(Family Features) When families fire up their grills and turn to favorite summer recipes for filling meals, nutritional considerations are often not the focus. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. This year, you can rethink traditional seasonal menus by opting for main courses – and even desserts – that offer healthier returns by incorporating ingredients like whole oranges, which provide a multitude of nutritional benefits.
Adding an ingredient like California Valencia oranges to your family’s dishes means you’re including a rich source of vitamin C (70% of the daily value) and an excellent source of folate (20% of the daily value) in your seasonal spread. As a balance of sweet and tart, the extra juicy oranges reach their peak in summer, making them perfect for warm-weather recipes, juicing or as portable snacks to take along on adventures.
Plus, their anti-inflammatory benefits help support the body, especially as outdoor activities increase in the warm weather. The potassium found in oranges also helps support cell function, healthy blood pressure levels, bone health and hydration.
When it comes to meal planning, oranges are a highly versatile fruit that can be added to both sweet and savory dishes, as well as beverages, cocktails, sauces, frozen desserts, smoothies and more. To introduce a depth of flavor and burst of nutrition to dishes, add a sprinkle of zest, segments or fresh-squeezed juice, or even grill the fruit to bring out the flavor.
Try combining them with tastes of the Mediterranean for dinner with Orange and Harissa Glazed Beef Kebabs or end your meal with a refreshing sweet treat like Orange Ice Cream the entire family can enjoy.
By introducing the sweetness of oranges to your warm-weather menu, you can infuse fresh flavor while rethinking family favorites. Visit CaliforniaCitrusGrowers.com for more information on California oranges.
Orange and Harissa Glazed Beef Kebabs
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup California Valencia orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 California Valencia oranges, zested and segmented
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch squares
- 1 red onion, cut into 2-inch squares
- 16 broccoli florets, raw
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- cooked couscous
- mandarin chutney
- In mixing bowl, combine orange juice and zest, harissa, honey, oil, mint and garlic; mix well.
- Add beef cubes and toss to coat; marinate 2 hours in refrigerator.
- Using long skewers, build kebabs, alternating beef, peppers, onions and broccoli on each.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Season kebabs with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until vegetables are cooked through and beef reaches desired doneness.
- Serve over bed of couscous and top with mandarin chutney.
Orange Ice Cream
Prep time: 1 hour
- 2 cups California Valencia orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons glucose syrup or corn syrup
- 1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 California Valencia oranges, zest only
- California Valencia orange slices, for garnish
- Prepare ice cream making vessel or unit, such as old-fashioned churner or ice cream machine with motor.
- Reduce orange juice to 1 cup; ice down to chill.
- In saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, cream, vanilla scraped pod and seeds, and glucose syrup until hot; remove from heat. Steep 30 minutes.
- In bowl, combine milk powder and sugar. Add dry mixture into hot cream mixture. Whisk to combine. Return mixture to medium heat.
- In separate heat-safe bowl, combine egg yolks and orange zest.
- In small increments, pour hot mixture over yolks and zest. Mix vigorously while pouring.
- Cook to 185 F.
- Remove from heat and pour through fine strainer. Hand-blend until smooth.
- Ice down immediately. Add cooled, reduced orange juice. Hand blend to combine.
- Spin and freeze then follow directions according to machine or vessel to make ice cream.
- Serve with orange slices.
Source: California Citrus Growers
Fresh fruit is finally in season. When the sun is out and kids are hitting the pool, it’s also time to indulge in some sweet fruit flavors. Watermelon, berries, bananas and more can all be found near perfect ripeness at grocery stores or farmer’s markets during the warm summer months.
On a hot day, there is almost nothing better than trying something new that sounds delicious. Throw your apron on, prepare your kitchen and get baking.
If you’re craving something sweet with no ideas where to start, try this sweet Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit. It’s tangy and rich, and allows you to escape to the summer oasis of your dreams, at least for a few minutes.
It has the smooth, creamy texture of cheesecake mixed with a hint of tart lemon juice. Topped with raspberries, mint and oranges, the burst of fresh fruit enhances the cheesecake flavor. It’s the perfect sweet treat for summer for people of all ages with its bright colors and varying flavors.
In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter then press into a springform pan.
Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, three eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract then pour it on top of the graham cracker mixture.
Bake for 50-55 minutes before cooling completely in the fridge and adding fruit and mint leaves.
The outcome is a fluffy cheesecake with a small hint of lemon topped with your favorite fresh fruits. It’s a delightful, sweet and satisfying recipe your family can make again and again to enjoy during those warm summer months.
Find more recipes perfect for summer at Culinary.net.
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Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 orange, peeled and separated
- 8 raspberries
- 3 mint leaves, for garnish
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into 9-inch springform pan.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix until combined.
- Pour into pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly pressed.
- Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled. Arrange orange slices around border of cake and place raspberries in middle. Top with mint leaves.
Skip the cereal and frozen foods for a spread like these Orange Eggs Benedict with a homemade hollandaise sauce. With six servings, it's perfect for a family breakfast at home.
Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Orange Eggs Benedict
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 orange, juice only
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 6 French baguette slices, 3/4-inch thick each
- 6 thick slices ham
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- orange zest, for garnish
- To make Orange Hollandaise: In small bowl, add egg yolks, orange juice and salt. Blend until combined. Gradually add melted butter into egg mixture while blending. Set aside.
- In skillet, add water halfway up sides. Add vinegar. Bring to simmer. Break eggs into water to poach. Cook 3-4 minutes until whites are cooked through and yolks are still runny. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs and drain on paper towels.
- Spread butter on one side of bread slices. Place bread in skillet and cook until golden brown. Add ham to same skillet and cook until browned on both sides..
- To assemble, spread bread slices with orange marmalade. Top each with one slice cooked ham and one poached egg. Pour hollandaise over eggs and garnish with orange zest.
(Family Features) Freshen up family dinners by adding new ingredients like pecans, with natural richness and subtle sweetness coupled with irresistible crunch.
Kitchen staples are being used to add twists to traditional dishes, so finding an item you can use to mix up classic family recipes is key. Pecans pack flavor, texture and nutrition all in one bite, and they have a long shelf life. Shelled pecans can be kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator for about nine months and for up to two years in sealed plastic bags in the freezer.
While pecans are beloved in classic desserts, like pecan pie, they also offer a variety of nutrition benefits that can be added to nearly any meal. They are among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, contain 3 grams of plant protein per serving and are a source of fiber, flavonoids and minerals like manganese, which is essential for metabolism and bone health.
Nearly two decades of research document the heart-health benefits of pecans. In fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) has 18 grams of unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.
Add crunch to this Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans by swapping out croutons, use chopped pecans as a flavorful and nutrient-dense coating for Pecan Chicken Meatballs and bake this Pecan Banana Bread as a nutritious and kid-friendly breakfast or snack to fill your home with a delicious scent.
Pecan Chicken Meatballs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 9 meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/4 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh pecan pieces, divided
- Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, mix ground chicken, spinach, lemon juice, egg, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne (if desired) and 1/2 cup pecans until well combined.
- Roll chicken mixture into 1 tablespoon- sized meatballs.
- Place reserved pecans in bowl. Roll meatballs in pecans to coat then place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 20-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve warm with sauces for dipping or over pasta.
Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup pecan butter
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons warm water, plus additional as needed (optional)
- 4 ounces dried thin rice noodles
- cold water
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup crispy wontons
- 1 cup mandarin oranges
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken breast, chopped
- To make dressing: In medium bowl, whisk pecan butter, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce until smooth.
- Add 2 tablespoons warm water and whisk until incorporated. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if desired, until dressing reaches pourable consistency.
- To make salad: Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to bowl with cold water to keep from sticking.
- In large bowl, toss romaine and iceberg lettuces, pecans, scallions, bean sprouts, crispy wontons, mandarin oranges and sesame seeds.
- Divide salad among four plates; top each with 1/2 cup chicken and serve with dressing.
Pecan Banana Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 10 ounces gluten-free baking flour mix
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 cup organic brown or coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup vegan yogurt
- 3/4 cup mashed bananas, ripe
- 1 cup raw pecan pieces, chopped, plus additional for topping
- Heat oven to 350° F. Prepare 9-by-5-inch banana bread pan.
- In medium bowl, sift flour mix, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; whisk to combine.
- In mixer bowl, mix eggs, sugar and coconut oil 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
- Scrape vanilla bean and add to mixture. Add vegan yogurt and mashed bananas; mix 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
- Remove bowl from mixer and fold 1 cup raw pecan pieces into batter until evenly distributed.
- Add batter to banana bread pan and use spatula to smooth down top. Sprinkle additional pecan pieces on top.
- Bake banana bread on top rack 60 minutes until toothpick comes out with few crumbs but not completely clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes in pan. Hold sides of pan and flip onto wire rack.
- Allow bread to cool completely. Slice as desired.
Source: American Pecan Council
(Family Features) With summer in full swing, outdoor chefs are fine-tuning their grilling game and looking for creative twists on backyard food favorites. But most cooks often overlook a classic pantry staple that's a great secret ingredient and unlikely ally when entertaining outdoors: 100% pure honey.
It's an all-natural sweetener that keeps things simple with only one, pure ingredient: honey. And it's not only limited to desserts and drinks. Savory dishes that call for time on the grill can benefit just as much from incorporating 100% pure honey. It's perfect for homemade, natural-ingredient marinades and in addition to its one-of-a-kind flavor, it aids in caramelization, a key process in grilling.
Also working in 100% pure honey's favor is its sheer versatility. You can impress guests by using it in all kinds of cuisine. For a sweet summer lineup from appetizers to dessert, try these distinctive recipes.
For even more recipes to make your summer sweeter, visit www.honey.com.
Grilled Honey Glazed Shrimp
Makes 6 servings
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup 100% pure honey
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons black and red pepper blend
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon California-style coarse onion powder
- 30 jumbo shrimp
- 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- Place orange juice, honey, lime juice, mustard and dry seasonings in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and reduced by half. Divide the glaze into 2 plastic containers, seal tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Cook shrimp over hot coals for about 3 minutes on each side or until completely pink, basting with one container of the glaze during grilling. Remove from grill and baste with remaining glaze.
Honey Marinated Chicken
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons 100% pure honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/3 cup 100% pure honey
- Blend all marinade ingredients (exclude the 1/3 cup honey); pour over chicken breasts. Marinate in refrigerator overnight in plastic bag. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill six to 10 minutes, turning once and basting occasionally with 1/3 cup honey during last five minutes of grilling.
Strawberry Chiffon Pie
Makes 8 servings
- 2 cups (12 ounces) coarsely chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup 100% pure honey, divided
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 cup light sour cream
- Prepared 9-inch crumb crust
- In small bowl, mash strawberries and 1/4 cup honey; set aside.
- In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand five minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup honey. Warm over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Transfer to large bowl; stir in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture mounds on a spoon when tested.
- Using electric mixer, beat mixture at medium speed until light. Fold in strawberries; mix until well combined. Pour into prepared crust. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.
Citrus Salad with Avocado
Makes 6 servings
- 3 6-inch corn tortillas
- 4 oranges
- 4 grapefruits
- 1/3 cup 100% pure honey
- 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Preheat oven to 255°F. Slice tortillas into very thin strips. Dry strips by placing on a cookie sheet and baking for approximately 15 minutes. Set aside
- Peel oranges and grapefruits, then section, seed and place in large bowl; set aside. In small bowl, whisk together honey, raspberry vinegar, oil and salt.
- Pour over citrus sections and toss gently.
- Top with avocado slices and tortilla strips.
Honey Raspberry Iced Tea
Makes 4 servings
- 2 cups freshly brewed tea
- 2 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
- 1/4 cup 100% pure honey
- In large, heat-proof pitcher, whisk together all ingredients until thoroughly combined and honey is dissolved. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, pour over ice.
Source: National Honey Board
- 1 rounded cup fresh or frozen cranberries (about 4 1/2 ounces)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Angostura Orange Bitters
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- If using frozen cranberries, spread berries out on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut large cranberries in half.
- In large bowl, combine flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nuts and egg; blend thoroughly with whisk. Stir in cranberries.
- In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, orange zest, orange juice, bitters and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently until fully moistened; do not over mix. Spoon batter into pan and smooth out top.
- Bake 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.
(Family Features) More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.
Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, these tips make it fun for families to learn about where their food comes from and help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
- Grocery shop together or go to a farmers market. Many cities now have year-round indoor markets, where together you can select fruits and veggies to try. Often the farmers are there, so you can learn about produce and get ideas for how to prepare unfamiliar items at home.
- Cook with your kids. Find fun recipes that let them explore fresh foods where they can be creative. Find age-appropriate ways to involve them, like stirring or measuring, and encourage them to get hands-on with recipes, such as this fun Flower Salad recipe from registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.
- Explore the story of where some of their favorite foods come from. Kids learn and remember information when it comes in the form of a story. Cuties is giving families the chance to uncover those stories by encouraging them to submit questions using #AskAGrower on Facebook. Actual growers will answer with stories about how this sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel fruit is grown with care by their family of growers. A video series at cutiescitrus.com/our-story also helps bring the stories to life.
“Making learning about food fun is good for the whole family,” Krieger said. “It encourages kids – and parents – to explore new foods and be more connected to where their food comes from. It’s truly a ‘healthy’ conversation to have together.”
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 1 Cuties clementine
- 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 grape tomato
- 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
- 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.
Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.