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What do Oranges and Bananas Have in Common?

February 20, 2023

Besides both being at the center of a kid’s favorite knock-knock joke, you’d be surprised to know that oranges and bananas are both technically berries. There’s a really long scientific explanation for it, which you can google, or just trust us. But there are tons of other fun facts about oranges that will surprise you… Like, did you know there are more than 400 types of oranges in the world? This month our students spent time deep diving into one pretty fantastic citrus – the blood orange.

Let’s start with the obvious question – why the name? Once cut open, the first thing you’ll notice is the inside has a red fleshy color, giving the blood orange its name. But it’s actually anthocyanins that give it this red fleshy color. Anthocyanins are not commonly found in citrus and are more common in berries and flowers. It takes a special climate for these anthocyanins to develop, where there are cold winter nights and warm days. 

Blood oranges originated in Sicily and Spain, and are the primary oranges grown in Italy. There are 15 different varieties of blood oranges, all known for having a raspberry-like flavor. Not surprising considering they come from the berry family. Blood oranges pair well with leafy greens as the sweetness balances the flavors. But they also make a tasty treat on their own. Try a recipe like the Blood Orange Granita.

Blood Orange Granita:

Freeze the juice of 5 fresh blood oranges blended with a ¼ cup of water and a teaspoon of honey for four hours in a sheet pan. Rake the mixture with a fork every hour until the mixture is flaky like snow. It’s a great springtime treat as our days start to get warmer.

Shopping Tip:

Blood Oranges are in season December – May. Choose blood oranges with thin peels that are heavy for their size – this is a sign of juiciness! Because they may cost more than other citrus, buy just one or two and serve alongside other less costly citrus. 

We hope you enjoyed learning all about this tasty fruit as much as the kids in our classrooms did! Nutrition education is often overlooked, but an important part of our daily lives. We are on a lifelong journey to self-improvement and if you haven’t started yet – it’s better late than navel! But you can also play an important role in fostering a child’s love of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make a donation in any amount today towards our nutrition education initiative, and you’ll be helping to provide at-risk students with the tools they need to live a healthier and active lifestyle. 

All you seed is love. Plant the seed today and make a donation to support nutrition education.

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