How To Store Your Citrus Fruit

June 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Citrus Fruits, Citrus Varieties

candied-grapefruit-peelsStoring fresh citrus fruits can sometimes seem mysterious. Even when you think you have properly handled and stored your Florida citrus fruit, it spoils and you are left wondering what you did wrong.

Citrus fruit, like all fruit, has certain requirements to ensure that it stays fresh for the longest period possible. Learning these few simple tricks will help you make the most of orange citrus fruits. If you have recently received citrus fruit gift baskets you will want to follow these tips to make sure you get the most out of your lovely Indian citrus fruits.

Storing

Most of the items you would receive in Florida citrus fruit gift baskets can be stored at room temperature for several days. This is a bonus, and can make storing Florida citrus fruit gifts quite simple at first. However, if you find that you and your family do not eat all of your exotic citrus fruit at once, you will want to store the rest of the fruit in a plastic bag to expand its longevity. Also placing your fruit in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator is also recommended for items received in citrus fruit baskets

Long Term Storage

If you feel that you have a large amount of citrus fruit which you want to store for longer periods of time then you may want to consider freezing your citrus. Many people do not realize that citrus can be frozen for later use.

Juicing the fruit and freezing is one way to make sure you get use out of the fruit much later. Peels or zests can also be refrigerated or frozen for cooking purposes later on. Although whole citrus fruits cannot be frozen, you can create delicious healthy deserts with your citrus by using it in sorbet recipes.

 Other Ways of Preserving

There are other methods of preserving citrus fruit as well. If you are willing to invest the time and energy you can turn your citrus fruits into delicious fruit leather. Fruit leather is a type of dehydrated fruit, which can provide healthy snacks for kids and grownups alike.

Certain types of citrus such as grapefruit and mandarin oranges do well canned as well. Use a trusted canning recipe and be sure to follow directions precisely to ensure the life of the fruit.

Where Are The Best Citrus Fruit Grown

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioMany people are interested in understanding what makes Southern Florida citrus fruit so exceptionally sweet in comparison to anywhere else in the United States, because there is such a strong difference. We might at first risk an educated guess that it’s the constant sunshine, which is a requirement but only a part of the sweet treat formula. We may even try to explain how the 121 mile long Indian River that runs through the citrus belt is not fresh water, but salt water called a brackish lagoon that creates an extremely fertile beltway drawing every kind of life from wild bear, to oysters and crabs.

How It is Done

Science shows the Indian River District in Florida has the perfect combination that creates an environment for the sweetest varieties of premium citrus fruits. The differences in other regions like Texas, even though they also have consistent sunshine, creating different tasting citrus fruits altogether, is that this state have individual sets of superior environmental conditions specific to certain citrus species, and can grow them as successfully as Florida.

The difference between states is actually the constant regularity of certain humidity levels and, surprisingly, the different degrees of day-to-night temperature changes. These are critical environmental regulators that vary the sugar to acidic ratios in citrus fruit as they grow and ripen. No secret fertilizers or watering techniques can alter these crops the way that Mother Nature does it. Indian citrus fruits of Florida will always have a distinctive sweet as honey flavor.

If a species of citrus fruit is naturally high in acid, the crop will not do well in Texas because the dry heat environment will create an even more acidic content which would not be pleasant tasting. The same happens in Florida, for example, some of their varieties are much sweeter than the same Texas citrus fruit because of the humid environment and temperature variations.

Tart Flavors vs Honey Sweet Varieties

Drier arid areas produce Texas citrus fruit that are brightly colored with thick peels or rinds, and have a stronger acid than sugar ratio. Texas citrus fruit gifts will be more tart in flavor while still having low acidity and outstanding taste, like their fantastic, large Ruby Red Grapefruit; where Florida’s fresh citrus including their grapefruits are sweeter tasting. Indian River citrus fruit gifts are known for their perfect oranges, while Texas citrus is well know for their deep red pulp of its grapefruits. When looking for the perfect grapefruit citrus flavor, you can’t miss when buying fresh citrus from growers in these states.

The next time you want to really please your family, or send gourmet gift baskets to delight friends and relatives, visit online stores like Hale Groves or Pittman & Davis to enjoy the natural goodness of sweet as honey Indian River citrus fruits, like the All American Honeybells or Texas juicy Ruby Red Grapefruit.

Whether your family prefers natural honey sweet fresh citrus fruits or tart and tangy flavors, serving them fresh oranges, tangerines and grapefruit is the healthiest snack you can provide!

Citrus Fruits You Should Be Eating More

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioPeople of all ages love Florida oranges because they are the sweetest and better tasting. But the usual oranges like Navels, Valencias and Temples, are not the only citrus varieties offering wonderful health benefits. Explore other varieties from the citrus family tree, sensations of health that are richly luscious and loaded with Vitamin C:

  1. Clementine – A relative of the tangerine, this small, sweet, and usually seedless variety of mandarin is best whole or in salads. They are available November through January.
  2. Tangelo – The most popular Florida tangelo variety available is the Minneola Tangelo, often called the Honeybell Tangelo. Known by its distinctive bell shape, the result of a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit for a remarkably sweet and juicy fruit. Honeybells are in season from January through February.
  3. Tangerines – Tangerines are small, dark orange fruits with a smooth, easy-to-peel skin and a deep orange color. They have a richly sweet flavor and are easy to pull-apart due to their naturally formed segments. Tangerines are ideal for desserts or as a sweet nibble and are readily available November through April. 
  4. Ortaniques – The Ortanique is a cross between a sweet Valencia Orange and a Tangerine. Ortaniques are bright orange color with a rich sweet flavor, and are easy to peel and section. This wonderful hybrid blend received its truly unique name from OR-orange, TAN-gerine, un-IQUE. Like other premium citrus, they’re simply not available in supermarkets, but are found online directly from Florida growers and are available March thru Mid-April.

Grapefruit

Grapefruits are known for their tangy sweet taste. Interior fruit colors range from bright pink, deep red to white. Perfect for peeling, cutting, sectioning and juicing, the grapefruit can be eaten as a refreshing snack, in salads and recipes or just drink their wholesome juice. The Florida grapefruit varieties available nationwide are:

  1. Dark Red Grapefruit – Also known as Flame, Ray or Star. The fruit is known for its exceptionally intense dark red, seedless interior and sweet flavor with hardly any bitterness. The rind is smooth and yellow with blush pigmentation.  This grapefruit variety is in season from October through June. 
  2. Red Grapefruit – Often called the Ruby Red Grapefruit, this type of grapefruit is known for its lighter red interior color and also for being seedless. The rind is smooth and yellow with a red blush. Ruby Red’s sweet flavor and seedless characteristics make it perfect for sectioning. They are in season from October through April.
  3. White grapefruit – Sweet White Grapefruit are a welcome guest at any connoisseur’s table. Known for their thin smooth skin and big roll-up-your-sleeves flavor, filled with an abundance of sweet invigorating juice, they are perfect for fresh eating, salads and refreshing juice. They are in season from November through April.

Benefits of Eating Grapefruit In The Morning

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioA serving of fresh grapefruit for breakfast is an excellent way to begin the day. According to ESHA Research, half a serving has 100mg of vitamin C. As a matter of fact, it’s vitamin packed. So skip the “One a Day,” and buy grapefruit instead. This delicious citrus is economical and comes in varieties like Florida Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson and Duncan, as well as white. Many specialty types are found online in fruit baskets.

The deep red and pink colors indicate that the fruit is high in lycopene, which is a carotenoid and phytonutrient. Studies have shown that lycopene is a cancer fighter that can inhibit tumor growth. The fresh fruit is nutrient rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals, which can damage the body’s cells. Men who eat lycopene-rich fruits can greatly reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer.

Grapefruit has a powerful reputation among weight-loss aficionados and for good reason. It curbs hunger, hydrates, contains high amounts of enzymes, and it’s low in sodium, all of which, are metabolism boosting. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, participants in a study who ate fresh grapefruit before meals experienced profound weight-loss results.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your cholesterol in check, you’ll be glad to know that both white and red-fleshed varieties can reduce “bad cholesterol” levels. Grapefruit nourishes the blood with protective enzymes and necessary dietary fibers like pectin, which can also lower triglyceride levels.

Adding grapefruit to your diet detoxifies and cleanses the system of the harmful chemicals we’re exposed to every day. It tones the colon and the digestive tract, and it’s a good source of limonoids, which aid the liver in getting rid of the “bad stuff.”  If you haven’t had yours today, it’s time to get started.

Best Ways of Delivering Fruit Baskets

Are you looking to send a gift basket to someone special in your life? There are plenty of options on the Internet for sending gift baskets, fruit baskets and more. If contemplating to get a traditional wood basket or keepsake basket filled with gourmet oranges or grapefruit and other healthy premium citrus, you’ll want to look at your options for delivery of your shipment. Here are three great options!

iGourmet: This website features fruit baskets with gourmet fruits from all around the world. If you’re looking to give a basket filled with some unusual fruits that you won’t find anywhere else, this is the best option. Artisan food from the U.K. and the rest of Europe are available. Delivery options vary, but you can generally pay to get it to its destination as quickly as you want. This website also offers the alternative to mix in some vegetables with the fruit as well, for an even healthier gift.

Design It Yourself Gift Baskets: This company can deliver a fruit basket that is exactly as the company name says. If you have a friend that really loves a specific fruit, you can load up the basket with more of what he or she enjoys. Many of the site’s products offer free ground delivery if your purchase reaches a certain amount of money. It is possible to mix and match different items as well. For example, you could add some cheese or some chocolate to your traditional fruit basket to try and add a nice extra touch.

Hale Groves: Hale Groves’ fruit is truly fresh and delivery takes up to 14 days “from tree to doorstep”. Once citrus is prepared, is then expertly packed into gift baskets and shipped in climate controlled trucks to the USPS office nearest the final destination. Best way of delivering the perfect fruit basket! Hale’s unique baskets, filled with premium citrus for the entire family, will add sunshine to your recipient’s life. They offer baskets filled with just fresh fruit or a combination of fruit and sweet gourmet treats.  Make your gift an even sweeter surprise adding Chocolate Dipped Coconut Patties, Orange Marmalade, Grapefruit Marmalade, and Orange Blossom Honey. These delicious treats – expertly arranged and shipped make a mouthwatering gift.

Grapefruit Guide: Health Benefits and Varieties

January 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Citrus Varieties, Grapefruit, Health, Nutrition

First things first, and health is at the top of everyone’s priority list at the start of a new year. Consuming vegetables and citrus fruit like grapefruit complement both your health and fitness goals.

Vitamin C

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C-rich foods may help reduce cold symptoms and their severity. These foods may also prevent the free radicals that trigger asthma and arthritis. Free radicals could oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques, ultimately causing heart disease.

Antioxidants

Grapefruit has been found to be one of the top, citrus fruit juices with high levels of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout your body and can be found in many foods, primarily fruits and vegetables. Health authorities say that getting antioxidants from food can offer health benefits superior to those taken in supplements.

Cholesterol

Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in studies to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. Both blond and red grapefruit can reduce blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while red grapefruit lowers triglycerides as well.  Hence, researches have concluded that adding fresh, red grapefruit to the diet could be beneficial for everyone, but in particular for persons with high cholesterol, who have high triglycerides as well.

There is a word of caution, as compounds in grapefruit are known to increase circulating levels of several prescription drugs including statins. For this reason, the risk of muscle toxicity associated with statins may increase when grapefruit is consumed. Consult with your doctor regarding the interaction of any prescription medications you are taking and grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

Varieties

Ruby Red Grapefruit– Plump, thin skinned, blushing red and dripping with nature’s own sweet nectar. Widely grown in Florida and great broiled.

Sweet White Grapefruit– Known for their thin smooth skin and big flavor, filled with an abundance of sweet invigorating juice, they’re perfect for fresh eating, salads and refreshing juice.

Dazzling Deep Red Grapefruit– Bright, beautiful and featuring a warm crimson blush outside adding depth and richness to the deep, dark red flesh inside. They are sweet and seedless as the Ruby Reds.

Pummelo HB- Pummelos have a pink-colored flesh and are low acid, sweet and mild grapefruit. Use in desserts or salad fruit; peel is sometimes used for marmalade.

Where to Find the Best Fruit Baskets for The Holidays

Fruit baskets are gifts that are commonly associated with Christmas. Ever since people started celebrating Christmas fresh fruit has been a part of the celebration. Giving fresh fruit is also a great way to give a healthy gift when people are already surrounded by sugary sweets and treats. Originally fruit was given as Christmas gifts because it was healthy, sweet, and hard to get during the winter.  Keeping the tradition of giving fruit alive by giving fruit baskets is very important to a lot of people. If you want to find the best fruit gifts for your friends and family these are the best websites to buy fruit baskets from:

Hale Groves— If you want the best quality citrus fruit in the fruit gifts you give order from Hale Groves. Famous for great quality and great service Hale Groves is the best place to get fruit baskets for the holidays. All of the fruit is grown in the Indian River fruit district. It’s picked just before shipment so it’s always fresh. Hale Groves’ fruit is very affordable. There are fruit baskets in every price range from budget friendly baskets of oranges and grapefruit to luxury baskets filled with Honeybells, Clementines and other high-end gifts. You can also customize baskets by adding on items like fresh fruit preserves or cakes. The best holiday fruit baskets come from Hale Groves.

Edible Arrangements— Edible Arrangements fruit baskets are great for the holidays. They offer several types of fruit baskets that contain everything from simple fruit assortments to chocolate dipped tropical fruit. They also offer other types of gift baskets that contain unique treats. Edible Arrangements are great for budget conscious shoppers. Just be aware that the fruit baskets don’t contain a lot of fruit in most cases unless you spend a lot of money. Chocolate dipped fruit and other treats also may be subject to special shipping regulations based on factors like the time of the year or the shipment address.

Harry and David— Harry and David fruit baskets filled with their signature pears are as much a part of Christmas as oranges in the Christmas stockings. Leave a few Harry and David pears out for Santa instead of cookies if Santa is on a healthy diet this year. The juicy and sweet taste of Harry and David pears will make Santa’s day. Harry and David fruit baskets can be expensive, but their pears and other fruits are always high quality.

The Best Citrus Companies to Buy Fruit From

Buying citrus fruit online is the best way to get the most delicious fruit. When you order from the best citrus companies you can be sure that the fruit you receive will taste great and will be fresh. Fresh citrus fruit is a sweet treat that is also healthy, so you should keep some on hand for you and your family.

Grocery store fruit simply can’t compare to the taste and quality of fresh oranges, grapefruit and other fruits that are shipped fresh from the grove. Even Florida fruit that is found in grocery stores tastes flat because usually it takes weeks for it to get to the store once it has been picked. Florida citrus fruit is the highest quality fruit, and there are several Florida citrus companies that you can buy fruit from directly. Whether you want fruit baskets for holiday or birthday gifts or boxes of sweet oranges, healthy grapefruit, or delicious gourmet Honeybells just for you and your family these are the best sites to order from:

Hale Groves– Hale Groves is an independently owned grove that has been producing delicious citrus fruit for more than 70 years. Because it is family owned and operated you get a higher quality of customer service as well as a higher quality of fruit. When you order from Hale Groves your fruit will be shipped within days of being picked so it will be at the peak of freshness when it arrives. You can order everything from boxes of citrus fruit to elaborate fruit and gift towers on the Hale Groves site.

Sun Harvest Citrus–  If you are looking for affordable citrus fruit Sun Harvest Citrus has a lot of choices that are budget friendly. They have a limited gift selection but there are plenty of choices that are appropriate for all occasions. You can also order key lime gifts and foods as well as some gourmet gift baskets and treats. Sun Harvest Citrus also offers a popular gift card option so that you can give your loved ones the chance to pick their own citrus fruit gifts.

Indian River Fruit Company– There is no question that fruit from the Indian River district in Florida is the best tasting fruit. Hale Groves is also located in the Indian River fruit district. Ordering from the Indian River Fruit Company is easy but they do not offer the same year round options that other sites offer. They have seasonal fruits available and some very nice gift options.

 

 

Some of the Best Varieties of Citrus in Florida

Florida is known for having some of the best varieties of citrus fruit in the world. Florida citrus fruit is always popular for gifts because it has a great taste that other fruit just can’t copy. One of the reasons why Florida oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruits tastes so great is the climate. The sub-tropical heat and humidity in Florida is the ideal setting for growing the sweetest citrus fruit. Another reason why Florida fruit tastes so great is the soil composition. The unique blend of soil and sand gives citrus trees exactly what they need to flourish. Florida citrus fruit is the fruit that all other fruit is compared to.

There are many different types of citrus fruit grown in Florida. There are some citrus fruits that are grown throughout the year and other fruit that has a very short growing season. Florida has the types of fruit that everyone loves. From small children to gourmet food lovers there is a Florida citrus variety that they will really enjoy. Some of the most popular types of Florida citrus fruits are:

Honeybells

Honeybell oranges or Honeybell tangelos are the most popular type of citrus fruit in the world. This super sweet fruit is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. It is known for having a lot of very sweet juice. Honeybells are only in season for a few short weeks during the dead of winter. The scarcity of the fruit and the timing of the growing season make them very popular holiday gifts. Some people order Honeybell gifts up to a year in advance just to make sure the grower doesn’t run out.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a staple in many households. Florida grapefruit is grown throughout the year although the variety of grapefruit changes with the seasons. Ruby Red grapefruit, white grapefruit and pink grapefruit are all delicious. Eating grapefruit each day can help you lower your risk of some cancers and other serious illnesses. When you eat a Florida grapefruit everyday you can be sure that you are giving your body a healthy boost of vitamins and minerals. Because there are several types of grapefruit you can have the best Florida fruit all year long without getting bored. No matter what type of fruit you choose make sure its Florida citrus fruit.

 

 

Easy Ways to Eat More Grapefruits

Grapefruit are extremely nutritious and have a wide range of health benefits, including weight loss. It’s very true that eating grapefruit can help you lose weight. But, other than eating grapefruits with your breakfast in the morning how can you work grapefruits into your busy schedule? It’s easy, if you get creative.

The health benefits that you’ll get from eating grapefruits make it worth the time and effort to find new and fun ways to get more grapefruits into your diet. There are a lot of creative tips from diet and nutrition experts on how to eat more grapefruit without getting bored that you can incorporate into your everyday life.

One of the easiest ways to get more grapefruit into your diet is to keep grapefruits wherever you are going to be. Buy a case of grapefruit and divide it up. Keep some at home, keep some in your desk drawer or in the lunchroom at work. Keep a few in your bag for when you need a quick snack or when you need a quick energy boost on your way to the gym. Pack grapefruits in your kid’s lunches and serve grapefruits as an after school snack. In order to protect your grapefruit from bruising when you’re carrying it in a bag or when your kids take them to school in a backpack you can buy or make a grapefruit jacket. A grapefruit jacket is a small knitted sack that goes around a grapefruit and closes with a hook or a button and protects your grapefruit from getting banged up while traveling. An inexpensive grapefruit jacket makes grapefruits a perfectly portable snack for you and your whole family.

If you don’t want to carry grapefruits around with you then you can fill a re-useable bottle with pure grapefruit juice in the morning and keep it with you all day. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice is delicious and very nutritious. The vitamins and minerals in the juice will give you a natural boost when you’re starting to fade during the day. Fresh fruit juice is a great alternative to heavily caffeinated drinks or energy drinks which can end up leaving you dehydrated and wiped out. You can also use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice instead of water in smoothies and yogurt drinks. Using juice instead of water will give smoothies an extra nutritional punch and make them naturally sweet so that you don’t need to add sugar or other sweeteners.

Grapefruits aren’t just for snacks of for breakfast. Grapefruit segments added to salad create a salad that is visually appealing as well as tasty and nutritious. Grapefruit juice can be used with breadcrumbs to create a slightly sweet and slightly tart breading for meats and fish. And of course grapefruit juice and grapefruit segments can be used in endless ways in different dessert dishes. You can make intricate and complicated fruit desserts with grapefruits or you can make desserts as simple as gelatin and grapefruit segments and they will all be delicious and nutritious.