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Winter Ingredient Essentials:Grapefruit

Tangy and tart with a touch of sweetness, the grapefruit is known for more than its good looks and great taste. Like its citrus counterparts, grapefruit is a vitamin C and vitamin A powerhouse. Clocking in at less than 75 calories per juicy cup, with tons of immune supporting vitamins and antioxidants, as well as potassium and belly-filling fiber, it’s no wonder that grapefruits are such a big hit.

How do I pick the best grapefruit?

Winter is peak grapefruit season, so whether you’re choosing between white, pink, or ruby red grapefruits, go by feel first. The fruit should be firm, yielding a bit to gentle pressure. A ripe fruit will also feel heavy for its size. The skin should be thin and textured. Steer clear of any fruit that is punctured, has thick or wrinkled skin, is mushy or too firm. Disregard any small black or brown flecks on the rind as this does not affect the quality of the fruit and is purely cosmetic.

If you are still having trouble, give your grapefruit a whiff. If it has a strong, sweet citrus smell, and fits all of the previously mentioned criteria, congratulate yourself; you have found a perfectly ripened grapefruit!

What can I make with grapefruit?

Use grapefruit as you would any other citrus fruit. Make a batch of Grapefruit Chicken Fajitas with tangy grapefruit juice marinated chicken, make grapefruit relish or salsa to top off Spicy Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps, add wedges to a salad or treat yourself to some guilt free Grapefruit Brulee. Add grapefruit to smoothies, cookies, cakes and muffins. Whether you bake, broil, or enjoy them fresh out of the rind with a sprinkle of panela, you can delight in the flavor and nutritional benefits of grapefruit throughout the day. The way you incorporate it into your meals is up to you!

Wash grapefruit in cool water and dry right before use. The easiest way to eat a grapefruit is to cut it horizontally and scoop out the wedges or eat it like an orange by peeling off the skin to devour slice by slice.

Storage? For juicy grapefruits, store your fresh picks at room temperature. If the fruit is very ripe or the grapefruit will not be used within a week transfer to the crisper. In the fridge, grapefruit will remain fresh for up to three weeks.

Recipes to try include: Grapefruit Mojito, Avocado Grapefruit and Persimmon Salad and a Bell Pepper and Grapefruit Mocktail.

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