy for their size (they will be juiciest). The skin should be smooth. Thin-skinned oranges are juicier than thick-skinned varieties, and small- to medium-sized fruits are sweeter than the largest oranges.

Storage: Oranges keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. But they keep almost as well at room temperature, retaining nearly all of their vitamin content even after two weeks. They will also yield more juice if kept at room temperature.

There's nothing better than a fresh squeezed orange to wake you up in the morning. Get your kids involved by teaching them how to squeeze the oranges—even tiny toddler hands can do it.

Here are other ideas for your family to eat more oranges in your meals:

Orange Pancakes: For a nice, fresh, eye-opening flavor, replace half of the liquid needed in your favorite pancake recipe with orange juice.

Orange-Zested Muffins: Add 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest to a basic muffin mix. Dried cranberries and almonds taste excellent with orange flavor, so you can't go wrong by adding a ½ cup of each to the recipe too.

Citrus-y Spinach Salad: Add drained mandarin oranges (buy the kind in juice, not syrup), toasted almonds, chopped hard boiled egg and thin slices of red onion to a mound of fresh baby spinach. Toss with a poppy seed or sesame ginger vinaigrette dressing.

Mediterranean Salsa: Combine 1 cup of orange sections or mandarin oranges (in juice), ½ cup green or black olives, and ¼ cup of thin sliced red onion with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Serve over fresh grilled fish. Garnish with chopped mint.

Orange Ginger Teriyaki Kabobs: Summer is prime time for kabobs! Add ½ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice and 1-inch of thinly sliced fresh ginger to your favorite teriyaki marinade. Cut an assortment of veggies, tofu and meats into 1-2 inch cubes/chunks and marinate: veggies/fish for 15 minutes and meats/tofu 1-4 hours (or overnight). Slide marinated foods onto the skewers alternating the flavors. Fire up the BBQ. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook until done, about 5-10 minutes. Turn a couple times during cooking and baste frequently with marinade.

Foods that work well for kabobs:
* Green or red pepper
* Extra firm or baked tofu
* White or green onions
* Asparagus
* Whole mushrooms (especially shitakes!)
* Zucchini and yellow squash
* Pineapple
* Chicken
* Firm fish (swordfish, tuna)
* Beef

Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby (www.FreshBaby.com). They are the creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit and Good Clean Fun Placemats, available at many fine specialty stores and national chains including Target and Whole Foods Markets.

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