By Anne P. Braly
Next time you grab a bag or oranges or a carton of orange juice, try some of these ideas that came my way from the Florida Department of Citrus. They sound different and good, especially the suggestion for replacing orange juice for water in making oatmeal. I plan to give it a try. The only thing I suggest is buying the best orange juice you can afford because the taste is better and lasts longer.
Lately, I've been purchasing frozen orange juice and making it myself by adding the water when I get home. It's much cheaper than buying premade orange juice by the carton, and I think it tastes much better. Minute Maid is my brand of choice, as I've found off brands don't stay as fresh.
1. Marinade: From steak to seafood, orange juice helps to tenderize the meat and provides added flavor. In a marinade recipe that calls for soy sauce, replace half the soy sauce with orange juice. This cuts down on the salt and adds a clean citrus flavor to your marinades.
2. Glaze: Reduce a quart of fresh orange juice to a syrup for an amazing glaze for chicken, lamb or ham. One quart will make about a half cup of glaze. For ham, reduce the orange juice with a cinnamon stick; for chicken, add chopped fresh sage to the finished syrup while still warm; for lamb, add freshly sliced mint leaves and black pepper while the juice is reducing.
3. Salad dressing: Substitute 1 orange juice for a portion of the vinegar in your homemade dressings to boost flavor
4. Fruit: When making fruit salad, toss the cut fruit with orange juice to prevent browning and lend a great sweet and tart flavor.
5. Muffins: Replace the water or milk in your breakfast bread or muffin recipes with fresh orange juice for an antioxidant boost and a tasty citrus flavor. Think of spices like cinnamon, cardamom and ginger when using orange juice in your breakfast breads.
6. Smoothies: Orange juice is the perfect natural sweetener for blending with juices and smoothies. Whether its orange juice blended with beet or carrot juice, or used with low-fat frozen yogurt in a smoothie, it gives an extra nutrient and flavor boost to one of your favorite fruit drinks.
7. Ice Pop: Purchase wooden sticks at a craft shop and help your family make refreshing ice pop treats Simply fill an ice cube tray with orange juice and place a wooden stick in each compartment. Freeze well for a healthy treat.
8. Pancakes: When making your favorite pancake or waffle batter, substitute orange juice for the water, milk or buttermilk in the recipe. This will give the pancakes a great flavor boost and pack more vitamin C.
9. Oatmeal: Give your favorite hot breakfast cereal a heart-healthy kick by using orange juice instead of water. Top cooked oatmeal with orange juice rather than butter or cream for great fresh flavor and no added fat.