Give Your Pancakes a Flavor Boost With Infused Maple Syrup

Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are all great, but these breakfast basics are really just a vessel for us to eat more maple syrup, right? While unflavored maple syrup is a delight in its own right, every now and then it can be a real treat to dress it up.

Flavoring maple syrup is a fun way to make breakfast an adventure. Here are five delicious ways to do it.

Source: 5 Maple Syrup Twists to Take Your Pancakes on a Breakfast Adventure

I did something similar recently. I made some blackberry sauce by simmering frozen blackberries with a little water and mushing them through a strainer to get out the seeds. Then I heated the sauce with a shot of my homemade vanilla rum and some maple syrup.

It made a wonderful, fruity, purple maple syrup.

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How to Enjoy These Exciting Citrus Before They’re Out of Season

Citrus fruit may taste like sunshine, but the colder months of the year are when the happy tasting delights are in season. You’re surely familiar with oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, but what about blood oranges or Buddha’s hand? There are a ton of more interesting specimens available, and these are some of the best.

Source: How to Enjoy These Exciting Citrus Before They’re Out of Season

No love for carambola (star fruit)? I suppose it isn’t technically a citrus plant. But they’re so damn tasty…

Make This Tangy Citrus Dessert With a Simple Ratio

Citrus fruits, like all the orange varieties, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, truly are winter’s shining stars. With varying degrees of sweetness, tart, tang, and bitterness, these bright fruits have a knack for brightening winter’s coldest days.

Of course, you can eat them out of hand, or turn them into cocktails, vinaigrettes, and baked goods, but one of the very best ways to put that citrus to work right now is by making a sweet and tangy curd.

Source: Your Template for Sweet and Tangy Citrus Curd, 5 Ways

Curd will last five days in the fridge, but three months in the freezer.

Steam Rice with Orange Rind for a Brighter Flavor

There are many ways to perk up a bland rice routine, from adding a few pinches of saffron to steeping rice in beer to enhance its nutty qualities.

One method to boost the flavor of plain rice without upping the calorie count is to throw a few orange skin peels into a boiling pot of rice or a rice cooker.

Source: Steam Rice with Orange Rind for a Brighter Flavor

Another good use for orange peels (or any citrus): Toss them in the garbage disposal to clean, de-stinkify it.

This Is How Your Fruits and Vegetables Look in an MRI Machine

Hey! What are your plans for that artichoke you’ve got there? You’re going to grill it and serve it with some lemon-butter sauce? That’s cool. We’re just going to stick ours in this MRI machine here.

Source: This Is How Your Fruits and Vegetables Look in an MRI Machine

These pics are rather a-pealing.  Orange you glad you saw them?

Juicing Unlocks More Vitamins, But Also Calories and Sugar

We all could probably eat more fruits and vegetables. But if forced to choose between whole fruit or a glass of juice, which one seems more healthful?

The general advice is to opt for the fruit, since juices are stripped of the fiber – which most us don’t get enough of — in whole fruit. And let’s face it: Most juice contains a lot of sugar, which most of us consume too much of.

So our interest was piqued when we spotted a study suggesting that, when it comes to oranges, juice might actually unlock more carotenoids and flavonoids – both beneficial phytonutrients — than an equivalent amount of fruit.

Source: What’s More Nutritious, Orange Juice Or An Orange? It’s Complicated

Fruit juice has also been criticized as a sugary, fiberless drink no better for you than cola. The study shows that orange juice does make certain nutrients more accessible to your body, but not enough to recommend juice over whole fruit.  Keep in mind that a home juicer is not going to pasteurize your OJ. It is well known (or not) that pasteurizing sweetens juices quite dramatically. And since this was done is a test tube (in vitro), actual blood sugar spikes to a cohort population was not even tested.

So is orange juice healthy? That depends on whether it helps you meet your goals. If you’re trying to reduce the sugar in your diet (as many of us should), the sugar concerns may outweigh the benefits you get from the extra micronutrients.  For those who must maintain a very low fiber (low residue) diet, juicing is a great alternative to otherwise problematic fruits and veggies.

What about blending the whole fruit into smoothies instead of just juicing?  In the study, the puree’s nutrients were less bioavailable than the juice.

The Myth of Vitamin C and the Common Cold

You’ve probably heard it a zillion times: take some vitamin C if you feel a cold coming on, and chase away illness with a gallon of orange juice. Even though we know there’s no cure for the common cold, many of us still believe in the sweet, orange elixir and don’t even question what the makers of the stuff guarantee: an 8 oz. glass delivers “100% of the vitamin C” needed to “maintain a healthy immune system.”

Science-ish looked at high-quality studies on the subject of vitamin C and sickness, starting with this recent Cochrane systematic review (the highest form of evidence) on the supplement for prevention and treatment of the common cold. The lead author, Dr. Harri Hemilä, of the department of public health at the University of Helsinki, told Science-ish he has spent much of his career exploring this very question—with some interesting results.

…there is good evidence it has benefits for one specific group of people: those who undertake really intense physical activity such as marathon runners. For them, vitamin C supplementation decreases the incidence of colds by half. These findings, though, do not hold up for ordinary people, Dr. Hemilä emphasized.

Source: The myth of Vitamin C and the common cold

All is not lost – vitamin C is good for:

  • free radical protection
  • collagen production
  • brain health

…and there are better sources than oranges.

Orange You Glad to Know: Etymology of the word “orange”

…when we say orange in English, we can either mean the fruit or the color. What laziness led to the use of the exact same word for the fruit and its color? Why don’t we call carrots or pumpkins oranges instead? Or why don’t we call the color pumpkin or carrot? Which came first anyway: the orange, or orange?

Source: Orange You Glad to Know: The Secret of the Laziest Fruit in English

Color words are actually remarkably hard to track back beyond a point. They aren’t mentioned as often in poetry as we would expect, and at least a few people have posited that prior to the Middle Ages people were color-blind because there aren’t as many color words used in texts from before the Middle Ages.

…but does anything rhyme with orange?