Do Navel Oranges Ripen Off the Tree?

By: The Hale Groves Team | On: | Category: Fruit Facts
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What’s a navel orange, you ask? Only one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world! As opposed to other, seeded oranges (such as Valencia vs. navel oranges), the unformed “twin” fruits that grow at the blossom ends are what define navel oranges. This undeveloped fruit looks a bit like a human navel, which is how this tasty fruit got its name. Here are answers to five FAQs about this beloved fruit:

  1. Do navel oranges have seeds?

Nope – a navel orange tree is propagated by cutting and grafting, which is why navels are seedless.

  1. What’s the best way to enjoy a navel orange?

The best way to enjoy a navel orange is fresh off the tree! (Just be sure you leave it on the tree until it’s fully ripe – unlike other fruits, navel oranges don’t continue to ripen or get sweeter after you harvest them.)

Navel oranges have a thick, easy-to-peel skin, are less juicy than other oranges, and have a sweet-yet-tangy flavor. In addition to snacking, navel oranges are also great in many recipes from salads to desserts.

  1. Are navel oranges good for you?

Oh, yes! Along with their flavor, navel orange nutrition is legendary. Navel oranges are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals (including vitamins C and A, thiamin, folate and potassium). Even the oil in navel oranges is good for you (studies show that orange essential oil can help you sleep better, concentrate more and feel happier).

  1. How many calories in a navel orange?

That depends on the navel orange size. Regardless, if you want to lose weight (or just enjoy a sweet, satisfying-yet-guilt-free snack), navel oranges are a great way to go – made up mostly of “good” carbs (there are about 12 carbs in a navel orange), the number of navel orange calories is around 47 for a medium-sized fruit (with about 87 large navel orange calories.

  1. How many kinds of navel oranges are there?

Now there’s a question – there are actually quite a few navel orange varieties! Between natural crossbreeding and garden development there are always new citrus varieties. But the best known is probably the Washington navel orange, so-called because it descends from a cutting that was taken from a Brazilian orchard and sent to Washington, DC during the latter half of the 19th Century. (Fun Fact: the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, grown in Riverside County, California, was designated a California Historic Landmark in1932.)

The Washington navel is also referred to as the California navel, and you’ve probably enjoyed it before. But if you get a chance to try a red navel orange, don’t pass it up! Commonly known as the cara cara navel, this beauty is a very sweet, low-acid fruit with a bright orange rind and pinky-red flesh. The flavor often reminds tasters of red fruits like berries or grapes – a very unusual citrus experience!

We hope you enjoyed this quick “Navel Orange 101″…now go and enjoy some Hale Groves Navel Oranges!

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