At the start of the year, I hadn’t eaten an orange in months. But on came the school term, and I was once again left puzzling over what to pack for lunch.
Then, lo and behold, I looked in the fridge, and in it, was an orange. I took it, and put it in my bag, thinking, let’s try something new.
So during lunch, at school, my love of oranges was refueled, and I’ve had one almost every day since then. I don’t know what makes them great. I just know that they are great.
I suppose you could relate it to the weather. When I got hooked onto them, it was the middle of summer; I spent half my time craving for water and an air conditioned room. Oranges were one of the most refreshing things you could eat. Keep them well cooled, and I’d choose them over a glass of chilled water.
The orange’s citrusy (did I spell that right?) juice is incredibly tasty as well. It’s got this delicious tang that can’t really be described. Almost sweet, almost bitter, but not completely one or the other. I admit, it’s not the best food for your teeth (oranges are rich in natural sugars) but it sure does beat a gummy bear or chocolate frog.
Despite all those sugars, oranges are still one of the healthiest foods you can have. I could talk about their benefits all day, but I need only mention some of the best.
- They’re rich in Vitamin C, which prevents asthma and diabetes, fights tuberculosis and pneumonia, strengthens teeth and bones, and even lowers cholesterol.
- It contains antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged.
- Folic acid present in oranges helps brain development and fatigue.
I’ve been getting these benefits in vast quantities for free, thanks to a pleasant orange tree in the backyard. They bloom in winter, which makes it the perfect time to harvest them. Which we did. Yesterday. I’d say we took at least a couple hundred oranges off that tree. They don’t look that plentiful when on the tree, because the majority are hidden beneath its leaves or too high to see, but when you heap them up in two big baskets and three full garbage bags, their combined immensity begins to dawn on you.
Last year, we made nearly all of them into a just couple of litres of orange juice. I realised why artificial orange drink is easier to make. It sure was some good juice, though. Fresh, flavoursome, and fantastic.
Since oranges are healthier than apples, I’ve come up with a twist on a classic saying.
“An orange a day keeps the doctor away.”
And, thanks to that harvest, even if each member of our family follows that rule, thanks to that harvest, we wouldn’t need to buy oranges for many months.