Oranges, which are currently in season, do more than just adding colour and flavour to your staple meals. These sweet wonders of nature are in fact a powerhouse of nutrients that aid in enhancing overall health.

Oranges are the best source of vitamin C, to build the body’s defence system for combating infections. They also contain antioxidants which prevent the deterioration of healthy cells in the body. The simple sugars in oranges are a natural source of carbohydrates and provide instant energy through the day. Moreover, they are very low in fat and have practically no calories.

And in case you are bored with the run-of-the-mill homemade pulpy juices and fresh fruit salads, try these two unique recipes - a saccharine marmalade and a spicy pickle – that are bound to take your taste buds on a gastronomical adventure.

Orange jam

Orange Jam 

Ingredients: 

3 big oranges

1 cup powdered jaggery

2 cups of water

Method:

Clean oranges thoroughly in warm water, remove the peel and store it for making the pickle.

Now, remove all the seeds from the fruit and cut it into small pieces.

Cook these orange slices in two cups of warm water on high flame for about 15 minutes.

Then, add the jaggery and allow the mixture to simmer for another 30 minutes, to obtain a mildly viscous texture.

After turning off the stove, let the jam cool down completely, before storing it in air-tight glass containers, at room temperature. The jam stays fresh for up to one week.

Nutrition:

Oranges have a low glycemic index, which helps in regulating blood sugar levels and hence is a guilt-free fruit for diabetics. They are also rich in natural dietary fibres, which assist in maintaining a healthy digestive system and body weight. Jaggery is a potent source of iron, which is vital for the synthesis of healthy blood cells as well as for the prevention of anaemia.

Orange Peel Pickle

Orange pickle

Ingredients:

½ cup sliced, orange peel

1 small lemon

½ tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp hing powder

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp sesame seed oil

Salt to taste

1 cup of water

Method:

Pressure cook the finely sliced pieces of orange peel for two whistles, with ½ cup water.

Next, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, hing powder and salt, and allow it to boil adding ½ cup water.

Once the mixture is cooked, switch off the flame and add some lemon juice.

Heat the mustard seeds in oil until they sputter and add it to the pickle.

After it completely cools down, stores it in an air-tight glass jar in a refrigerator. The pickle stays fresh for a period of one month.

Nutrition:

Orange peel contains abundant reserves of calcium, required for strengthening bones. Lemons provide vitamin B6, which is essential for healthy nervous system functioning and potassium, that is obligatory to maintain electrolyte (salt) balance in the body. Turmeric, hing and mustard are rich in antioxidants, to defend the body from harmful free radicals.

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