Co-op Blog

All About Cara Cara Navels (+Recipes!)

Catch some great deals in our Produce Department this week and every week! Cara Cara Navel Oranges are one of the stars of citrus season. With good acidity and sweet flavor, the Cara Cara orange is believed to have developed naturally in the late 1970s as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel. Use these excellent quality red-fleshed navel oranges as you would other citrus fruits. Peel and section for juicing and adding to smoothies and salads.

Feature Cara Caras in a twist on the traditional Caprese salad featuring fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes: try serving sliced Cara Cara Navels with cracked pepper, fresh mozzarella, and layers of fresh spinach leaves. Or try your hand at making a delicious treat: Cara Cara Navel Orange Curd. Similar to a bright and zippy lemon curd, use this sunny colored jam-curd to use in baking, spread on toast, swirl into yogurt, or add to smoothies and ice cream.

Cara Cara Orange Curd Recipe

(Recipe adapted from Yields approximately 1 cup


  • Juice from 2-3 oranges (1/2 – 3/4 cups juice)
  • Zest from one Cara Cara Navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar (substitute 1-2 oz. raw honey or agave syrup)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and diced
  • pinch of salt

Cara Cara Navel CurdDirections: Pour the orange juice into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring the juice to a simmer and cook for 2-4 to let it reduce down to approximately 1/4 cup. Transfer the orange juice to a measuring cup to cool. Stir in zest and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, yolks, and sugar. When the orange juice has cooled to room temperature, whisk it into the egg mixture in a steady stream. Pour the egg and juice mixture back into your small sauce pan and set it over medium heat. Stir slowly but constantly until the mixture has thickened to a pudding-like consistency – about 6-8 minutes or until the mixture is 180°.

For a smoother texture: strain the mixture into a clean bowl to remove the zest and any bits of cooked egg. While curd is still warm, stir in butter and the pinch of salt and mix well. Store Cara Cara Curd in a clean jar with a lid, for up to one week.


By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.