Florida’s sandy soil and sub-tropical climate are ideal for growing oranges. The most common types are Navel, Hamlin, Ambersweet and Valencia. Orange season typically runs from October through April. More than 80 percent of America’s orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges.
Oranges are full of vitamin C which protects cells by neutralizing free radicals that cause illnesses like cancer and heart disease. They are also full of potassium that keeps the heart functioning properly.
A fun place for orange lovers to visit is Sun Harvest Citrus. The store is located in Fort Myers. Sun Harvest sells fresh squeezed orange juice as well as orange-cranberry, orange-strawberry and grapefruit juice. It also offers free juice samples.
During season, visitors can tour the facility to see how juice is produced. Sun Harvest also sell oranges grown in their own groves as well as jellies, wine, bakery items and soft serve ice cream.
Orange-Dijon Chicken Recipe
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts halves
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
½ cup of onion
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place chicken in a 9 x13 inch baking dish. Spread mustard evenly over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped onion. Coat lightly with ¼ cup of brown sugar and pour in enough orange juice to cover chicken. Add butter on top.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, then remove remaining sauce from baking dish and pour into a saucepan. Sprinkle chicken with the last of the brown sugar and return to oven. Whisk flour into sauce in saucepan. Add any leftover orange juice and heat on high until the sauce thickens. Remove chicken from oven and place on a serving dish; pour sauce over the chicken and serve.