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Discover new tricks on this favorite super fruit

Best to buy
Oranges are available year-round, but are best in the cold months.

Cut & clean
Wash thoroughly under cold water if you plan to use the zest, otherwise simply peel the skin, break into segments, and eat.

It's in the zest
Use a fine grater to zest an orange. Use in punches, cakes, sauces, and salads.

Power food
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of thiamine and folic acid.

Also indexed as: Blood Oranges, Mandarin Oranges, Navel Oranges, Orange, Satsuma Oranges, Seville Oranges, Temple Oranges, Valencia Oranges

Preparation, uses, and tips

An orange is one of the best fruits for eating raw and juicing. It has a great range of uses, from an ingredient in salads and frozen desserts to marmalade, pastry making, and cooking, including using the peel to extract essential oil. Orange flower water is distilled from the tree blossoms, and is used in Indian cooking. The fruit and its grated zest can be added to punch and cakes as a garnish, and segments are also served with seafood. For a unique presentation, try using the deep red flesh of blood oranges, with its hint of raspberry taste. Bitter oranges are used to make marmalade, jam, jelly, syrup, and sauce. Their bitter zest lends the hint of orange to the alcoholic liqueurs Curaçao, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier.

Buying and storing tips

Oranges are available year-round, though they are traditionally a winter fruit. Look for heavy oranges with uniform skin. Ripe oranges sometimes retain green streaks or slight russeting due to climatic conditions, but these do not significantly affect taste or quality. Avoid fruit with extremely soft ends or mold spots. Oranges keep well in the refrigerator for two weeks, and the zest from oranges can be frozen.


Oranges fall into three categories: bitter, loose-skinned (like mandarin oranges), and sweet; each type has many individual varieties.

Sweet oranges are used chiefly for juicing or eating. They include the Valencia, Navel, and Temple oranges. The Navel orange, which is grown in California, is considered an eating orange, since its sweet pulp tends to turn a little bitter when the juice is exposed to air. Valencia oranges are enjoyed for both eating and juicing, although commercially the Valencia is considered the best juicing orange. An orange hybrid bearing an orange and red rind with red flesh is called blood orange. The Temple orange, named after the man who created it, is a flavorful orange-tangerine hybrid. Bitter oranges, also known as Seville oranges, are named after the Spanish city of the same name. They are seldom seen in markets and are used chiefly for marmalade or for their peel (in liqueurs). Blood oranges are seen much more frequently.

Nutrition Highlights

Orange, 1 large
Calories: 86
Protein: 1.7g
Carbohydrate: 21.6g
Total Fat: 0.22g
Fiber: 4.4g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin C (97.8mg)
*Good source of: Thiamine (0.16mg), and Folate (55mcg)

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.

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