Navel oranges are one of the most common varieties of sweet oranges. They are sweet, usually seedless, and have thick pebbly skins. Both the skin and the flesh of navel oranges are good for you. The numerous health benefits navel oranges offer are linked to their high concentration of antioxidants and other health promoting nutrients including vitamin C (ascorbic acid), hesperidin, limonene, narirutin and beta-cryptoxanthin.
One of the few things that produce picking experts may agree on is that most produce should feel heavy in your hand. The heavier the fruit, the juicier the inside will be.
Check the scent. Take a quick sniff of the outer peel. It should smell fresh, not old, fermented, or musky. Move on if it smells like anything other than orange peel.
Check the peel for inconsistencies. The color should be fairly uniform. White spots could indicate damage during shipment, which would mean bruised navel oranges once you peel it. Spots of darker or lighter color could mean the same thing in navel oranges. Also, the peel should feel like it is attached to the inner fruit everywhere. If any part of the peel feels like it has been separated from the inner fruit, then it is likely starting to rot and will not be tasty (not to mention safe!) to eat.
Of course, like any fruit, you should check your navel oranges for shriveling, cuts in the rind or any other signs of obvious damage. These could all indicate bad navel oranges.
Orange Smoothie Bowl: Use fresh navel oranges with orange juice or coconut water, banana, flaxseed and ice. Top with granola, fresh navel orange slices, banana slices and shredded coconut.
Spinach Orange Salad: Segment navel oranges and serve with mixed greens and fresh strawberry slices, toasted pine nuts, cucumber slices and snap peas with a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette; or prepare a citrus vinaigrette made with fresh navel orange juice from navel Oranges, olive oil, fresh lime juice, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Asian Salad: Toss together an Asian salad with mixed greens and cabbage, red bell pepper, toasted sesame seeds, Asian crunchy noodles, shredded carrots, navel Oranges and sliced cucumbers. Add grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon, and drizzle with a store-bought Asian dressing.
Navel Orange Mocktail: Combine fresh navel oranges, juice from the oranges, lemon lime or club soda and fresh mint. Garnish the side of the glass with a navel orange segment.
Oranges can be stored at room temperature for up to 7 days. When stored at room temperature, they will be juicier than if stored in the refrigerator. To keep oranges for a longer period of time, store them unwrapped in the refrigerator. If they are stored in a plastic bag, leave the bag open or be sure it has some holes perforated in it to allow air circulation. Proper air circulation is necessary to avoid moisture being trapped in the bag. Moisture promotes mold growth. If stored in the refrigerator, the oranges will stay fresh for up to two weeks.