January kicks off the winter season and it also is a time that the sunshine fruits-oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes-take center stage. On a recent trip to South Florida, I was struck by the enthusiasm for these local fruits that have captured many a cook's imagination. No longer are oranges and grapefruits just being served at breakfast or eaten fresh in hand, but they now appear as added touches energizing all kinds of dishes for all kinds of meals throughout the day.
The growing popularity of citrus fruits is a good thing for our health at the same time as being a wonderful taste treat. The health benefits of eating oranges, tangerines, grapefruits , lemon and limes are many.
For example, oranges, the most popular of the citrus family, are unusually rich in nutrients. One medium size orange is bursting with vitamin C and also supplies healthful fiber,folate and potassium. It even contains a small amount of calcium.
The excellent nutritional profile of citrus fruits is the reason that health professionals recommend that healthy menus include plenty of oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits. In fact, researchers at the National Cancer Institute have long maintained that a low fat diet that is high in vitamin C rich foods may help reduce the risk of some cancers. And we can't forget how plenty of vitamin C filled citrus fruit are great cold-fighters,too.
Citrus fruits are culinary stars when they are mixed with greens in a delicious salad or top grilled fish, pork or chicken in a creative way. Fish like salmon, snapper,scallops and cod all pair well with oranges and other citrus. Find out how FoodFit chefs like Alan Susser and Norman Van Aken dish up exciting menus starring citrus fruit.
Finishing dinner with a sweet,healthy dessert is easy when you make oranges or tangelos the centerpiece in the winter fruit salad or top sorbet with grapefruit or orange pieces. Then the taste of organges, lemons and other citrus fruits add a spark to little cakes, cookies and biscotti. A favorite of mine is the Orange-Ginger Biscotti.
Here are two recipes we enjoyed at Ellen's Healthy Table. There is much to cheer about when you integrate the sunny tastes of citrus fruit into a healthy meal:
I hope that you will share your ideas for bring the sunshine of citrus fruits to your table. What have you been doing lately?
Published On: January 11, 2008