Thursday, February 16, 2012

Healthy Habits: Citrus Technique

In Arizona, winter months bring an abundance of oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and tangelos. I love to eat these sweet, juicy fruits. But honestly, before I started preparing them this way I didn't eat them very often. I just didn't like how long it takes to peel them and get them ready to eat. Since I've started preparing them this way, I eat them daily during the winter months when they are fresh and local.

Once you get the hang of this, it is such an easy way to pre-cut citrus. I do it once for the whole week. It doesn't take long to turn a whole bag of oranges and grapefruit into a big bowl of cut up citrus wedges and juice. In fact, it takes me less than 60 seconds to peel and cut one fruit. And if you think you don't like grapefruit, try PINK grapefruit, it's sweet. I even cut up "not sweet" grapefruit into my bowl, because it mixes with the sweet oranges and actually ends up tasting sweeter. When the juices mix, it makes an incredibly tasty citrus juice that doesn't taste exactly like orange or grapefruit  juice.

All you need is a bag of citrus fruit; any combination will work. The greater mix of fruit, the better it tastes.

We'll use a grapefruit for our example. Place it in the middle of your cutting board.
Turn it on it's side and cut both ends off. Cut so you are all the way into the fruit. You want a flat surface of fruit, not rind. You will have some fruit in the ends that you cut off. Before throwing the two ends away, squeeze the juice out of them into your bowl. (You will be amazed how much juice is in the ends!)
Now lay the fruit on one of the flat sides. Cut a section of rind off from top to bottom. Turn the fruit slightly and cut the next section off. Keep turning and cutting until you work all the way around the fruit.
Cut the fruit in half and lay the two halves out. Now just slice segments off as thick as you would like. (After cutting several slices I turn it on it's side and slice the center white off)
Once the fruit is sliced into segments just pick up the cutting board and slide the fruit (and any juice that has collected on the board) into your bowl (or square as the case may be). 
Now I have a huge bowl of mixed fruit and lots of juice to eat all week long. In the morning I will use a one cup measuring cup to put a big scoop of fruit and juice into my bowl. With a couple slices of whole grain bread you have a quick, healthy and tasty breakfast. Add a little nut butter to the toast for extra protein if you're feeling extra hungry.

Question: Do you eat fruit for breakfast? Using this technique will you eat more citrus?

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