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While oranges are frequently thought to be a summer edible, individual varieties are actually in season throughout the year. The tart citrus fruit is thought to have begun its life as a more sour fruit in 2,500 BC, growing wild in Northeast India and Southwest China, and used mainly for its scent rather than for eating. The Romans brought this early version to Europe, and it later spread to Spain in the eighth and ninth centuries due to Moorish conquerors. The sweeter version we know today came into existence sometime afterward, and eventually made its way to Central America and Brazil.
Oranges are wonderful for protecting the immune system: They offer beta carotene to shield the body’s cells from damage, and potassium to help maintain proper cell balance. Their calcium content helps delay the weakening of teeth and bones, and their thiamin supply helps convert food into energy. And of course there’s the Vitamin C dose you get with each bite—about 70 mg for a medium-sized orange. Given that the recommended daily allowance is 75 mg for adult women and 90 mg for adult women, that’s pretty good stuff!
Here’s a recipe for Vegetarian Orange Glazed Tofu, courtesy of Vegetarian.About.com.
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Vegetarian Orange Glazed Tofu
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, well pressed and diced into cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
Sautee tofu and garlic in olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until tofu is just lightly browned.
Stir in soy sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, marmalade and ginger, whisking to combine and coat tofu.
Heat for 3-4 minutes, then add cornstarch and water, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce thickens.
Serve over rice or another whole grain.