Greetings from sunny Florida! That’s what the box on the gift of oranges read. This gift has been excellent and came at the perfect time – while SensitiveHusband and I wait for the next snowstorm, we have been able to enjoy really fresh, juicy, delicious navel oranges!
According to the Florida Department of Citrus, the Florida varieties that are currently in season include Temple Oranges, Honey Tangerines, Red Grapefruit, Pink Grapefruit, White Seedless Grapefruit, and Juice Oranges. Since the rainfall in Florida has been lighter than usual this year, the crop is estimated to be 142 million boxes, which is almost 5 million boxes fewer than the 2011-2012 season. According to Florida Citrus Mutual, the Florida citrus industry creates a $9 billion annual economic impact, employs almost 76,000 people, and covers about 550,000 acres.
Last weekend I decided to get a little creative by figuring out how to bake with an orange. I took inspiration from a recipe for Orange Oatmeal Cookies and made a number of ingredient swaps and substitutions to remove the butter, cane sugar, cream of tartar (since I didn’t have any on hand), and reduce the gluten (although these could be made gluten free if you prefer by swapping the whole wheat flour out and replacing with brown rice or millet flour). I also enjoyed using my great-grand-aunt’s green juicer, shown above. I pictured her laughing and smiling while I juiced the orange and made the cookie dough. The result was a hearty and perky cookie that is delicious at any time of the day…even as a mid-morning snack! Whether you are enjoying a day at the beach or watching the snow fall (I am in the latter camp today), these cookies use ingredients that are easily obtained year-round.
Freshly-Squeezed Orange Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large naval orange, zested and juiced
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix together canola oil and maple syrup in a large bowl. Stir egg white and applesauce into mixture. Stir in orange juice with pulp and orange zest.
Mix flours, oats, (optional) walnuts, baking powder, and cinnamon in a separate bowl; fold into the large bowl of wet ingredients until evenly incorporated.
Drop by heaping tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until bottom of cookies are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
I am sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.