I’m a firm believer that when it comes to eating well and taking care of your health by eating right, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Nourish your body with real foods, and keep it simple. If that good-for-you thing you’re eating or drinking is absolutely delicious, and easy and versatile to cook with, then suddenly forming a new healthy habit becomes easy.
One of my favourite life hacks for achieving this is keeping a bottle of real fruit juice in the fridge. I reach for it throughout the day to add a splash of bright, sweet flavour to the meals I make. But there’s a distinction here that’s very important to note: I don’t mean processed “fruit” beverages, especially ones with added sugar, and most definitely not ones with a long list of ingredients. There should be only one kind of ingredient on the label: fruit.
The best of the bunch is Florida Orange Juice. Out of all the variations and orange juice imitators on the grocery store shelf, Florida OJ is hands down the best. The “Sunshine State” just makes the best oranges, which in turn make the best juice. Plus, all Florida Orange Juice has no sugar added. (Knowing this makes shopping easier—no need to scan the label if you know where it’s coming from.)
When you get the good stuff, aka real, no-sugar-added, honest-to-goodness-old-fashioned orange juice, you reap the benefits.
OJ is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is important for the formation of collagen (a component of bones, gums and cartilage).
OJ is full of potassium, which is important for muscle function. Potassium also plays a role in nerve transmission and helps maintain the body’s fluid, electrolyte and pH balance.
OJ is a good source of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin essential for cell division and healthy red blood cells.
Orange Juice is simple, healthy, uncomplicated, and delicious. Now, here’s how to incorporate it into your family’s meals and snacks.
Making smoothies is probably my favourite way to get in my daily serving of fruits and veggies, and also the number one reason my kitchen goes through a ton of orange juice. I don’t follow a recipe when it comes to smoothies, I just use OJ as the liquid “base” of my smoothie, then toss in whatever fruits or leafy greens I have kicking around in the fridge or freezer. (If you would like to follow a tried-and-true recipe, I recommend this one.)
Smoothies also make an excellent breakfast as well as an afterschool snack. To encourage the kids to make their own, try Jan’s idea for DIY smoothie packets.
Since orange juice is naturally sweet, it makes a perfect popsicle. It’s a familiar flavour kids can gobble down. And you couldn’t ask for a simpler recipe than straight OJ poured into popsicle molds and frozen. Knowing it’s full of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and has no added sugar makes it a total #MomWin.
Make Easy Sorbet (I mean really easy)
Have you heard about “nice cream” aka banana ice cream? I was first introduced to this idea a few years ago by Jan, and it’s been a staple in my freezer ever since. This frozen treat tastes like ice cream but is made from just frozen bananas. In the summer months I like to make a sorbet version by adding frozen berries. In order for the frozen fruit to blend up, you need a liquid, and fresh OJ is the perfect addition to a summertime sorbet.
An easy healthy swap? Stop buying store bought salad dressings, which are full of additives, preservatives, and fat and make your own dressing at home. Make a fresh and flavourful one that screams “summer” like this Orange Balsamic one.
Citrus fruits make excellent marinades, since the natural acids in the fruits help break down the meat fibres. Reach for that bottle of OJ and mix up this zingy marinade—try this recipe for steak fajitas. Orange juice also makes an excellent barbeque sauce and glaze, as well.
OK, so I’m not sure a nutritionist would officially call this advice “healthy”, but let’s be real. It’s summer, and you’re going to be kicking back with a refreshing, tasty beverage at some point. So as long as you’re mixing up cocktails, you might as well make them healthier by mixing in some Florida sunshine and benefitting from those extra vitamins.
I love making sangria in the summer anytime I’m hosting a get-together, and I always add a generous glug of OJ to the pitcher along with the wine, chopped fruit, and a dash of either vodka or triple sec. I also highly recommend checking out this site for endless ways to incorporate OJ into delicious drinks. I’m especially curious to try the BeerMosa. (A recipe with only two ingredients? Score.)
This post was created in partnership with Florida Orange Juice, but all the opinions are our own. We don’t tell you about products and services we don’t believe in. Parenting is hard enough as it is—no need to wade through extra info we don’t stand by!