While winter rushes in with brisk breezes and chilly temperatures, staying indoors to avoid the weather shouldn’t mean forgoing healthy habits. One step toward wellness is maintaining nutritional value in meals from morning to night, even when comfort foods call your name.
As a key source of nutrients that supports a healthy lifestyle year-round, especially during cold and flu season, one 8-ounce serving of orange juice provides more than 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and is a good source of potassium, folate and thiamin. Fortified juice also contains 15 percent of the daily value of vitamin D, which plays an important role in regulating immune response and helps cells fight off bacteria and viruses that enter the body.
Additionally, 100 percent orange juice is virtually the only dietary source of a unique, powerful phytonutrient (naturally occurring plant compound) called hesperidin, which may also help support a healthy immune system. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the flavonoid hesperidin is highly concentrated in citrus and rarely found in other foods.
“Maintaining a well-balanced diet is one way to help support your immune system in the colder months,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “For example, 100 percent orange juice contains vitamin C, vitamin D (in fortified juice) and phytonutrients like flavonoids and colorful carotenoids, making it a nutritional powerhouse.”
This orange honey-glazed carrots recipe offers a warming yet nutritional, naturally sweet way to incorporate orange juice into your winter menu. Orange juice is also a go-to ingredient for popular non-alcoholic drinks like this orange juice mint mocktail, a perfect pairing for winter meals.
ORANGE HONEY-GLAZED CARROTS
2 cups sliced carrots
¼ cup Florida Orange Juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
fresh parsley, for garnish
fresh chives, for garnish
■ Steam carrots until tender.
■ In saucepan over medium heat, whisk orange juice, honey, cornstarch, salt and ginger.
■ Cover, whisking constantly until sauce thickens.
■ Pour sauce over steamed carrots. Top with parsley and chives.
ORANGE JUICE MINT MOCKTAIL
2 cups orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
½ cup carbonated water
2-3 mint leaves
■ In pitcher, stir orange juice, lemon juice and water.
■ Divide mocktail evenly among ice-filled glasses and top with carbonated water.
■ Garnish with mint leaves.