Posts Tagged ‘Grapefruit’

If anyone is getting the winter blues due to over consumption of root vegetables, over-ripe apples, and imported fruits and vegetables from Mexico and South America – here is your wake up call.  In the United States we grow the most delicious, ripe and juicy fruits in the dead of winter.  Citrus!  Because citrus is in season right now you can buy it at low prices.  Recession food anyone?  If that isn’t reason enough to buy citrus, it is also packed with Vitamin C that helps your body fight through the cold season by potentially reducing cold symptoms and the severity of colds.


I am going to discuss a few of the many nutritional and health benefits of ruby red grapefruit as well as provide you with some ymmy recipes.  First off,  for all the dieters out there, grapefruits are a lower-calorie fruit.  Compared to a navel orange – one navel orange about 3 inches in diameter provides 70 calories and 18 grams of carbohydrates while half of one large grapefruit provides only 37 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates.  Therefore grapefruit can be part of a weight loss diet by helping to reduce calorie intake.

Ruby red grapefruit has lycopene.  Yes, that same nutrient that was found to be beneficial in tomato products.  It helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men and for everyone else it helps can protect your heart.  The pectin in grapefruit also helps protect your heart by slowing the progression of atherosclerosis and even lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in human studies.  This effect was more pronounced with ruby red colored grapefruit.

Limonoids are a group of phytonutrients that inhibit tumor formation.  Limonin’s presence in the body has been shown to prevent cancer cells growth and multiplication.  In grapefruit, and other citrus, limonoids are readily absorbed and used by our bodies making them a great source of this compound and potentially cancer-fighting foods!

I have only named a few benefits of ruby red grapefruit – and trust me there are many more.  Grapefruits are also a good source of folate, potassium, and fiber.  One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the taste.  They are the best-tasting grapefruits.  They are slightly sweet and not nearly as bitter as white grapefruits.  At their best you can eat them without adding any sugar, though sometimes s very tiny sprinkle helps.  My favorite thing to do is slice one in half, put it in a bowl, and scoop out the yummy fruit sections with a spoon.  Other nice ways to use a grapefruit and its juice is in salads and to make a wonderful vinaigrette.  Think lemon vinaigrette – only with fresh grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice!

Recipe: Mixed Garden Lettuces with Avocado, Ruby Grapefruit, and Pecans

Recipe: Grapefruit Vinaigrette

The above recipes are from one of my favorite cookbooks – Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville.

Here is the nutrition breakdown for one half of a grapefruit (123 grams):

  • Calories:    37
  • Total Fat:    0
  • Cholesterol:  0
  • Sodium:   0
  • Total Carbohydrate:  9 grams
  • Dietary Fiber:   2 grams
  • Protein:    1 gram
  • Other:  Vitamin C – 76% daily value

I encourage everyone (except those on certain heart medications that need to limit their grapfruit intake) to go out and buy some of these before winter has passed us by.  Eat up!


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Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with a mild, somewhat sweet flavor.  It’s shape resemebles arugula, but with pointed, jagged edges on the leaves instead of round ones.  It is used in mesclun salad mixes, stir frys and soups.


In class this week, we used baby mizuna in an appetizer we prepared.  It was dressed lightly with a grapefruit vinaigrette and plated in a nice bunch next to a fan of sliced scallops and a few ruby grapefruit sections.  The bright greens, the ruby-pink fruit, and bright white scallops looked beautiful together.  A dab of neon-orange fish roe was placed on the scallops to add another color and texture dimension.

The concensus was that mizuna is delicious!  Especially with the grapefruit vinaigrette.  Maybe my new favorite salad green.  It was not too fibrous or thick like baby spinach can be sometimes, and not bitter at all like arugula.  It was perfectly delicate and the mildly sweet and tangy flavor was complimented by the slight tartness of the grapefruit vinaigrette.

Nutrition Facts:

The Good: Low in calories, high in folic acid, high in vitamin A and carotenoids, high in vitamin C, and contains glucosinolates which are antioxidants that help prevent certain cancers.

The Bad:  While it may be present in your mesclun mix, it is a specialty item that can be hard to find on its own.  Look at local farmers markets or markets specializing in Japanese foods.  It’s season is May-November, but is hardy enough to be grown as a winter green in a seltered area.

Recommendations:  Like most dark leafy salad greens, mizuna is a nutrition powerhouse.  It is a nice, mild green to incorporate into your salad rotation (in case you’re getting tired of the same mesclun mix, baby spinach, and leafy green lettuce).  Try it with a grapefruit vinaigrette and you will add another punch of vitamin C.  Also, It can substitute for any green in soups or salads.

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