I often purchase a box of navel oranges right before Christmas and they end up sitting around the house, we never eat as many as I had hoped. Because I’m a frugal gal and I hate to waste things, I found a way to freeze fresh squeezed oranges so I can continue to enjoy them for months to come.
Drinking fresh squeezed oranges has many benefits, plus you won’t get all the refined sugar or artificial sweeteners that can be found in commercially processed juices.
- Strengthen your immune system
- Dietary fiber and B vitamins
- Prevent cancer
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower inflammation
- Increases the rate of nutrient absorption
- Promote glowing skin
- Power up the brain
- Relieve constipation
- Reduces digestion time
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Orange Juice
Orange juice is jam-packed with vitamin C
An 8 oz glass of orange juice offers you 67% of the Reference Daily Intake of vitamin C. No wonder that this due to this detail orange juice has landed on many Americans’ table as a breakfast staple.
Orange juice’s popularity started around World War II when U.S. troops were at a higher risk of developing scurvy because of chronic vitamin C deficiency. The unsavory lemon-crystal rations were steadily replaced with pasteurized orange juice on the U.S. front and the rest is as they say history (you can read more about the interesting history of orange juice here.)
Why is vitamin C so important? It helps with calcium absorption for strong bones and teeth and is an important immune system booster, helping to keep the disease-causing nasties at bay.
Orange juice is an ultra-potent anti-inflammatory
We all have to deal with inflammation at some point in life, especially if we are unfortunate enough to follow a Western diet. Inflammation is the main culprit behind heart disease, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and even depression.
Flavonoids in orange juice help keep inflammation in check and reduce the risk of said conditions and even of some forms of cancer. The
Orange juice helps keep blood pressure in check
By drinking orange juice on a regular basis you reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and keep blood pressure in check. The compound named hesperidin in this healthy juice ensures the smooth functioning of your cardiovascular system, normalizes blood pressure, and lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. The magnesium in orange juice also helps keep blood pressure within normal limits.
Orange Juice Lowers the Risk of Birth Defects
Some birth defects can be prevented if the pregnant woman drinks range juice. About half a cup of juice is sufficient to make up for the lost folate in her body.
Folate deficiency has been often linked to various birth defects to the brain and spinal cord in newborns. Folic acid supplementation has been linked to a reduction by 70% of this type of birth defects.
Orange Juice Might Help Curb the Risk of Some Cancers
The compound D-limonene found in oranges and other citrus fruit keeps cancer cells from multiplying and even cause them to die off through a process dubbed apoptosis. D-limonene can prevent a wide range of cancers, including colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer.
Orange Juice Can Help Treat Anemia
Anemia pops up when the body is deficient in iron. However, iron needs vitamin C to be properly absorbed. So, if you need to go for iron supplementation take iron with vitamin C pills or a glass of orange juice for maximum absorption.
Drink Orange Juice to Keep Your Kidneys Happy
Orange juice brings urine’s acidity down by increasing its pH which is a boon for kidneys’ long-term health. A 2006 NIH-sponsored study found that orange juice is more effective than lemon juice at reducing the risk of kidney stone formation in adults.
Three years earlier, a separate study had found that orange juice consumed daily lowers the risk of kidney stones by 12% when compared to people who only drink orange juice once a week or less frequently.
Prepare to Freeze Fresh Squeezed Oranges
- It takes 7 oranges to fill an ice cube tray
- Your oranges should be washed before peeling or cutting. Wet each orange with water, rub its surface, rinse it with running water and dry it with a clean towel.
- Washing oranges in a sink filled with water is not recommended since the standing water can spread contamination from one orange to another. The use of soap or detergent is not recommended because the fruit can absorb detergent residues. Consider a dip in clear white vinegar as an added precaution.
- Cut the orange in half
- Use a simple hand juicer
- Strain out the pulp (if you want… we like ours!)
- Pour your unsweetened juice into clean ice cube trays
- Once frozen, transfer the cubes to freezer bags or other freezer storage containers for easy access
Publication 8199 – Oranges: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy from UC Davis, has instruction on other methods of preservation, including water bath canning, dehydrating and freezing orange pieces.
What Can You Do With Your Frozen Orange Juice?
Your fresh squeezed orange juice cubes will last up to 12 months in the freezer. I’m planning on using mine as a healthy way to include fresh fruit in my diet each day. I can:
- Include a few cubes in smoothies
- Use it as a flavorful ice cube in a glass of water
- Use it for cooking
- Baked goods
Here are some awesome recipes:
You can use leftover orange juice to make some killer muffins everyone will adore. For this recipe, you’ll need to mix dry ingredients separately from the wet ones and ultimately to blend everything together into a heavenly batter. By adding in orange juice, the muffins will have an orangey taste when fresh, with the flavor getting stronger by the day. You can balance the orange flavor with classic add-ins such dried berries, chocolate chips, or raisins.
For a dozen muffins, you’ll need:
-// 10 oz white sugar
-// 8.8 oz. all-purpose flour
-// 1 tbsp orange zest
-// ½ cup fresh orange juice
-// 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-// 2 large eggs
-// 1/4 teaspoon salt
-// melted butter (unsalted) or a neutral plant oil (see Preparedness Mama’s viral baking substitution list)
– // 1/4 cup fresh milk, whole
-// 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (or you can just skip the milk and sour cream altogether and replace them with ½ cup butter milk)
-// 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– // Add-ins of your choice
For the instructions and ‘other classic recipes made perfect’, check out the PrettySimpleSweet blog.
Deliciously Refreshing Orange Sorbet
You can replace ice cream with this delicious orange sorbet whenever you have crazy sweet tooth and ice cream is not available. Making orange sorbet is not rocket science as you need three ingredients tops:
-// freshly squeezed orange juice (2 cups)
-// granulated sugar (4 to 6 tablespoons, depending on how sweet the oranges are)
-// water (1 or 2 tablespoons)
-// four orange halves (optional)
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a pan on low heat. Add the freshly squeezed orange juice and stir everything together (you can adjust the sorbet for sweetness if you believe that it needs more sugar).
Let the sorbet chill and when it is cold add it to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the machine’s instructions. Add the sorbet into four orange halves and place them in the freezer. Before serving, allow the sorbet to melt a bit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Orange Creamsicle Mousse
Do you have too much orange juice on hand? No problem. Here’s another heavenly summer dessert with OJ as star ingredient. Mousse is the light and airy cousin of pudding, which requires more attention and patience to make, but the end result is to die for.
-// ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
-// 1 cup castor sugar
-// 12 oz cream cheese
-// 1 tsp orange extract
-// a pinch of salt
-// 1 cup homemade whipped topping (1 cup of heavy whipping cream + 1-2 tablespoons castor sugar)
For the full recipe, check out this fantastic blog post.
Also, check out Seven Ways to Cook with Orange Juice at MyRecipes.com for more terrific recipes.
P.S.: My box made 6 trays of frozen orange goodness, so I have 96 cubes. I also have an incredible amount of orange rinds! I could have dried them or put them in my compost, but instead I made a big batch of Orange Infused Vinegar for cleaning.
It couldn’t be easier. Just remove the white pulp with a knife, and cut the rinds into smallish strips. Place them into a glass container, that has a tight fitting lid, and cover the rinds with white vinegar.
I placed a fold of plastic wrap under the cap because vinegar will react with metal
Label the jar with the date and shake it every day for two weeks. Once your infusion time is done, strain your orange vinegar into a glass jar and use it for your next cleaning project.
The rinds can go into the compost pile or you can save them and put a few down your garbage disposal each week.
See our previous post – 24 Uses for Oranges, Never Waste Another Orange Again – for other ideas on how to use an abundance of oranges.