Grapefruit

February is National Grapefruit Month!

Wash. Peel. Eat. How easy is that?

Grapefruit is the perfect food to take on the go. It is packed full of nutrients and travels well for lunch or a snack. Although you may want to believe there is truth in the myth that grapefruit has an enzyme that will burn fat – it is just a myth. It IS, however, rich in vitamin C and fiber and the pectin in fresh grapefruit may help lower the bad type of cholesterol.

While it can be part of a balanced and nutritious diet, grapefruit can have serious consequences when taken with certain medications. Currently, there are more than 50 prescription and over-the-counter drugs known to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that can have negative interactions with grapefruit.

When taken with medicine, grapefruit can delay, decrease or enhance absorption of certain drugs. Ask with your doctor or pharmacist whether your medication interacts with grapefruit, grapefruit juice or other citrus products. Seville oranges (often used to make orange marmalade) and tangelos (a cross between tangerines and grapefruit) affect the same enzyme as grapefruit juice, so avoid these fruits as well if your medicine interacts with grapefruit.

Grapefruit received its name because the fruit grows in clusters like grapes. There are three major types of grapefruit available in the United States: white, pink and red. Though the color doesn’t affect the flavor, the more colorful the fruit, the more beneficial it is to the body. The pink and red grapefruit get their color from carotenoids that add Vitamin A to your diet, an essential nutrient for good growth, skin development and eyesight.

Choose grapefruit that are round, smooth and heavy for their size. If it is puffy, soft or pointed at one end it’s a sign of poor quality. Glossy rinds with slightly flat ends are preferred. Grapefruits can be left at room temperature for a week, and are juiciest when slightly warm rather than chilled.

For longer storage, they can be held for up to 8 weeks in the refrigerator.

Grapefruit Salad and Vinaigrette

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 10 cups fresh greens
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 avocado sliced

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Cut fruit into bit size pieces, and slice the onions. Toss fruit with lettuce and onion. Mix remaining ingredients for dressing.

Drizzle over salad and toss just before serving.

Recipe from: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension

Cami Wells is an Extension Educator for Nebraska Extension in Hall County. Contact her at (308) 385-5088 or at cwells2@unl.edu. Visit the Hall County website at www.hall.unl.edu

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