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Produce News – Cara Cara Oranges & Feverfew

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Community Services Unlimited Inc.

PRODUCE BAG NEWS

Contents: Small Original Bags: Dinosaur Kale, Red Potato, Cara Cara Oranges, Celery or Lettuce, Sweet Peas, Lemons, Chamomile or Feverfew. Diabetic Bags in addition/instead of: Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli. Snack Bags in addition/instead of: Carrots, Blood Oranges, Grapefruit. Large Original Bags in addition/instead of: Cabbage, Onion, Garlic.

Featured Item:  Cara Cara Navel Oranges: Cara cara navel oranges, are a variety of navel oranges. They were first discovered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela and later introduced in Florida and then in California during the 1980s. This special orange is juicy, low in acid, seedless, and, some say, has a berry like flavor. The name “cara cara” means “beloved” in Italian. When selecting cara cara navel oranges, make sure the fruit is firm, heavy for its size, and has a pleasant sweet smell. Scars or imperfect coloring do not reveal anything about the fruit’s flavor. When storing, keep in a cool, well-ventilated place. They can last 3-4 days in room temperature and up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

While you can get oranges year round in the grocery store, and even at many farmers markets, Winter is the peek season for California’s cara cara navel oranges, and many other citrus – like blood oranges, pomelos, mandarins, and oro blanco grapefruits. These brightly colored beauties are bursting with vitamin C just when the cooler and damp weather has us shut up indoors and more susceptible to getting sick.
Just one Cara Cara orange provides 150% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 30% of vitamin A!  Because our bodies cannot store vitamin C, it is important for us to regularly consume it.  Oranges are also an important source of fiber, especially when eaten whole. The cara cara orange is also a good source of folate and potassium, and a natural source of Lycopene, the disease-fighting antioxidant that may be helpful in preventing some cancers and protecting against cardiovascular disease. Lycopene, in fact, gives the fruit its dark, rich coloring. On a rare occasion, the trees will yield multicolored-leafed twigs instead of their usual green leaves. If the twigs are left to grow and fruit, they can sometimes produce fruits with a striped rind.

Cara Cara Citrus Mint Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing

Ingredients
3 Cara cara oranges, cut into segments
2 Navel oranges, cut into segments
1 Pink grapefruit, cut into segments
1⁄4 cup chopped mint leaves

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. Grape Seed oil
1 Tbsp. evaporated cane juice
1/8 tsp. salt
Zest of 1 lime (about 1 tsp finely grated peel)
1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (peel before grating)

Directions
First, combine all ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Set aside to allow flavors to combine. Second, cut the oranges and grapefruits into segments by cutting off the top and bottom portions, setting the fruit on its bottom, and cutting off the peel and all the white pith, then separate the segments. Place pieces in a mixing bowl and drain any excess juice and save another use. Next, add the mint and the dressing and mix gently with a spoon. Enjoy on its own, as a dessert, or over salad greens.

Featured Item: Feverfew is a medicinal herb with citrus-scented leaves and small daisy like flowers. It looks similar to the chamomile. You can tell the difference between feverfew and chamomile because feverfew has a larger truer leaf, while chamomile has very little fur like foliage.  Feverfew is good for treating fever, headaches, arthritis and digestive problems.  If taken regularly It is also said to aid in the onset of migraines.  Parthenolide is the active ingredient that relieves headaches by helping to prevent the constriction of blood vessels in the brain (a leading cause of migraines). A number of clinical studies have shown that ingesting just three leaves of feverfew daily can reduce migraines by up to 70%. It does not work like chemical drugs and can take up to 4 hours to have an impact on a headache. It can also be used to reduce nervousness and lift spirits.

To make tea steep leaves and flowers in just boiled (but not boiling) water for about 20 minutes. Enjoy hot or iced. Feverfew can also be used topically to relieve pain and swelling from insect bites.  You can make a tincture by soaking 1 oz of the flower and leaves herb in alcohol (vodka is good, or other clear drinking alcohols are fine) for up to a week. Mixing two teaspoonfuls of the tincture with 1/2 pint of cold water and apply to the area exposed to bites. It is also said to purify the atmosphere and ward off disease when planted around the home.

CAUTION: Though rare, their are reported cases of allergies to this herb, if you are allergic to chamomile or yarrow then you are probably allergic to feverfew. Do not use this herb if you are taking blood-thinning medications or have bleeding disorders, as it can increase bleeding. Using this herb consistently for more than a week and then abruptly stopping can cause a “rebound” headache. It is best used for a few days at a time with breaks of a few days in between.

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