VegBox Recipes


Oranges Oranges can either be deliciously sweet (e.g. Valencia) or strikingly bitter (e.g. Seville).

The sweeter the orange, the more subtle the flavour, is the general rule.

Seville oranges make fantastic marmalade, which is something to look forward to when they're in season in January.

Although they're not grown commercially in the UK, we've included them on the site because they're so often part of veg box scheme fruit bags.

If they're not in your fruit bag, choose oranges that are firm and juicy - i.e. they feel heavy for their size.

Old oranges do dry out and lose their flavour.

Note: green tinges don't necessarily mean the orange isn't ripe. They're still ok to eat.
In a fruit bowl for about 1-2 weeks.

They will keep longer in a fridge, but may lose their sweetness.
You can squeeze the juice to drink as it is or use in recipes.

You can peel them and eat them (watch out for pips).

You can grate the top layer of the peel (after washing) to add a delicious orange flavour to desserts.

You can candy the entire peel.

You can cut them into slices and preserve them in alcohol.

You can even cut and dry the peel to use in pot pouri!

More Oranges Information

Oranges originated from Asia, but are now grown worldwide. The closest place of production to the UK is the Mediterranean - particularly Spain, Greece and Turkey. However, most production is further afield in Florida, Iran and China.

The name is thought to derive from the ancient Sanskrit word "narang", which is probably the basis of the modern day Spanish name "naranja".

It is said that a single orange contains more than your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. From the 1750s, they were often used on board ships to prevent scurvy (severe Vitamin C deficiency).

Oranges are also a good source of dietary fibre, though they are fairly high in sugar.

If you're watching your weight, it's probably best to eat the orange with its flesh, rather than just the juice. That way you're getting the fibre to fill you up, as well as the sugars.

Caramel Spiced Oranges
This orange recipe is a real treat. The spiced caramel gives a wonderful flavour. The colours are vibrant and you can make it a day ahead. A real party treat. And you can add pink grapefruit, satsumas or clementines, too.
Serves 6

  1. 6 medium oranges (or a mixture of oranges, pink grapefruit, satsumas, clementines)
  2. 200g (8 oz) sugar
  3. 1 cinnamon stick
  4. 6 cloves
  5. 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)

  1. Wash the fruit to remove any waxes from the skins. Use a potato peeler to peel strips of zest off half the fruit (this is just the top, coloured layer of skin. The white pith is bitter, so you don't want that bit).

  2. Put the zest in a pan with 300ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

  3. Arrange the slices in a bowl. Meanwhile, slice the fruit into ½ cm / ¼ inch slices. Use a pair of scissors to trim away the peel and pith (discard). Remove any pips. Arrange the slices in your serving bowl.

  4. Strain the peel / water mixture through a sieve. NOTE: you throw away the peel, but KEEP the liquid.

  5. Use a saucer to stop the fruit floating.

  6. Top the liquid up to 300ml and add the sugar.

  7. Return to the pan. Add the cinnamon and cloves. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, until the liquid is thickening and becoming a syrup. It should be browning slightly (caramelising).

  8. Remove from the heat. Remove the cinnamon and cloves. Add the brandy (if using).

  9. Pour the syrup over the fruit in the serving bowl and weigh down with a plate, to stop the fruit floating.

  10. Leave for a couple of hours (or overnight) for the flavours to infuse.

Serve cold or warm either on its own or with cream / yoghurt. Delicious!

25 minutes plus soaking time

Suggested Orange Recipes

Beetroot & Orange Salad

The combination of beetroot, orange and coriander is fragrant and the flavours really compliment each other.

Beetroot and Celeriac Gratin

This recipe for beetroot and celeriac gratin is on test - but still available for you to try. Why not give it a go?

Beetroot and Fennel Salad With Sage Croutons

This recipe combines raw fennel and beetroot with freshly cooked sage croutons, halloumi cheese and an orange dressing, to make a deliciously crunchy summer salad.

Beetroot And Orange Soup

The fantastic colour of this soup makes a wonderful change from the earthy colours of other winter root vegetables and the greens of winter brassicas.

Caramel Spiced Oranges

This orange recipe is a real treat. The spiced caramel gives a wonderful flavour. The colours are vibrant and you can make it a day ahead. A real party treat. And you can add pink grapefruit, satsumas or clementines, too.

Caramelised Beetroot

This recipe is great because it brings out the sweetness of the beetroot and you can leave it to cook in the oven while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Chickpea "Chole" with Ginger and Tomatoes

This goes wonderfully with Spinach Aloo and Cinnamon and Pea Basmati Rice.

Cod with Chicory and Baby Beetroot

This recipe was provided for us by the VegBox Recipes Number 1 Chicory Fan, Denise Tolson. We don't often feature fish recipes, but this one sounds so delicious, and is so easy, that we couldn't overlook it. Thanks Denise!

Fennel, Orange And Watercress Salad

This is a delicious spring salad, when fennel and watercress are readily available and the freshest, juiciest oranges are available from the Med.

It's only recently that I've worked out how to cook fennel and I've discovered some delicious fennel recipes, of which this is my personal favourite.

I have to admit I wasn't a big fan of fennel, until my mother-in-law made this salad for me. It even persuaded my fussy-eater sister that fennel was worth eating!

Honey & Ginger Poached Pears

This is a delicious recipe, ideal for entertaining. It takes very little preparation, then you just leave it to cool for 4 hours, so you can make it well in advance and whip up some cream at the last minute to impress your guests!

Maple Glazed Carrots

Rather than just boiling your carrots, why not roast them with an orange and maple syrup glaze? Great for winter carrots that need a bit of extra sweetness.

Poached Cherry Pavlova, Vanilla Cream and Toasted Pistachios

This is a pretty luxurious recipe, and it's probably one for a dinner party rather than dessert on a worknight, if you know what I mean, but we include so few of those, and this one was too drool-worthy to pass up : )

You can find the recipe and loads of others in Matt Tebbutt’s new book, "Matt Tebbutt Cooks Country", and we’ve included it in our database courtesy of Mitchell Beazley and Octopus Books. Thanks folks!

Rhubarb Fool

This rhubarb fool is really simple to make. Yet it makes an impressive (if somewhat calorie-rich!) dessert. It's a lovely fruity dessert to herald the start of spring.

Rhubarb Meringue Pie

A delicious spring-time treat. A spiced rhubarb base with a meringue topping reminds you that summer is on its way!

Rhubarb Tart

This sweet flan makes the most of springtime rhubarb. It's a deliciously different way of serving it.

Rhubarb, Ginger & Orange Crumble

A delicious alternative to the classic rhubarb crumble recipe. See the variations for using ginger & orange.

Sebastien Durieu's Prize-Winning Carrot and Courgette Cake

Thanks to all the wonderful folks that submitted their recipes for the Dorling Kindersley "Grown in Britain" Prize Draw.

The recipe lucky enough to be pulled from the bag was submitted by Sebastien Durieu from Glasgow, who says:

"I am trying to eat seasonal food because is fresher and so tends to be tastier and more nutritious. It is also important to support my local economy and reduce the energy needed to transport the food. I feel I am making an effort to reconnect with nature's cycles and the passing of time. I have now started growing my own selection of seasonal vegetables on my patio at home."

Well we like the passion, we love the recipe and we really hope the book is a valuable addition to Sebastien's collection. Here's how to make yours!

Simple Souffle

So what is it about the word "Souffle" that strikes fear into the heart? When did souffles acquire the status of "that which is served at dinner parties only by the most accomplished of cooks"?

Because the reality is, they're easy peasy!

The only "critical" factor is getting your oven to the right heat and not opening the door to check it until 5 minutes before it should be done.

Our favourite tip is the check for done-ness. Give the souffle dish a sharp shove. The souffle should "tremble gently" (poor thing!) rather than wobble. A wobble means more cooking time is needed.

Here is our recipe for the basic souffle. See the "Variations" section for ideas on sweet as well as savoury fillings.

Spiced Rhubarb

Spiced rhubarb makes a great warming dessert. It's a lovely way of enjoying fresh rhubarb and works well with the delicate, early-season forced rhubarb, as well as the stronger-flavoured later season variety.

Traditional Orange Marmalade

Some like it with chunky peel, some like it with fine peel. The beauty of making it yourself is you get to control all that - and the sweetness. And this marmalade recipe is easier to make than most fruit jams.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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