White Grapefruit is a Healthy Snack

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that aren’t too expensive and fit into a busy lifestyle. White grapefruit and other citrus fruits are the ideal healthy eats for people of all ages. No matter what your budget is or how fast paced your life is, citrus fruit is the answer when you want a healthy snack. White grapefruit and other fruits like oranges are packed full of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Just one fruit can provide an entire day’s worth of Potassium, Vitamin C, and other minerals.

Citrus fruit is one of the most portable snacks you can buy. Take them with you in a car, on a bike, or commuting to work or school on the train. It is perfect for school lunches and afterschool snacks. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated or necessarily requires utensils to eat.

Here are some tips on  grapefruit:

Uses

Eat fresh, as an addition in fruit salads, cooking recipes, beverages and desserts. White grapefruit is an exceptional fruit to juice with its high vitamin C, and delicious tart flavor.

Selection

Good quality grapefruit have a smooth, firm and shiny skin. Pick the ones that are medium to large size, and avoid fruit extremely soft or lightweight for its size. Most white grapefruit will have a rich to pale yellow coloring.

Storage

Overall, you don’t need to refrigerate citrus if it will be consumed quickly, but it will last longer when refrigerated. Store any remaining fruit in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.

Nutrition

White Grapefruit is low in Cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. It’s also a great source of fiber and Potassium, as well as an excellent source of Vitamin C. Overall, citrus fruit is jam-packed with anti-oxidants that will recharge your immune system and help your body repair itself. Eating citrus fruit is a fast and easy way to give your body what it needs to stay healthy.

A great way to be sure that your kitchen is always stocked with healthy and delicious, sweet white grapefruit is to order boxes of fresh citrus fruit online.

 

Eat Healthy: Eat White Grapefruit

Eating healthy is something that everyone wants to do but not enough people do. People usually stop eating healthy because they think healthy food can’t be delicious. But when you eat citrus fruit like white grapefruit, a healthy diet can be absolutely delicious. White grapefruit have a wide range of health benefits like lowering cholesterol and helping with weight loss. They are in season and usually available  November through April, a great healthy snack to keep in the pantry during this time.

Here are just a few ways you can add healthy white grapefruit to your diet:

Slice grapefruit and add it to water – Fresh fruit infused water are one of the hottest healthy eating trend, as people are trying to give up unhealthy sodas and drinks filled with sugar. Plain water just doesn’t appeal to everyone. You can get a lot of the benefits associated with eating grapefruit by slicing white grapefruit and adding the slices to water either in a pitcher or in a travel mug. The fruit will infuse the water with vitamins and minerals and it will make it taste refreshenly great. If you want to spice up your routine a little, you can add pink or Ruby Red grapefruit slices to the white grapefruit and mix up flavors.

Bake it for breakfast – White grapefruit has the perfect texture for baking. Baked grapefruit is a healthy breakfast that has less than 100 calories and lots of healthy fiber. Eating fiber for breakfast will help you feel full until lunchtime. Just slice a white grapefruit in half, place it flesh side up on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven until it is soft. If it is a little too tart for you, then you can add brown sugar to sweeten it. But baking it will bring out the natural sweetness in the fruit and you may not need to add sugar.

Drink the juice after a workout – Give your workout a boost by drinking white grapefruit juice afterward instead of water. The juice is full of anti-oxidants that will help your body repair damaged soft tissue and muscle and your body will use the vitamins and minerals in the juice for fuel. Recharge with grapefruit juice after you exercise and you won’t feel the after-workout-energy-slump an hour later. The grapefruit juice will keep you going for hours in a healthy way.

Sending Affordable Citrus Gifts

WINTER GARDEN, FL -  JANUARY 6:  Oranges hang ...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Many people are trying to find ways that they can continue to give nice gifts to their friends and loved ones without having to spend a fortune.

Citrus gifts are a perfect way to give your family and friends something that is useful, healthy, affordable, and a real treat that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves.  There are many different types of citrus gifts that you can give that are appropriate for any occasion. The most popular citrus gifts are usually holiday gifts.  G

iving citrus for the holidays gives your family and friends the chance to enjoy some exotic, delicious and healthy citrus fruits during a time of year when fresh fruit is usually expensive and when people are usually overdosing on chocolates and sweets.  If you want to add a little extra something to your gift you can choose a citrus gift that comes with chocolate covered berries or gourmet nuts or another type of treat that complements the citrus fruits that make up the main gift. Luscious Honeybell oranges, which are only in season between January and February, are a wonderful holiday treat and cost less than most other holiday gifts.  Because you can give one citrus gift to an entire family you can save a lot of money when you buy everyone on your holiday list a gift of citrus.

To make citrus gifts even more affordable you can pick and choose the types of citrus that you want to give.  Fruit of the month club gifts are gifts that keep on giving all year round, but if that is out of your price range try sending a citrus gift of some delicious Ruby Red grapefruits or light White Grapefruits.  Tangelos are another popular gift choice, especially as a family gift, because they are very easy to peel and the segments are sturdy which make them great for children. Any one of the seedless types of citrus fruit also is a very good gift for families with children.  Citrus gifts are affordable for you, but they also are a thoughtful gift in these tough economic times because one of the first places that most families cut back when they need to curb spending is on fresh fruits and vegetables.

A citrus gift will give the family something that they might not have had for awhile – fresh, delicious citrus fruit packed with vitamins and minerals.

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Using Citrus Seeds to Grow Your Own Citrus Fruit

Closeup of Citrus Seeds

Closeup of Citrus Seeds

Have you thought about growing citrus by planting your own citrus seeds?

Citrus plants are very fragrant, have beautiful flowers, and usually grow very well indoors. Citrus fruits are a healthy and delicious snack and can also add a lot of flavor to various gourmet dishes. But if you live in an area where citrus fruits aren’t in season all year round, or if you want to have control over what fertilizers and chemicals are used on the fruit that you eat, you can grow your fruit indoors at home using citrus seeds. Make sure that the seeds you use to start your plants are from a high quality supplier so that they have a better chance of growing properly. 

You don’t have to have a green thumb in order to successfully grow your own citrus at home.  If you are diligent about protecting the seeds and later the plants from drafts, direct sunlight, and other things that can kill or hurt newly grown plants then you should be able to successfully grow your own citrus fruit all year round. The first thing that you will need to start growing your own citrus fruit is seeds.  You can get seeds from a piece of fruit that you’ve eaten, or you can buy seeds from a nursery or home and garden center.

Once you have some high quality seeds you can start the seeds growing by planting them in a small pot using a mixture of potting soil and mulch.  To help the growth process of the plants place a cover of clear plastic wrap over the plants when they are not being watered. This helps to protect the growing plant from the cold and will make the citrus seeds germinate faster. The plants should be kept in a room where the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  It will take a few weeks for the plants to really start growing but after about three weeks you should start to see leaves growing.  When the plants are well established it’s time to transplant. 

Move the plants to bigger pots and use a good quality potting soil to make sure the plants get the nutrients they need.  Place the plants in a location where they can get plenty of sunlight but make sure it’s not direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight can be too harsh for young plants and can burn the newly developed leaves.  As the plant grows you will need to keep repotting it into bigger containers but the plant should always be kept in an area with bright sunlight and a temperature of about 70 degrees in order to get the best fruit.

The quality of the potting soil and even the water that you use can make a difference in whether or not the citrus seeds that were planted grow properly and eventually bear fruit.  Remember that because the plant is being grown indoors all the nutrients it needs have to come from the potting soil and choose a potting soil that is recommended for citrus plants. It’s best to use distilled water to water the plants so that the leaves aren’t harmed by any of the chemicals that are usually in tap water.

Understanding Organic Citrus

Citrus blossoms in bloom

Organic Citrus is gaining in popularity among today's consumers.

When it comes to citrus fruits “organic” refers to how the fruit is grown.  Organic farming uses only natural pest control and fertilizers and never uses chemical weedkillers or pest killers on the citrus trees as they are growing. 

Fertilizers are usually mixed right on the premises and consist of potting soil, compost, hay, and other natural materials.  Growing citrus organically presents some unique challenges to citrus farmers because of the processes that they need to use in order to control pests and fertilize their citrus trees.

When people think of a citrus grove they usually think of a commercially managed grove full of well manicured citrus trees, but an organic citrus grove is a little more chaotic looking than a traditional commercial grove. 

An organic citrus grove will usually have some type of ground cover plant hovering near the trees and there will be weeds everywhere. Weeds and ground cover encourage insects which are the natural predators of insects that destroy citrus trees to make their homes in the grove. Then those insects keep the pests that would ruin the citrus trees under control which eliminates the need for commercial pest control.  The ground cover plants also help insulate the citrus trees in case there is a cold snap or some other inclement weather that could damage the trees.
Another problem that organic citrus farmers face is the issue of how their final products look. 

Commercially grown fruit is treated with preservatives and often covered with a thin layer of wax to prevent damage and to make it look more attractive. Organic fruit doesn’t have those cosmetic touches. Some buyers are put off by citrus fruit that can have dents or minor cosmetic flaws even though the organic fruit is healthier for consumers to eat.  Without preservatives organic fruit also must be rushed from the field to the market, which increases the cost of the fruit.  Even though organic farming is more time intensive and more expensive, which means the final product is more expensive, many farmers are switching to organic farming methods.

Why a Navel Orange is a Citrus Fruit For Many Choices

Fresh Navel Oranges from Florida

Fresh Navel Oranges from Florida

The Navel Orange is one of the most popular of the orange tree varietals and also one of the most unique and versatile.  Most people know that oranges have many important health benefits to humans.  Millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges daily as a source of vitamin C, a main nutritional ingredient of navel oranges.  Vitamin C helps keep the human immune system strong, works to absorb iron in the body, helps heal wounds, and can even aid in preventing heart disease. 

Other important nutrients in navel oranges are beta-carotene, which prevents cell damage, calcium for strong, healthy bones, magnesium to maintain healthy blood pressure and potassium for cell electrolytes in balance.  The high fiber content in navel oranges can help improve cholesterol ratios in the body, which is important in controlling diabetes.  Other nutrients in navel oranges are also known to help to prevent other types of cancer as well, including stomach and esophagus cancer.  One of the best ways to get the right amount of these essential nutrients and others is to drink a fresh squeezed juice from a navel orange or to eat it right off the peel!

The navel orange is also a favorite addition to fruit salads or is used to make preserves or jams, such as the ever popular orange marmalade.  Orange oil from naval oranges is a byproduct of the orange peel which is used to flavor food and drink as well as an important ingredient for fragrance in perfumes and aromatherapy.  Orange blossoms can be dried and then used to make a delicious, aromatic tea.  Gardeners often use orange peels to repel slugs and other garden pests. 

Navel oranges are seedless, and the flesh inside is naturally very sweet and juicy, and its taste is very refreshing.  The blossom end of a navel orange looks like a human navel from the outside, which is how the fruit acquired its name.  When a neval orange is peeled, on the inside of the blossom end there is a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit.  Although navel oranges are clones of a tree originally from Brazil, today they are a very important industry in the United States and grown primarily in Florida, Arizona and California.  Depending on your region of the country, fresh navel oranges are available from winter through late spring.  The kind of navel orange you should buy at the market is one that feels heavy for its size and has no soft spots, outward pitting or mold.

Health Benefits: The Fascinating History of Navel Oranges

Pictured: Oranges Preparing to Be Processed for Fresh Squeezed Florida Orange Juice

Pictured: Oranges Preparing to Be Processed for Fresh Squeezed Florida Orange Juice

Oranges are among the most popular fruits worldwide because of their unique, sweet and refreshing taste.  Also, because not only can they be found in great abundance and varieties, oranges have many important health benefits to the human body.  The navel orange, also known by its scientific term citrus sinensis, is one of the most popular of the orange tree varietals and also one of the most unique. 

Navel oranges are seedless, and once the peel is broken, the flesh inside is naturally very sweet and juicy.  From the outside, the blossom end of a navel orange looks like a human navel, which is how it acquired its name.  Inside, when a naval orange is broken or peeled, you can see a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit on the blossom end. 

The antioxidant vitamin C is a main nutritional ingredient of navel oranges.  Millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges daily as a source of vitamin C.  Vitamin C not only helps keep the human immune system strong, but it also helps the body absorb iron, works to heal wounds, and can even help prevent heart disease.  The human body does not naturally produce vitamin C on its own, so one of the best ways to get the right amount of this essential nutrient is to drink a fresh squeezed juice from a navel orange or to eat it right off the peel.

Other nutrients in navel oranges are also known to help to prevent cancer as well, such as stomach and esophagus cancer.  The high fiber content in navel oranges can help improve cholesterol ratios in the body, which is important in controlling diabetes. 

Beta-carotene is another antioxidant found in navel oranges which helps prevent cell damage.  Navel oranges also contain calcium, which promotes strong, healthy bones and vitamin B6 to boost production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. The high potassium content in navel oranges helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in cells, and its magnesium helps keep blood pressure at an acceptable level.

But one of the most unique things about the naval orange is its history.  To this day, all navel oranges are clones which still originate from a tree in Brazil from almost 200 years ago.  This single tree propagated spontaneous clones and led to being grown in other regions. 

These mutations can only be cultivated through tree cuttings and being grafted onto other trees.  Producing navel oranges is considered a very big industry in the United States and economically important to California, Florida and Arizona where they are primarily grown.

Who Else Loves Valencia Oranges?

Close-Up: Orange blossoms on a Florida Valencia Orange Tree

Close-Up: Orange blossoms on a Florida Valencia Orange Tree

Known as a sweet orange, Valencia Oranges are on average, 2 3/4 to 3 inches in diameter. Valencia’s have a bright orange color and product o to 6 seeds in each fruit.

You can find Valencia Oranges blossoming in the months between March and June. Valencia oranges are able to adapt in various climates, so they can be grown in many different states and countries. Some types that are available for planting are the Rohde Red Valencia, which has a superior peel that is internally flesh colored.

About 50% of this citrus fruit that are produced in the crops are Valencia oranges. It is also the main variety being produced in Florida today.

There are usually two crops after blossoming on the tree – old and new. Its best quality is internally, which is very juicy and sweet, making it a great option for both processed markets and fresh markets. You will rarely find Valencia being harvested before a freeze hit, since it is a late variety.

Most of the hedging is done before or after the harvesting of the crop, but must be done frequently during the same time annually – this helps to prevent having to remove a lot of fruit and wood.

When you’re picking out a selection of Valencia oranges, make sure that they are firm and heavy. It is best to get those that are thin-skinned and smooth. Make sure there are no bruises, mold or other irregularities on them. As Valencia oranges begin to fully ripen, they become a golden color.

During the warm seasons, while the oranges are still in the tree, their skin reabsorbs chlorophyll from the leaves, which causes them to turn green again – this begins at the stem. At this point, the oranges are actually ready, sweet and juicy.

Citrus Fruit Baskets: The Great, Healthy Gift All Year Long

Pictured: Citrus Gift Basket Ready for Delivery

Pictured: Citrus Gift Basket Ready for Delivery

Almost everyone loves citrus fruits of some kind, and one of the most popular and practical gift options, especially in today’s health conscious society, is the citrus fruit basket.  Citrus fruits contain essential vitamins, such as Vitamin C and many others, and are an important food source.  Among the most common and delicious citrus fruits that go into a citrus fruit basket are grapefruit, orange, clementine, tangerine, mandarin, lemon, lime, and kumquat, as well as other fruits that are fresh and available in the United States all year long.

Many gourmet citrus baskets also include pears, figs, apples or grapes as well as nuts, crackers and cheese to add a variety of taste as well as aroma and an elegant look.  Attractively decorated citrus baskets filled with delicious fine fruits and other goodies can be found for anywhere from US$20 to $100 with an easy search on the Internet.  But it’s easy to make and customize your own citrus fruit baskets.

Citrus fruit baskets make excellent gifts for almost any special occasion or event.  The most popular times to send citrus fruit baskets are Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah because they are not only a celebration of life but great for responsibly feeding visitors who drop by your home or office.

A citrus fruit basket can also be enjoyed on more personal holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  A citrus fruit basket in the lunchroom on Secretary’s Day is a sight that will bring a smile of appreciation to every office worker’s face and make him or her feel truly valued by their company.

Other appropriate times to send a delicious, nutritious citrus basket are a birthday, wedding or anniversary, graduation, or the birth of a baby.  The gift of a citrus fruit basket as condolence and sympathy in a time of grieving is more practical than sending flowers. Sending a citrus basket to a mourner allows him or her to focus more on grieving rather than having to provide food and snacks for visitors paying respects.

The gift of a citrus fruit basket is thoughtful, smart and economic and can lead to years of return on your investment, whether you send it to a business or to a family.

Many guides are available online for creating your own citrus fruit basket.  It’s not at all difficult to find the main citrus fruit ingredients, and many people who do it themselves find that it’s and interesting and fulfilling task.  In fact, some of them have enjoyed it so much that they have gone on to start their own citrus basket making companies.

You’re limited only by your imagination!

A Citrus Fruit Basket Is a Great Gift for Any Special Event or Holiday

Fresh Citrus Gift Basket: Perfect for Any Occasion

Fresh Citrus Gift Basket: Perfect for Any Occasion

Sending a citrus fruit basket as a gift for almost any special occasion is a smart and economic investment and always appreciated by the recipients.

Whether it’s a holiday like Christmas or Hanukkah, a special event such as the birth of a baby, a graduation, a wedding anniversary or as condolence in a time of grievance, an attractively decorated citrus basket filled with a variety of delicious fine fruits along with other goodies really shows you care.  It’s easy to make a citrus fruit basket on your own, but if this is not an option, you can find the citrus basket gift you need on the Internet for anywhere from US$20 to $100 with an easy online search.

One of the great things about citrus fruit baskets is that the main ingredients are usually easily available in the United States all the time. The most common citrus fruits that go into a citrus fruit basket are grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, clementine, mandarin, kumquat, pummelo and sometimes other more exotic citrus fruits. Most gourmet citrus baskets also include apples, pears, figs and grapes to add a variety of taste, as well as aroma and an elegant look. Nuts, crackers and cheeses can also be added (as appropriate to the occasion) to make the citrus fruit basket even more inviting.

Citrus fruits have an interesting history that go far back to ancient times. Before the fruits became known as important food staples containing essential vitamins, such as Vitamin C and numerous others, the fragrance of citrus trees, including their fruits and flowers, perfumed rooms, were thought to repel insects, believed to be remedies for poisons and to sweeten breath. Historians claim that Alexander the Great brought the first citrus trees and shrubs to Greece from India in 4th Century BCE. Citrus fruits are shown in many ancient art works, such as relics of the early Christian tile mosaics in the churches of the Emperor Constantine in Istanbul, Turkey. Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing citrus fruits to the New World in 1493.

Almost everyone loves citrus fruits. A citrus fruit basket is a celebration of life, and the gift of a citrus fruit basket is an expression of love and caring. It’s also a very useful gift, especially in a time of mourning when the recipient can focus more on grieving rather than providing food and snacks for guests. In fact, a citrus fruit basket is hit in any party situation or gathering — so why not send one to yourself, whether your party is for 100 people or only two!

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