Grapefruit

grapefruit2

Did you know that February is National Grapefruit Month? Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that is primarily in season in the winter months but it can be found in grocery stores all year round. Grapefruit originated in South East Asia but today it is grown in southern states such as Texas, Arizona, Florida, and California. The growing season for grapefruit in the US can vary. In Arizona and California, the season goes from January to June; in Texas and Florida the growing season is slightly longer, going from October to June. During times of the year when grapefruit is not in season in the United States it is often imported from other countries.

There are two different types of grapefruit, seeded or seedless. The inside flesh comes in two different colors; white or pink but the skin of the grapefruit is typically yellow for both varieties. When choosing a grapefruit to purchase at the grocery store try to purchase one that is bright in skin color with no noticeable bruising. Try picking one that is more firm and a little on the heavy side, the heavier the grapefruit the more fruit and juice there is on the inside. A grapefruit can be stored on the kitchen counter but it will keep fresh much longer in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks!

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber; the extra fiber will help keep you full longer which makes grapefruit an excellent snack choice. Grapefruit also contains folic acid and calcium. A pink grapefruit in particular is high in Vitamin A, which is good for protecting eye health and maintaining a healthy immune system. Grapefruit is also full of antioxidants that can protect cells from damage by free radicals and therefore can reduce the risk for cancer and other certain diseases.

It is good to remember that while grapefruit has great nutritional benefits it does interact with certain medications such as cholesterol lowering medications. Be sure to check your medications for possible interactions with grapefruit before eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Try the recipe below for a tasty grapefruit treat!

Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit
Makes 4 servings, ½ grapefruit each
Ingredients:
2 red or pink grapefruit
8 tsp packed light brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp melted butter
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp non-fat or low-fat plain greek yogurt
1 tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Position the oven rack about 3 inches from the heat source, preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Cut each grapefruit in half, then trim a thin slice off the bottom so it sits level. With a paring knife or grapefruit knife, cut around each segment; remove any seeds. Place the grapefruit halves on the prepared baking sheet. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brust each grapefruit half with butter, then sprinkle with about 2 tsp of the sugar mixture.
3. Broil the grapefruit, watching carefully and rotating the pan front to back once halfway through, until the tops are bubbling and golden brown, about 7-12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, beat cream in a small bowl until stiff. Beat in yogurt, granulated sugar and vanilla just until combined. Serve each grapefruit topped with a tablespoon of vanilla cream.
Nutrition Information: 138 calories, 5 g fat, 24 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g fiber, 8 mg sodium
Recipe Source: http://www.eatingwell.com

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