The Flaming Vegan

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Cara Cara: A Sweet Cure for the Winter Blues!
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Cara Cara: A Sweet Cure for the Winter Blues!

It’s January, and after the indulgence of the holidays, it’s time to get back to healthier vegan eats. Looking for something nutritious that tastes amazing? Well, look no further, it’s Cara Cara orange season!

Cara Cara oranges aren’t just any old oranges, they are a type of navel whose deep orange flesh and succulent, berry-like flavor set them apart.  Cara Cara oranges are lower in acid than most oranges, so no puckering with these super sweet beauties.  In addition to their great taste, they are full of antioxidant protection and immune support, making them an excellent winter food.

Cara Cara navel oranges were formed from a mutation that was discovered on a Washington navel orange tree in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela. These powerhouses of Vitamin C were brought to Florida in 1988 and then introduced in California, where they are available from December through April.

Cara Cara oranges were once considered a “boutique” orange, but seem to be becoming more widely available. I live on the East Coast and I’ve mostly seen them at health food markets and Trader Joe’s, from January through February.

They taste great segmented in salads or juiced for a refreshing morning boost.  If you prefer oil-free salad dressings or are cutting calories, you can use Cara Caras in this Citrus Tahini Dressing recipe by Dreena Burton at Plant Powered Kitchen: 5 Healthy Salad Dressings and Sauces You Will LOVE. This dressing will make your salads extra delicious and can be whipped up in a blender in minutes. 

If you can’t find Cara Cara oranges near you, request them at your local supermarket, and see if you can get a few friends to do the same.  You can also order them online.  I recommend being greedy and buying these in bulk.  I promise you won’t regret it and they will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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