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Can You Pick a Favorite? Your Expert Guide to Types of Oranges

Types of Oranges

There are so many delicious oranges to choose from, we can't pick just one citrus! Here is a guide to the many types of oranges to try. What will you choose?

Did you know that there are only two different categories of oranges?

Each category has several varieties within, making orange decisions a little more complicated.

All oranges fall into the category of either sweet or bitter, so which ones do you prefer?

Continue reading to discover the popular types of oranges and what each one has to offer.

The Expert Guide on Types of Oranges 

As mentioned above, oranges can be sweet or bitter, however, there have been some hybrids that we have all come to love. 

If you are looking to grow your own citrus tree, oranges shouldn't be overlooked when making your selection. They have many health benefits and taste amazing. Growing a tree isn't too difficult and gives you the ability to readily have oranges that you can eat and cook with. 

So what are some of the types of oranges that you can choose from? 

1. Blood Orange

This is an extremely unique type of orange, it has a thicker peel and on the inside is a bright ruby red color that resembles blood (hence the name).

Blood oranges are both sweet and tart and give off a strong fragrance that will make your mouth water. They are dense and filled with a lot of juice, making it a perfect option for smoothies, snacking, and cooking with.   

2. Navel Orange

Navel oranges are the standard type of orange that nearly every grocery store or market has to offer. 

They have a thick skin but are easy to peel and go great with salads and for afternoon snacks. Navel oranges are not as juicy as compared to blood oranges and they offer a more bitter taste. 

3. Mandarin Orange

Mandarin oranges are often much smaller than other types of oranges and have a sweeter taste with little acidity. 

The thin skin that they have makes them easy to peel so that you can get your citrus easily. Clementines and tangerines fall into this variety of orange, which is very popular among consumers. 

Mandarin oranges are excellent sources of Vitamin A and C, making them a healthy option to snack on. 

4. Bergamot Orange 

Have you ever had Earl Grey tea? 

If so, you may be familiar with the taste of a bergamot orange because it's peel is used in the tea. Not only is it a main ingredient for tea time, but it is also used as a perfume.

Bergamot orange has a unique fragrance that you won't forget. It can be either yellow or green, depending on how ripe it is, and is a hybrid of bitter orange and lemon. 

5. Valencia Orange

The Valencia orange is a sweet option that won't have you disappointed in the summer when it is harvested.  

Many people believe that they come from the city in Spain, but they, in fact, come from California. They are one of the most popular types consumed because of their delicious taste and abundance of juice. 

Orange You Glad You Know All the Types? 

There are many different types of oranges and trees to choose from, and each option is unique in its own way. 

Selecting your favorite orange can be difficult because each one has benefits and can be used for a variety of dishes, drinks, jams, and perfumes. 

Be sure to take a look at the citrus trees we offer so that you can select your favorite one and have it in your home to grow an abundance of delicious oranges! 

What are Satsumas? Sweet Mandarins You Have to Try

Satsuma Mandarins

Have you heard of Satsumas? Don't miss out on this sweet and juicy variety of mandarin oranges. Read on to learn why you can't go wrong with Satsumas!

Mandarin oranges are some of the most versatile, delicious citrus fruits available. Among mandarins, Satsumas are the cream of the crop. Their great taste and convenience in growing and consuming make them the perfect choice whether you are picking up one to enjoy for lunch or investing in a grove to harvest.

Here are eight reasons why Satsumas are worth growing and enjoying!

1. They Have a Long History

The Satsuma’s name comes from the name of the Japanese province where it came from more than 700 years ago. Jesuits brought the fruit to the United States by way of Louisiana. 

Some think the fruit originated in China (hence its connection with the mandarin kind of fruit). 

Legend has it that the name “Satsuma” is credited to the wife of a United States minister to Japan, General Van Valkenberg, who sent her the trees in 1878 from Satsuma. Between 1908-1911, nearly a million budded trees were transported to the Gulf States.

2. They Can Withstand Frost

Satsumas are considered cold hardy and can withstand major drops in temperature. 

However, they are sensitive and may not withstand travel as well as their peers, clementines and mandarins. Their distinctive skin, which makes them so easy to peel, is not as effective in preventing bruising and damage. 

3. They are Great in All Kinds of Recipes

Satsumas go well in many kinds of foods and beverages, from gin and tonics to citrus-flavored cake. The juiciest and sweetest member of the mandarin family, they also boast a deep reddish-gold color which can look very attractive in salads, desserts, or as a garnish.

Because of their intense flavor, Satsumas go well in a sauce over proteins like chicken or fish. Add them to hot oil with some fresh herbs for a fragrant glaze.

Plus, they make a fun addition to a wide variety of cocktails or sangria.

4. They Peel Very Easily

The skin of the Satsuma makes them easy to open and eat right away. You won't be stuck peeling off the white strings like you may with some other kinds of oranges. 

In a race to get the skin off a clementine, a tangerine, or a Satsuma, the latter will always win.

5. Satsumas are Nutritious

Like all citrus fruits, Satsumas are extremely nutritious. They contain high levels of Vitamin C, which is critical to overall health. Vitamin C helps your skin and hair, plus it boosts your immune system and prevents you from getting sick. 

The citrate in citrus fruits like Satsumas can also help break up the formation of crystallized minerals which cause kidney stones. They are low in calories and will fill you up easily, helping with weight loss. They have also been found to help prevent cognitive decline with conditions like Alzheimer's.

7. They're Low in Sugar

A typical Satsuma has about 65 calories. Although it is sweet, it is relatively low in sugar. That makes it an excellent snack, satisfying the need for sweetness without the empty calories of sugary treats.

In fact, adding the juice of a Satsuma to a drink of sparkling water or a cup of yogurt is an effective way to quench your sweet tooth without the ill health effects of sugar.

8. Kids Love Them

What's not to love about a Satsuma? They are little and easy to open, with very few seeds. You can stuff a couple in a lunch box, or keep some in your purse for whenever your little ones need a snack. 

Satsumas are the perfect way to get your kids - or anyone! - to eat something nutritious. Plus, they are super easy to clean up.

Satsumas: Nature's Little Gift 

Whether you want to grab some at the grocery store or grow a Satsuma mandarin orange tree yourself, you can't go wrong with Satsumas.

With a myriad of wellness benefits plus lots of other appealing characteristics, these little fruits will keep everyone you know healthy and happy.

For more on Satsumas and every other kind of citrus fruit under the sun, including health benefits, how to grow citrus and recipes, check out our blog!

5 Mandarin Orange Tree Hacks You Need to Know Now

A Growing Mandarin Orange Tree

Growing a mandarin orange tree comes with some amazing hacks to make the process smoother, easier and quicker. What hack will help you the most?

Growing your own fresh fruit can be so rewarding. You get to have delicious fruit that comes as a result of your own hard work!

In some instances, however, growing a new plant or tree may not always be easy. 

How can you grow a mandarin orange tree more smoothly? What are some tips and tricks to help things become more simple?

Keep reading to find out 5 ways to make the process of planning, growing, and maintaining a mandarin orange tree easier!

Hacks to Grow the Best Mandarin Orange Tree

The good news is that mandarin orange trees are generally low maintenance. This doesn't mean that you don't have to do some extra work though. What can you do to make your tree more efficient and make sure your fruit grows?

1. Harvest the Fruit Right Away

A lot of people think that they can leave the fruit on the vine once it starts to ripen because you can do that with other citrus fruits.

Mandarin oranges, however, have to be picked right away when they are ripe.

If they are left on the vine, the flavor will start to decline and it won't be as tasty. Once the fruit is orange with no green left on it, you want to pick it! This is good for the fruit and for the tree itself.

2. For Potted Trees...

Your pot needs to be at least 3 times bigger than the tree's root ball. Water the plant regularly as it grows and if you live in a dry climate, you may need to water it more often.

Although it may not be the most pleasant thing to handle, compost and manure can do wonders for your tree. If you mix these elements into your well-draining soil in the pot, the tree will get more nutrients. For more info, check out our citrus tree care guide.

3. Don't Prune Just Yet

You don't have to prune a mandarin orange tree until it is at least three years old. The only thing you do have to do is remove dead or diseased branches on the tree.

Even though mandarin orange trees are the most tolerant to cold of the citrus trees, you will have to cut branches damaged by frost.

This may only happen in climates that have extremely cold temperatures, but it is worth looking out for to save yourself (and the tree) trouble in the future.

4. Light and Temperature

A mandarin orange tree needs at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. If you are growing it inside, you might need to invest in some grow lights to keep the tree healthy. Learn more in our post about growing mandarin orange trees in containers.

Remember that these are fruits that originated in warm parts of the world, so you need to keep the temperature at a good range as well. 65 degrees tends to be a good spot to aim for.

5. Don't Move the Plant Too Suddenly

By this, we mean don't move the plant to a new location without giving it some time to adjust to it. You can gradually let the tree get used to its new home by exposing it to a new location for a little while and then moving it back.

Increase the time a little bit every day until you feel it is ready to stay indoors or outside.

Grow Your Tree Today!

As you can see, growing a mandarin orange tree doesn't have to be rocket science!

In fact, it can become a fun hobby and help you learn a little more about citrus gardening when you do it correctly. At the same time, you'll be able to produce fresh fruit to try out some healthy, tasty, and delicious mandarin orange recipes!

Check out our blog post on taking care of a mandarin orange tree for more valuable growth and maintenance tips!

Don't own a tree yet? Take a look at our exotic citrus tree collection to discover a variety that suits you!

Tangerines vs Mandarins vs Clementines: What's the Difference?

Tangerines vs Mandarins vs Clementines: What's the Difference?

Tangerines, mandarins, and clementines - they're all oranges, but what's the difference? Read on to learn about tangerines vs mandarins vs clementines.

What is orange, round, and tastes deliciously sweet? The answer could be tangerines vs mandarins vs clementines.

Oranges are one of America's favorite fruits. Over 60 percent of Americans regularly buy oranges. 

And yet, despite the popularity of the orange, many people get confused by the different types of oranges

In this article, we'll reveal the differences. Let's get started!

Let's Start with the Mandarin Orange 

The mandarin orange is the ancestor of every other type of orange. It's the original orange, so to speak.

You can spot a mandarin orange by the flat ends. Even though other types of oranges may roll off a surface, the mandarin orange sits still.

It, therefore, resembles the shape of a pumpkin. This makes it the perfect replacement for your Halloween decorations. 

Mandarin oranges also marketed as "easy peel." That's for good reason. You can peel a mandarin in just a few moments. 

Tangerines vs Mandarins

Before the internet, arguments about the difference between tangerines vs mandarins would last forever.

But now it can be revealed that the difference is not much really. In fact, the words mandarins and tangerines are largely used interchangeably.

The reason is that tangerines are actually a type of mandarin. So, how do you know whether you're eating a tangerine or just another regular mandarin?

Well, you can identify a tangerine by the thinner-skin around the juicy bits inside. It's also a slighter brighter orange and a little larger as well. 

What About Clementine Oranges?

Now, this is where it really gets confusing. Clementines are also a type of mandarin orange. You can spot the difference because they're much smaller than the tangerines. 

Clementine oranges are especially suitable for children since they don't contain any pesky seeds. The sweetness can be enjoyed without the hassle.

You may encounter clementine oranges sold as "sweeties."

How About Satsumas?

Yes, you guessed it. Satsumas are yet another type of mandarin orange. Satsumas started in Japan, but have since expanded across the world.

The satsuma is even smaller than the clementine orange. It's actually the smallest of the mandarin orange family.

Have you got a sweet tooth? Satsumas are sweeter and more tender than other types of mandarin.

If you buy a bag of satsumas, be careful not to damage them. The tenderness makes them especially fragile and vulnerable to bruising.

As a result, satsuma mandarins are on average harder to find in supermarkets in the United States. But, the good news is that you can plant your own satsuma mandarin tree

Learn More About Citrus Fruits

It can be quite confusing distinguishing between all the different kinds of oranges. But, it's important you know what you're eating before you bite into the sweet and nutritious goodness.

Now you know the answer to the debate about the differences between tangerines vs mandarins. There isn't a difference!

Do you want to learn more about the health benefits of eating mandarin oranges and other citrus fruits? Check out our citrus blog here

5 Delicious Mandarin Orange Recipes You Have to Try

Mandarin Orange Recipes

You've got some fresh mandarin oranges. Now, what do you do with these oranges? Continue below to discover 5 delicious mandarin orange recipes you have to try!

With mandarin orange popularity on the rise, it's pretty likely you have a few in your fruit bowl. But you also don't need a newspaper article to explain the popularity of mandarin oranges. They're just delicious and easy to grow.

But did you know they can also be used in a ton of scrumptious citrus recipes?

Here are 5 mouth-watering mandarin orange recipes that are sure to make you a star come dinner time.

1. Mandarin Orange Curd

While the word curd might give you pause, it shouldn't. Fruit curds are delicious fruit spreads that are super simple to make.

For mandarin orange curd, you only need four ingredients. You'll need mandarin oranges (duh!), eggs, sugar, and butter.

You'll need to juice about six oranges. In the meantime, get a saucepan of water boiling. While you wait on that, mix your eggs and sugar with a whisk and add your mandarin orange juice.

Place the mixing bowl in the boiling water and beat the heck out of it. After it's reached about 170 degrees, take it off the heat, and whisk in your butter.

Then you just need to put it in storage containers, let it cool, and refrigerate it for a few hours. Nothing more to it than that!

2. Baby Spinach and Mandarin Orange Salad

You don't even have to cook for this one.

You'll need some oranges, baby spinach, red onions, orange marmalade, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. All there is to this is to whisk the marmalade and vinegar together. Pour the olive oil into the mixture while still whisking.

Other than that, you'll just need to slice your onions and oranges. Arrange the spinach on a plate, mix in the oranges and onions, and then apply the dressing to your liking.

3. Chinese Chicken Salad

This salad requires a little more prep, but it's worth it. You can also follow your gut on ingredients.

Try starting with napa and red cabbage as the base. Beyond that, you can add whatever classic Chinese food ingredients you prefer. Try water chestnuts, carrots, scallions, and mandarin oranges of course.

In this case, you'll want canned oranges. For the chicken, it's just a simple 13-15 minute bake with boneless chicken breasts. After those are done, chop them up to manageable portions.

For the dressing, mix some soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and any number of spices. Garlic, ginger, and chili sauce are a good start. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and top with toasted sliced almonds.

4. Mandarin Orange Cake

This can be done with a regular store-bought yellow cake mix. Do what you'd normally do, but mix in a can of mandarin oranges with the juice.

After the cake is done, you'll need frosting. For this, mix together 8 oz. of Cool Whip, a can of crushed pineapple, and a small package of instant vanilla pudding.

Between the zest of the mandarin oranges and the tangy bite of the pineapple frosting, you can't go wrong.

5. Mandarin Orange Ambrosia Pudding

All you'll need for the base of this is instant vanilla pudding. Mix that together according to the directions and then add in your other ingredients.

You'll want to add honey, grated orange peel, and vanilla. After that, fold in the whipped cream.

Finally, layer the concoction in individual dessert dishes. Start with half the pudding, then add banana slices, coconut shreds, sliced almonds, and of course mandarin oranges. Repeat the layers and you'll have a delicious treat.

Mandarin Orange Recipes Anyone Can Make

And just like that you know 5 mandarin orange recipes that are sure to be a hit! Try these out at parties or family gatherings and they're sure to impress.

Now that you're ready to cook with mandarin oranges, what if you tried growing them yourself? If you want to try your hand at supplying your own ingredients, try growing your own calamondin tree!