I know it's not local, but of all the citrus fruits, my favorite is grapefruit. Every winter, I look forward to seeing the first grapefruit at the market, and I eat a grapefruit every day. I love it at breakfast time, for an afternoon snack or as dessert after dinner. This girl cannot live by root vegetables alone. Especially since I'm still makin' my way through my all-local Moroccan Veggie Stew . . . .
Grapefruit has a lot of vitamins C and A. The pink and red kinds have more phytonutrients than the white - they've got lycopene, which may help to protect against certain forms of cancer (see also, tomatoes and watermelon). Both blond and red grapefruit can reduce blood levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and a recent study showed that red grapefruit can lower triglycerides too. And at about 50 calories per half grapefruit, it's a great way to eat for your health.
Is there a downside to grapefruit? Yes, grapefruit and/or its juice may interact with certain medications (statins among them), so if you eat the fruit or drink the juice regularly be sure to ask your doc if it could affect any medications you are taking. And also concerning: A 2007 study suggested a link between grapefruit consumption and breast cancer in post-menopausal women. There's conflicting evidence on this, though - in '08, the Nurses' Health Study found the opposite.
Ways to eat your grapefruit:
- With a sprinkle of granulated sugar or a drizzle of honey on top
- On a green or spinach salad
- Juice in a juicer
- Add a little to perk up your green monster smoothie - a green apple, a few handfuls of spinach, and some grapefruit is really refreshing
- Dip it in melted dark chocolate
- Add it to fruit salads
- Squeeze a wedge into a glass of water for a refreshing hydrator
- Blend with olive oil, herbs and spices for a delicious salad dressing
- Combine with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper as a marinade for chicken
- Top grapefruit halves with a little cinnamon and honey and broil for a couple of minutes
For a regional citrus resource - check out this post from Eat Local, Boston about a winter citrus CSA share comin' up the East Coast versus from overseas or the West Coast . . . . orders have to be in by the 14th of this month - and if you choose to partake, let me know what you think, will you?
I leave you with grapefruit trivia: Do you why a grapefruit is called grapefruit? I just learned this - maybe I'm the last to know!?