Orange juice is a staple at many breakfast tables. Commercial juice producers blend several varieties of oranges to create a consistent, moderately flavored juice that will appeal to a wide range of consumers. You can juice your own oranges to experiment with single-variety orange juice or to create your own custom blends.
Valencia oranges are the staple of most commercially produced juices. They are naturally sweet, have very few seeds, and contain a high percentage of juice per orange. If you make orange juice at home, you can squeeze Valencia oranges the day before and store the squeezed juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Navel oranges are slightly less sweet than Valencias, and have less juice per fruit. The juice from navel oranges is usually blended with Valencias to cut the sweetness. Commercial juice producers add pulp from navel oranges to their pulpy and extra pulpy juice varieties. You can juice navel oranges at home, although the juice does not keep well, so plan to squeeze the oranges at the table or just before you serve the juice. You will need several navel oranges per glass of juice.
Blood oranges have a sweet flavor with a hint of raspberry. Their name comes from their bright red interior. When squeezed, the juice is also dark red. Blood orange juice adds an exotic depth of flavor to ordinary orange juice. It is also used in sauces and vinaigrette salad dressings to add a sweet citrus flavor. Cara Cara oranges are a variety of navel oranges that have been bred for their juice. Cara Caras are juicier than standard navel oranges, and have a sweeter, more intense flavor. Like all navel oranges, they are seedless, so you do not have to worry about filtering seeds out of your freshly squeezed orange juice.
Orange Juice Blends
Add some interest to your breakfast by blending your freshly squeezed or store-bought orange juice. Try adding a freshly squeezed blood orange to a jar of store-bought orange juice for a hint of raspberry. If you like something a little less sweet, blend one part grapefruit juice with two or three parts orange juice. Experiment with blends outside the citrus family, as well. Apricot, mango or guava nectar add a tropical flavor to orange juice.
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