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Orange Picking – and Fresh Orange Coleslaw

When it’s January in Southern California, there’s no time for post-holiday blues because the orange season is underway and it’s time to get pickin’!

single orange

One perfect orange.

(Side note to friends who don’t live in Southern California: Sorry. This is not meant to rub in the fact that each day it is 72 and sunny here. It’s just a statement of fact. And we’d love to have you visit any time.)

orange picking

You’ve gotta reach up with the picking pole to get the good ones!

One of our favorite places to pick oranges is at Heritage Park in La Verne, CA. While many of California’s small orange groves have been sold off and repurposed, the orange grove at Heritage Park has been lovingly preserved by the La Verne Heritage Foundation. Onsite is an 1800s farmhouse and barn, surrounded by 1 1/2 acres of citrus trees. You can go there on Saturday mornings to pick oranges and grapefruit, and while you’re there you can take a tour of the frozen-in-time farmhouse (and gawk at the seemingly ancient cooking implements in the kitchen).

Three just-picked oranges resting in the picking pole.

Three just-picked oranges resting in the picking pole.

At Heritage Park, there are navel and Valencia oranges available for picking. Navel oranges are a delicious sweet snacking orange, while Valencias are extra-juicy and perfect for juicing.

orange slice

Cross-section of a perfect navel orange

While it seems like Valencia oranges would be most useful in recipes (because you’re juicing them) we seem to use the navel oranges a lot more. They’re so bright and pretty, and we add them into just about everything (salads, salsas, pancakes, etc.)

Side note: Did you know that the "navel" on a navel orange could be an "innie" or an "outie"?

Side note: Did you know that the “navel” on a navel orange could be an “innie” or an “outie”?

What we’ve done with our navel oranges here is add them into an easy coleslaw. We’ve also made the coleslaw a little extra-orangey by adding orange juice to the dressing. The result is a bright, sweet and tart coleslaw that’ll give you just a little extra spring in your step, whether it’s sunny and 72… or snowing outside.

orange coleslaw

This orange coleslaw is sweet-tart and will brighten up any meal.

Orange Coleslaw

A bright and sweet/tart coleslaw to liven up your plate
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Jeanne Fratello


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 16- ounce bag coleslaw mix shredded cabbage and carrots
  • 2 large navel oranges peeled and sliced


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, orange juice, sugars, and salt. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a large salad bowl, place the coleslaw mix and orange pieces. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Optional: Garnish with additional orange slices.
  3. Note: An easy way to prepare the oranges is to cut them into slices, cut each slice in half-moon shapes, and then gently remove the peel. Then you can separate the segments of the peeled orange slices.


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5 Responses to Orange Picking – and Fresh Orange Coleslaw

  1. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist January 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    This post made me miss SoCal. Born and raised there. I spent many hours picking oranges off my own trees in my back yard (along with other fruits) and at my grandparents. I also miss the sunshine. This slaw looks so fresh and yummy!

  2. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious January 23, 2015 at 6:46 am #

    Never heard of Heritage Park, even though I grew up in Upland, next door to La Verne. Hmmmm…must remedy that!

    • Jeanne January 29, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Yes – you should! Such a fun day trip!


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