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Fruit Focus: 8 Interesting facts about Lemons

Keeping with our lemon theme for the week we have selected the top 8 interesting facts and uses for lemons that we could find. From cleaning with lemon juice to bleaching our hair blond, lemon is one hell of a versatile fruit.

We know that thousands of people flock to Menton in France every spring to celebrate the lemon at Fete du Citron but what other unique facts about lemons should we be aware of:

  • Did you know that Lemon trees can product up to 600 pounds of lemons per year
  • A few drops of lemon juice scattered over other fruits can prevent them from turning brown, keeping your fruit fresher for longer.
  • Women used lemon juice to make their lips red during the renaissance and squeeze it into their hair it blond in the Italian sunshine.
  • Lemon trees were a sign of prestige in Victorian times and would be a staple in wealthy Victorian homes.
  • During the Gold Rush in the 1840’s lemons and other citrus fruits were used to combat scurvy.
  • Lemon juice and rind is often used as an alternative product for cleaning surfaces.
  • If you slice up a lemon and leave it in a bowl in the fridge you can get rid of unwanted smells. If used correctly it can whiten and remove stains.
  • In Ayurveda practice it is common to drinking a glass of warm water with lemon in the morning.

If you have anymore interesting lemon facts to share we would love to hear your thoughts.

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5 Unique Ways to Use Cranberries at Christmas Time

Like no other fruit cranberries are a symbol of Christmas time. The red berries matching perfectly with the warm glow of heat from the first, the neatly hung Christmas stockings and of course Santa’s red outfit. No other fruit will do at this time of the year.

Do you have cranberry sauce with your turkey at dinner time? Everyone knows that turkey meat is dry so the cranberry jazzes it up and brings a little fruity flavour to the Christmas dinner table.

Cranberries aren’t just a symbol of Christmas, they represent the cosy atmosphere we yearn for in the winter months. Besides the worshipped cranberry sauce there are so many things we can do with this tarty fruit during the holiday season. Here are a few of our favourite ways to use cranberries:

1. A Cranberry Christmas cocktail
Vodka and cranberries go hand in hand. This is so simple and so tasty. Take one shot of cranberry, crush 3 – 4 ice cubes, add fresh cranberry juice, a slice of lime and a few mint leaves. Voila, you have yourself a festive cocktail for visitors during the holiday season.

2. A slice of warm cranberry pie is the perfect way to finish off your Christmas feast. Check out this great easy cranberry pie recipe on the Country Living magazine.

3. Homemade Cranberry Body Scrub
Three ingredients will give you a fruitful cranberry scrub that acts as an exfoliant for up to a month. Simply blend cranberries, coconut oil and sugar into a jar and store in the fridge when you are not using it.

4. Cranberry decorated candles and centre pieces
Wer love these unique ways to decorate your Christmas table with cranberries from Berry World. A little bit of holly, a handful of carnberries and a lot of love will give you a fruitful table for all to enjoy.

5. Cranberry Muffins for Breakfast

Last but not least the humble cranberry muffin (best served with a large spoonful of freshly whipped cream). This is a tasty treat morning, noon or night. A soft bun with sprinkles of cranberries and lots of sugar goodness. What’s not to love. For an easy follow cranberry muffin recipe you can check out A Taste of Home.

For more fruit filled recipes and to enquire about our fruit picking tours please contact one of our travel team.

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Fruit Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Orange Peels

This Chocolate dipped orange peel recipe is inspired by Spain and it has to be the perfect party snack for fruit and nature fans. In addition to being super delicious orange peels are the perfect healthy snack.

We stumbled upon this sweet treat in the beautiful spanish town of Sevilla. Famous for it’s juicy oranges and groves dotted throughout the landscape. This region of Spain forces you to reconnect with the produce around you. In cobbled streets and buzzing restaurants you will find local foods, freshly grown from the nearby fields.

Now for our super simple orange peel recipe that not only delights your guests but save you throwing away the peels too.

INGREDIENTS

  • Seville oranges 450g
  • Chocolate (plain or dark will do) 200g
  • Sugar 250g
  • Water 125ml

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice the peel from the flesh, being sure to keep as much of the pith as possible. Slice it into strips. Put in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and repeat.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over the hot bowl of boiling water.

Dissolve the sugar in water over a low heat.

Mix the syrup and the chocolate together gently and add the peel.

Cook and stir gently for around 30 minutes or until the syrup is mostly absorbed.

Decorate them with zigzags and drippings of the chocolate for an extra touch of party-time.

ADULTS ONLY: Add a splash or two of rum to the syrup mixture to give it an alcoholic kick.

Pick the pieces out with tongs and drain on a rack over a dish. Don’t throw away the remaining syrup.

This tasty easy orange peel recipe will impress friends and give you a fun weekend activity in the kitchen.

Enjoy!

So, why are orange peels good for you? The peel is said to contain Vitamins A, B and C as well as plenty of calcium and iron that we can stock up on for winter. Also, citrus peels contain Limonene which can be found to reduce the skin cancer. A study published by Nutrition and Cancer in 2000 found that people without skin cancer consumed significantly more citrus fruits. However, we must be mindful when eating any fruit and choose organic fruit as much as possible. Fruit that isn’t labelled organic may be grown with chemicals that can have a negative effect. For the most health benefits always choose to buy organic.

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3 Amazing adventures for Food Lovers

The days are long, the nights are lively and the locals are waiting to give you a taste of everything on offer with our taste trails in Europe. We have selected some of our top taste trails for food lovers to inspire your imagination. Each trail offers the chance to taste the freshest local produce, explore vineyards, meet the producers and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Get back to the land this year with these three amazing taste tours:

Stunning vineyard views on the Tuscany Taste Trail

Tuscany is world renowned for it’s natural beauty and a top destination in Europe for good reasons. This trail will take you along the most spectacular landscapes in Italy and alongside world class vineyards. Staying in charming medieval villages like San Miniato you can bask in the laid back restaurants, sampling oven baked pizzas and sipping on delcious local wines. As food lovers this is the perfect combination of adventure, food and fun. An extra treat involves a truffle hunting excursion in the hills of Tuscany. This is a truly unforgettable experience.

For more details and to book a tour go to: Tuscany Taste Trail

Go with the flow in chilled out Portugal

From the valleys in the Douro region to the harbour side UNESCO listed town of Porto, a taste trail in Northern Portugal will force you to chill out and enjoy the slower pace of life.

This tour is perfect for food lovers who enjoy a little bit of sunshine mixed in with a whole lot of culture. The town of Porto in Northern Portugal is full of foodie delights. From fresh fish to the famous Pastel de Nata dessert, you will leave this historic town with lifelong foodie memories. Enjoy strolling through the cobbled streets, tasting the local dishes and learning about the grapes in the nearby Douro Valley. 

In addition to the food, everywhere you turn on this taste trail has something unique to see or learn about. Be inspired, like J.K. Rowling was, by this enchanting town that provides a glimpse into the spirit of Portuguese people. 

For more details and to book a tour go to: Douro Valley Taste Trail

Enjoy the best of french cuisine on the Normandy Fruit Trail

France is stunning any time of the year but Spring and Summer are extra special giving visitors an opportunity to experience its full beauty and charm at a slower pace. It’s time to take to the trails!

There are many food trails in France but we’ll pick our two favourites: the never ending beauty of the landscape and the luxury of having a vineyard tour in the heart of stunning French villages. 

There are endless fruit blossom in springtime and in the summer these transform into delicious cherries in the summer months. From May onwards you will find plums, Strawberries and raspberries all along the trail. These homegrown fruits are just what you need after a day on the trails, bringing colour and a welcome boost of energy. Enjoy chatting with the producers, tasting the fruits and getting a true taste of the french countryside.

For more details and to book a tour go to: Following the Normandy Fruit Trail

For more information about more beautiful taste trails in Europe or to book your next tour please contact one of our travel specialists.

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Coffee beans aren’t actually beans

Did you know that coffee beans are actually seeds? They come from a small cherry red fruit! Our favourite morning beverage comes from a fruit plant.

Dating back to the 15th century, drinking coffee has a long history. It was founded first in Kaffa, a medieval kingdom in Ethopia and known as an effective way to suppress appetite back in the day. coffee-fruit-coffee-beans-did-you-know-orchards-near-me-min

Today small coffee farmers from around the world rely on these coffee plants to make a living. As the world leader in coffee production Brazil harvest over 3 billion coffee plants.

To promote an eco-friendly approach to your coffee consumption look out for Fair trade coffee suppliers and shade grown brands of coffee. The alternative approach to production is known as sun cultivation which involved deforestation, pollution and a lot of chemical festilizers.

A newly planted coffee tree can take up to seven years to produce the fruitful berries. On average it will take 3 – 4 years. The fruit is called a coffee cherry and it often picked by hand. The seeds are removed and dried. This can take up to several weeks. Roasting the green coffee turns it into the brown aromatic beans.

These coffee beans give us a kick in the morning, help us through the day and cover our mouths in delicious goodness. I know that many of us would like to meet the great producers that bring these amazing beans/seeds to life.

If you have anymore fruitful facts please let us know.

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How to reduce fruit waste?

At Orchardsnearme.com we want to help you to be more food friendly, choose to give the environment a hug and really appreciate the land around you. This is what we are all about so do you want to be more fruit friendly and reduce waste? We have a few tips that can help you use the best of what is on and off the shelves at different seasons.

Today everyone is asking you to go green, be more sustainable and think of the environment but do the major shopping centres tell you where their fruit is coming from, how the farmers are treated and squeezed for margin?

We don’t really know how they undergo the selection process when choosing the fruit to display on the shelves. All we can see the best and brightest fruits make it home to our fruit bowls. So where is the rest? A report by the UK’s Global Food Security Group programme found that over two fifths of all fruit can be wasted because it is considered ugly. Now is a good time to say that we love the ugly duckling. In a plastic filled world where botox is trending and filtered selfies are the norm let us not forgot that our individual blemishes are what make us unique.

So if you are looking for the peaches with the dimples check out your local market stalls. They don’t seem to discriminate against misshapen fruit as much as the larger chains. Go into any organic shop to discover dimpled fruits. Be conscious and actively choose the loneliest fruit on the block.

Another interesting study has highlighted the quality of scarred fruits and the results are pretty postitive. If we always picks the aesthetically pleasing fruit it may not be the tastiest. According the a cambridge review study from 2014 found that organic fruit had lower pesticide content and up to a 40 percent higher antioxidant content. So we say to all of our fruit loving friends enjoy the fruit with all of its scars and dimples.

Here’s an idea for a fun night in, do a fun blind taste test for friends at home. Buy several pieces of fruit at different stores and slice them up for friends. I’ve tried this and there is no comparison between the water injected fruit found in many stories versus the organically less modified fruit found on local stores. The latter being simply delicious. We usually have a few bottles of cider to wash the fruit down. Happy Tasting y’all!

Here are our simple tips to help reduce fruit waste:

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If you have any sustainable fruit or food tips please contact our team and we will do our best to share them with the fruit picking community.

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