Product Articles

Citrus Fruit

Why Citrus?

  • Consuming the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that enhance one's total wellness through natural foods assures an optimal balance of nutrients, rather than running the risk of excess through the use of supplements.
  • Increased levels of stress suppress the body's immune function, and during these times many people tend to cuddle up with comfort food. For this reason, it is especially important to feed stress-related cravings with healthy foods that help build the immune system.
  • The good news: A healthy lifestyle - including diet - works well as preventative care for both men and women. And the AHA urges prevention through choosing a diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, like oranges, that contain heart-healthy nutrients such as Vitamin C, folate, pectin, potassium and phytochemicals.
  • Studies show that eating 8 - 10 servings of fruits and vegetables lowers blood pressure readings comparable to that seen with the use of high-blood pressure medication.
  • Studies show that people who eat fruit such as lemons, tangerines, oranges and other whole foods, tend to eat less at subsequent meals, compared to people who eat "lighter, more calorie-dense foods" such as chips, snack crackers, desserts or candy.
  • Following a balanced diet that includes fruit, along with regular exercise will help bring weight down without jeopardizing your health.

Which fruit is nutritionally best?

Let's get this disclaimer out of the way first: Americans don't eat nearly as much fruit as they should to maintain a healthy diet, so nutrition experts advise eating fruit, whole fruit, as often as possible, at least two cups of it a day, striving for variety so that you get an array of important nutrients.

And now to the question at hand: When faced with the triumvirate of fresh fruit most commonly found in bowls at cafeterias and elsewhere-apples, oranges and bananas-which should you choose? Which fruit is nutritionally superior when you must choose just one?

It turns out comparing apples and oranges isn't totally bananas. And the orange, by at least one measure, has an edge. "If you consider the concentration of a wide array of nutrients relative to calories, the orange is the most nutritious, followed by the apple, followed by bananas," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and the author of "Disease Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well."

Oranges win based on the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, a measure developed by Katz and colleagues that considers more than 30 nutrients and nutrition factors, giving points for the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and subtracting points for the bad (sugar, sodium, cholesterol). The quality of the macronutrients, such as glycemic load, is also a factor.

NuVal rates foods from 1 to 100, with 100 being the most nutritious. Oranges have a perfect score of 100, earning more credit than apples (96) and bananas (91) due to high concentrations of vitamin C, fiber, calcium, folate, bioflavonoids and carotenoids. But any one of these fruits is highly nutritiously desirable. To compare, skinless chicken breast has a NuVal score of 39 and Cheerios come in at 4.  

Of course, some people dislike peeling oranges, and apples and bananas can be superior in particular circumstances, such as when you're really hungry or have high blood pressure, said Andrea Giancoli, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Katz and Giancoli described some of the virtues of the Big Three fruits to help guide your pick. Basic nutrition facts are from the USDA.


Calories: 60
Fat: 0
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 12 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 1 g

One orange contains 120 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. A good source of calcium, folates, thiamin, flavanones (antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals) and naringin (an anti-inflammatory that may help protect the immune system), Giancoli said. Biggest nutritional bang for the caloric buck, Katz said. Because they are lowest in calories, it isn't the best choice when you are really hungry, Katz said.


Calories: 100
Fat: o
Carbohydrates: 25 grams
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 19 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 0 g

A good source of soluble fiber, which is helpful in controlling blood pressure, lipids, cholesterol and blood sugar, Katz said. Because it involves a lot of chewing, it can make you feel more satisfied, Katz said. Good for an upset stomach, Giancoli said. Loaded with phytochemicals, including antioxidants flavonoids like quercetin, which is good for heart health and could have anti-cancer properties, and proanathocyanidins, which may protect urinary tract and heart health, Giancoli said.


Calories: 105
Fat: 0.4 g
Carbohydrates: 27 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 14 g
Sodium: 1 mg
Protein: 1 g

Contains 422 mg of potassium, which people often don't get enough of. Potassium helps blunt the effect of salt on blood pressure and may help reduce the risk of kidney stones and muscle loss, Giancoli said. Good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, vitamin C and dietary fiber, Giancoli said.

Chicago Tribune

Understanding Organic Citrus

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 weed killers 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 good insects which are natural predators of the 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.

The Lemon Secret

Many professionals in restaurants and eateries are using or consuming the entire lemon and nothing is wasted.

How can you use the whole lemon without waste?

Simple… place the lemon in the freezer section of your refrigerator. Once the lemon is frozen, get your grater, and shred the whole lemon (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your foods. Sprinkle it in your whiskey drinks, wine, vegetable salad, ice cream, soup, noodles, spaghetti sauce, rice, sushi, fish dishes. All of the foods will unexpectedly have a wonderful taste. Most likely, you only think of lemon juice and vitamin C. Not anymore. Now that you've learned this lemon secret, you can use lemon even in instant cup noodles.

What's the major advantage of using the whole lemon other than preventing waste and adding new tastes to your dishes?

Well, you see lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself. And yes, that's what you've been wasting. But from now on, by following this simple procedure of freezing the whole lemon, then grating it on top of your dishes, you can consume all of those nutrients and get even healthier. So place your lemon in your freezer, and then grate it on your meal every day. It is the key to make your foods tastier and you get to live healthier and longer! That's the lemon secret! Better late than NEVER! The surprising benefits of lemon!

Lemon Juice & Zesting

Lemon Juice will keep foods such as apples, pears, and avocados, even in guacamole, from losing their color between slicing and serving. This may not be necessary if you are adding salad dressing at once. We used to use lemon juice when we were freezing peaches so they wouldn’t turn dark.

Keep Lemon Juice on Hand. Freeze lemon juice in ice trays and store the cubes in freezer bags, frozen for individual portions. Each cube equals about two tablespoons of lemon juice.
Lemon or lime sections are often added to plates of fish because lemon juice enhances the flavor of fish and other foods too. Citrus makes food more appetizing in low-sodium diets. Use it on melons to bring out flavor. Squeeze lemon juice over cooked vegetables and raw fruit to preserve their appealing color.

Citrus Zest

Citrus peels are famous for flavoring. Ann Uual tells of a friend who always asked if she wanted to have lemon sponge cake or orange sponge cake. When she decided, the hostess grated the requested rind in the batter. Evelyn Hamilton remembers that her mother always peeled an orange round and round in one piece and kept the curly strip on a hook in the kitchen where it dried. “She did not have a grate but she’d cut that peel with kitchen shears into tiny pieces and used it, especially on sweet potato soufflé and other sweet potato dishes. Grated citrus rind is aptly called zest as it can be used to add flavor and zest to many recipes from meat to muffins, curries to cakes. The colored part of the rind, called the flavedo, is very rich in aromatic oils and is used to add unique flavors to recipes. Try to avoid getting any of the white inner rind, the albedo, in with the zest because it tends to have a bitter taste, though is otherwise harmless and indeed rich in vitamin C.

Choose fruit that is free of pesticides, wax, dyes and blemishes. Wash and dry it well. Grate or peel for zest before juicing or eating the fruit. One average orange will yield about 1 tablespoon of zest, one large orange 2 tablespoons. Limes vary according to the thickness of the flavedo, but Key limes are too thin-skinned for zest. The fruit with pebbly skin rather than smooth skin gives the best zest.

From Monica Moran Brandies book "Citrus"

Kumquats - Eat them, but rub them first!

Studies show that limonene - an important essential oil present in these mini citrus bursts - has anticancer properties. Eat about five of the little guys to get a good dose of Vitamin C, carotenes, and lutein. To reap the maximum benefits of the fruits, rub them to release their oils, and eat them whole (peel and all).

Readers Digest August, 2013


A kumquat is a small citrus fruit that resembles a miniature orange. There are two main varieties that are grown commercially in Florida. The "Nagami" which is oval in shape and the "Meiwa" which is round. The Nagami is known for it's combination of sweet peel and tart juice combined in a single bite. This is the bright orange, oval shaped kumquat that you will find in grocery stores, fruit stands and Mixon Fruit Farms from November to April.

History: Kumquats are native to China, but have been grown in Florida for more than 100 years.

Nuitrition: Kumquats are a good source of vitamins A and C, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Uses: Fresh as a snack, in cooking, pies and cakes, marmalade, jelly, sauces, salsa, marinade, garnishes, salad dressing and as decorations.

See Kumquat Refrigerator Pie in Mixon recipes or visit web site

HLB GREENING and AgriSolv C-100


There is no question that HLB is attacking the Citrus Industry worldwide with only a small amount of the planet NOT infected. After nearly two years of studying HLB and applying AgriSolv C-100 to HLB infected trees, as well as non-infected trees, this report reflects the findings, results and theories. There are no scientific claims, rather practical product researchers solving agricultural problems with a natural "holistic" approach. Also, AgriSolv C-100 is not a pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide as defined by the EPA or other agencies and makes no specific claims as such, nor is it a fertilizer as defined by regulation and no such claims are made or represented. AgriSolv C-100 does exhibit many of the exhibited properties and results demonstrated with "legally" registered pesticides and fertilizers. There are many independent lab results showing its effectiveness against bacteria, viruses and fungi.

WHAT IS AgriSolv C-100?

AgriSolv C-100 is produced from natural plant ingredients contained in corn, grains, potatoes, coconut and soybeans in the form of fatty acid, peptides, nucleotides and polysaccharides. Due to its exceedingly small particle size of 1-4 nanometers it rapidly penetrates plant cells and enhances brix (sugar) production in the photosynthesis process. As a result of application, plants and trees grow healthier and more disease resistant with enhanced root and shoot development. Trees mature faster and exhibit an increase in blooming and fruit setting. The superior cleansing action of AgriSolv C-100 helps maximize production by discouraging insect pests and diseases. AgriSolv C-100 does not have any undesirable or negative side effects on human health or the ecosystem. It is entirely non-hazardous, safe to use and usually bio-degradable.


HLB (Hunglongbing), also known as citrus greening or yellow dragon disease, has been reported to be one of the most serious diseases of citrus. Once a tree is infected there is no cure for the disease and all citrus varieties are susceptible regardless of rootstock. It is a bacterial disease that greatly reduces production, destroys the economic value of the fruit and kills trees. The HLB-bacteria multiplies within the phloem cells of the plant effectively clogging up the phloem tubes, which carry organic nutrients such as sugars around to all areas of the plant. Without this the trees will die. The disease presents no threats to the health of people or animals. HLB greening is spread by an insect known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Diaphorina citri. The psyllid transfers the HLB-greening from infected trees to healthy trees.

HOW DOES AgriSolv C-100 WORK?

AgriSolv C-100 is applied as a foliar spray tree wash. As such it is an extremely effective cleaner. HLB is a bacteria that clogs up the folium causing the tree to die. Considering the trees treated with AgriSolv C-100 are not dying we have to consider that as a mico-stimulant foliar liquid it may be boosting the cell production providing a neutralization of the bacteria. When applied as a foliar spray it may be absorbed into the leaves, bark and stem connection of the fruit, eradicating the bacteria and allowing the boost of cell production and unclogging the folium. As spray liquid applied to trees gets into the soil, it will begin to remediate past pesticides and herbicides improving the soil quality and stimulating the roots. It very well may be the combination of all of the above as to why AgriSolv C-100 is proving effective in improving the overall health and production of the grove.


HLB-greening is spread by an insect known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP). ACP nymphs can only survive on the new flush tips of citrus. Because they produce a toxin, the flush tips die back or become twisted and the leaves do not expand normally. This problem can be reduced through pesticide control of the phsyllid population or releases of natural enemies. Now there is a new threat: The insects they are fighting are becoming less sensitive to insecticides. Common chemical pesticides are just doing the same things over and over expecting different results, stressing the trees and causing environmental damage. AgriSolv C-100 will control ACP as well as most insects found in the grove. It will control and deter many types of insects, but it is NOT poisonous to them. Rather it affects their shells (exoskeleton). The Psyllid cannot build up a resistance to AgriSolv C-100 due to its non-petrochemical makeup. Innovations in chemistry results in the creation of billions of micelles, which are activated to form what can best be described as a "super cleaner." This allows them to enter the plant cells (stomata) of the leaves, where the sugar factory is located, which causes an accelerated increase in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which is converted to form the basis for the starches, cellulose, waxes, carbohydrates, oils and protein that are the building blocks for all plant growth. Therefore, the plant grows more rapidly, is healthier, stronger and better able to resist disease.

Worldwide about 3 billion kg of pesticides are applied each year at a cost of nearly $40 billion (Pan-UK,2003). There has been a 10-fold increase in insecticide use in the US from 1945 to 2000. Yet during this period, total crop losses from insect damage have nearly doubled from 7% to 13% (Pimental). The total number of pesticide poisonings in the US is estimated at 300,000 per year (EPA). AgriSolv not only offers an environmentally friendly solution to many of today's agricultural problems, it does so in a remarkably efficient manner, so that the farmer can solve most of his more troublesome production problems, in a totally non-hazardous manner, while at the same time realizing a cost savings of 50% or more. To date, the experience from growers who have reported to the Company indicates that AgriSolv has been successful in replacing almost all the diverse chemical toxic pollutants now in use. Those who have wished to keep using certain chemicals have mixed them with AgriSolv, thereby lowering cost and increasing effectiveness.

In addition to being far less costly to use, AgriSolv offers a large number of other economic benefits to the grower. These are highlighted below:

+ No health hazard concerns for workers, customers or owners.
+ No warning signs need to be posted before spraying.
+ No concerns of chemical drift harming neighboring plants or crops.
+ No special storage or disposal worries, unlike chemical pesticides.
+ No protective clothing or respirations equipment needed when washing plants.
+ No threat of property or ground water pollution from product spills.
+ No special training required.
+ Provides a non-hazardous and poison-free working environment by replacing dangerous fungicides, insecticides and pesticides, plus degreasers, toxic detergents and polluting solvents.
+ Self cleans equipment, spray tanks, applicators and nozzles.
+ Greatly reduces equipment maintenance costs.
+ Eliminates the possibility of applying the wrong pesticide or incorrect amounts.
+ AgriSolv can be applied as a sole treatment.

To these must be added a number of other benefits AgriSolv provides the farmer/grower:

+ Enhances plant growth and nourishment by breaking the surface tension of water for deeper and more rapid soil penetration.
+ Has increased starter plant growth by 100% to 400% over a 3 month period.
+ Reported increases in product yields over 100%.
+ Reduces costs, compared with pesticide & chemical spraying, by more than 50%.
+ No more hazardous waste disposal requirements to follow.
+ And perhaps the most important benefit of all, increased peace of mind through better crop productivity, combined with non-poisonous and totally safe operations at greatly reduced costs.


AgriSolv does not cost as much as current growth management materials. The first year is the most expensive as more frequent applications are required to rehabilitate the trees from years of toxic use. The second year settles into maintenance applications with low cost per acre and an increase in fruit yield.


There is no doubt the Citrus Industry is in trouble. Leading experts and scientists are offering few solutions to HLB as it continues to spread and cause economic hardship. Completed field testing has shown AgriSolv C-100 to improve the tree health (with or without HLB), control insects and pests. and control numerous citrus diseases, including HLB. We have taken a holistic common sense approach using a natural material, perhaps just what the industry requires after decades of pumping toxic chemicals into trees and soil. A grove owner must ask this one question, "Am I better off now than I was 10 years ago?" If the answer is "NO," then perhaps it's time to consider a change.

Excerpts from: CITRUS PRODUCT
Global BioClean Inc.

Disease Protection

Flu Prevention
Oranges can help keep your immune system in optimal condition during the pesky cold and flu season. While there is no evidence that vitamin C prevents the common cold, a published summary of research studies suggests that vitamin C may have a modest effect on shortening the duration or lessening the severity of a cold, if it is consumed before the onset of illness. During cold and flu season it is best to up your intake of vitamin C. Remember, unlike some vitamins, vitamin C cannot be stored by the body; so, it is important to replenish regularly to stay healthy and avoid the flu this season. Just one medium orange provides more than 100% of your daily vitamin C needs.

1. Douglas, R., H. Hemila, R. D'Souza, E.B. Chalker, B. Treacy (2004). "Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold."
2. Hakim IA, Harris R, and Ritenbaugh C, Citrus Peel Use Is Associated With Reduced Risk of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin, Nutrition & Cancer, 2000.

*Some prescription drugs may interact with many foods including grapefruit. Anyone with questions about how their medication might interact with their diet should talk to their doctor or pharmacist for more information. For the majority of Americans, there is no reason to stop enjoying the delicious, healthy benefits of grapefruit.

Juicy-sweet oranges, zesty lemons and tangy grapefruit offer those with diabetes many simple and flavorful ways to achieve a well-balanced diet. They're an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber. Plus, they provide vital carbohydrates and antioxidants, contain no fat and are listed as a "Nutrition Superstar" in The Diabetes Food & Nutrition Bible by the American Diabetes Association.

Heart Disease
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that low fat diets high in fruits and vegetables containing fiber, including soluble fiber, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Citrus fruits are fat-free and cholesterol-free and citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit are a good source of fiber, making them a smart choice for promoting heart health. According to Dr. Andy Morris of HealthSouth Heart College in Birmingham, Alabama, each serving per day of fruits or vegetables, including citrus, cuts the risk of heart attack by 6 percent. Furthermore, The Archives of Internal Medicine reported that for every 10 grams per day increase in overall fiber consumed, there was a 14 percent reduction in the risk of heart attacks and 27 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease death. Simply eating one orange per day will increase one's daily fiber intake by 3 grams!

Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables, such as oranges and grapefruit, may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, if everyone in the U.S. ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, cancer rates would fall by as much as 20 percent!

Esophageal Reflux Disease
Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason to avoid citrus fruits if you suffer from Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD. According to a study conducted by Stanford University and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (May, 2006), there's insufficient evidence to support the notion that eating citrus or other acidic foods will make heartburn worse-or that cutting them out will make it go away. For those suffering from Esophageal Reflux Disease, Dr. Heber of UCLA Center for Human Nutrition suggests the following tips:

• Sleep with your head elevated
• Avoid eating within three hours of sleeping
• Avoid high fat/spicy meals
• Maintain a healthy weight

Successful Aging
The lifestyle choices you make today will affect your entire life. That’s why developing good eating habits— like eating citrus daily —can make a positive impact on the way you look and feel from childhood through the senior years. By simply consuming an orange every day, you’re getting the vitamin C needed to help maintain a strong healthy immune system. In addition, citrus fruits are loaded with antioxidants believed to help promote positive health.

Citrus Uses - Household Tips

  • Nature’s own room freshener…a bowl of lemons in the kitchen, dining room or bath for a wonderful aroma
  • Odors, such as onion, fish or household bleach, can be removed from hands by rubbing with a wedge of lemon. Helps keep hands smooth and soft as well.
  • Use fresh lemon juice to clean chopper. Create a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub item with the mixture to remove oxidation. Rinse very well with clear water and dry. It’s environmentally friendly!
  • Left over lemon peels can be used to fertilize roses or other plants needing the extra acidity.
  • To remove grease and oil from hands, rub with a cut lemon.
  • Boil fresh lemon juice or sliced lemons and water in an aluminum utensil or tea kettle to remove discoloration. Or clean with a cloth dipped in lemon juice; rinse in warm water.
  • To renew glass sparkle and brightness, rub glass with cut lemon or soak in lemon juice and water. Rinse well and then dry with a cloth that leaves no lint. This is especially good for glass decanters and coffee pots.
  • Put some lemon peel in the fireplace for a lovely fragrance when the fire is lit.
  • To remove odors from cutting boards, bleach occasionally by rubbing with half a lemon. Rinse well and dry.
  • Keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh by grinding up lemon peels after juicing.

Citrus Splash - Now you can smell as good as you look!


• 2 cups water, distilled
• 3 tablespoons vodka
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped zest of a Sunkist® lemon
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped zest of a Sunkist orange
• 5 drops lemon essential oil
• 10 drops mandarin essential oil
• 12 drops orange essential oil

Mix the finely chopped lemon and orange zests with the vodka and place in an airtight container for one week. This allows the vodka to absorb the aroma of the zests. Strain the orange and lemon enhanced mixture and add the essential oils to the liquid. Shake the contents once a day for two and a half weeks making sure not to open the jar. Store in a dark place or an opaque bottle. Once the mixture is ready, you can dab it on and smell citrus fresh!

Citrus Secrets & Facts


The tang of citrus is wonderful, but these fruits can sometimes be difficult to deal with. Follow the steps below for zesting, juicing, and creating easy-to-use wedges, pith-free sections, serving bowls, and candied zest.

  1. Cut the fruit in half length-wise, from pole to pole.
  2. Cut each half into quarters or eighths, again from pole to pole.
  3. Slice off the center pith from each wedge. This not only removes the bitter pith but also makes it easier to squeeze out the juice.

There are a number of tools that can be used for zesting citrus. The one you use will be determined by the way you plan to use the zest.

Vegetable Peeler
A vegetable peeler produces citrus strips of roughly the same size, which makes them easy to stack and julienne for zest.

A zester can produce two types of zest.

  1. The small holes on the end of the zester produce soft, curly strings of zest, which are nice for decoration. To use the zester, hold the citrus firmly so that one side is exposed. Position the zester against the top of the fruit and gently pull down, avoiding the white pith.
  2. Hold the citrus so one full side is exposed. Grasping the peeler horizontally, use a downward motion to remove strips of citrus rind from the top of the fruit to the bottom.
  3. If you have included much of the bitter white pith with the zest, you can remove it by scraping along the back of the zest with a paring knife.
  4. The stripper tooth is best for producing long, medium-thick strips of zest. To make these strips, hold the citrus firmly with the top facing up and pull the zester gently around the circumference of the fruit, again avoiding the white pith.
  5. Stack the rectangular pieces of peel on top of one another and slice them into very thin strips.
  6. Finely mince the citrus strips for zest pieces that will be more noticeable in texture than those produced by a grater.

Handheld Grater
This grater produces very thin, nearly transparent zest, almost like a puree, that will melt into whatever it is added to. To use the handheld grater, hold it down against the counter for support. Grate only the colored part of the skin; most of the zest should fall to the counter, but you can remove any that remains with a clean toothbrush or other small brush.
Slice the fruit and arrange it around a platter or use it to garnish a tall glass of water or iced tea.
Using the stripper tooth of a zester, cut strips from pole to pole, leaving some distance in between. (The number of strips and their distance apart determines how decorative the slices will be.) Save the strips for another use.

Juice Sections
We tested several methods for increasing the amount of juice you can extract. Based on time and ease of use, we like rolling the fruit on a table or in our hands. Keeping the fruit at room temperature will also help juice extraction. We also tested several manual methods for juicing citrus fruits and found that a wooden reamer, a teardrop-shaped tool with a handle, works the best for extracting the most juice possible. Many recipes call for sections of citrus that have been separated from the membrane that divides them. When you are sectioning, it is important to remove all remnants of white pith, which is rather bitter.

  1. Place the fruit on a hard surface and firmly roll it back and forth several times with the palm of your hand.
  2. Cut the fruit in half. Firmly grasp the fruit in one hand while using the pointed tip of the reamer to press in and around the pulp. Continue until all the juice is extracted. Note: If the fruit has seeds, place a mesh strainer over the bowl to catch them as you juice.
  3. Using a very sharp paring knife, peel in spiral motion to remove the rind, including the white pith. (Using a spiral motion will help retain the “roundness” of the fruit, resulting in a more attractive section.)
  4. Slice off the top and bottom ends of the fruit.

To extract a small amount of juice without cutting the fruit:

  1. Insert a skewer into one end of the fruit, turning the skewer around several times to make a hole about 1/8 inch in diameter.
  2. Squeeze out as much juice as you need, then refrigerate for future use.
  3. Slip the blade between the membrane and the section and slice to the center, separating one side of the section.
  4. Slide the blade from the center out along the membrane to completely free the section. Continue until all sections are removed.
  5. Turn the blade of the knife so that it is facing out and is lined up along the membrane on the opposite side of the section.

Citrus “Bowls”

  1. Cut off a thin slice from each end of the fruit to create a steady base on each bowl.
  2. Slice the fruit in half.
  3. Use a grapefruit knife to loosen the flesh from the rind, being careful not to cut into the pith. The flesh should easily lift out. The bowls can now be filled with sorbet or ice cream, or you can cut up the flesh and return it to the bowl

A grapefruit knife works best for this task. Because it is curved and serrated, it allows you to closely and cleanly follow the curves between the flesh and the pith all the way down to the bottom of the bowl.

Citrus fruits - Easy Peel
Some facts:

• All fruits are living things.
• Once harvested they have a limited life span.
• Satsumas and Clementines are both easy peelers and each family has many different varieties.
• Satsumas and Clementines have similar flavors, yet one variety may taste quite different from another.
• Some are aromatic, some have a sharper flavor and others are sweeter.
• There are often several varieties available at any one time and having a choice gives the opportunity to select the best eating quality.

Things to Remember

• Easy Peelers are soft citrus.
• Soft fruit does not mean weak fruit and shelf life is unaffected.
• Scarring is harmless.
• Green tinge means fruit is strong and will have good shelf life.
• Skin deterioration is a problem but will not spread to other fruits. Isolate those with a problem.
• Fruit deterioration is a problem and affected fruits should be thrown away.
• Store fruit in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and chemicals.
• Fruit can decay in a matter of days.
• Consume the fruit timely.

Citrus Fruits
Skin Marking / Wind Scarring
When fruit is young and actively growing, it can be easily damaged on the trees, e.g. when wind blows the fruit against the leaves or branches and causes a rub mark or scar. These scars are typically silver or light brown and always dry and firm. They will not lead to decay in the fruit. These injuries can heal themselves as the fruit carries on growing and the eating quality remains unaffected. What ACTION should you take? None - the fruit is healthy - peel and eat as normal.

Color of Fruit
Easy peelers start off green and turn orange as the skin matures. In nature this process is speeded up by the cold nights and warm days of autumn. 
Citrus fruits will often reach internal maturity with the right sugar level before the peel begins to turn. During the early part of the season, fruit is picked when still partly green and the color develops naturally afterwards. What ACTION should you take? None - fruits with partly green skins are healthy - peel and eat as normal.

Skin Deterioration
Skin deterioration can be more common at the beginning of the season. These fruits have a more tender peel that is more susceptible to damage which means they will deteriorate more quickly. This is especially true when fruits are subjected to temperature changes, i.e., taken from the cold and kept in a warm area.  Affected fruits will appear to have brown skin markings which will grow over time. This can be individual brown pitting or large areas of discoloration. There is no spread from one fruit to another. What ACTION should you take? Although the internal and eating quality is normal, affected fruits should be discarded quickly to avoid contamination of the other fruits in the net.

Fruit Deterioration
Some fruit are naturally weaker than others. Nearly all citrus decay results from an injury to the skin in some way (handling and insects for example). The speed of decay can be exacerbated when fruits are subjected to high humidity and temperature changes, i.e., taken from the cold and kept in a warm area. Affected fruit can show decay in several ways - from a spot of deteriorated skin to mushy fruit or a green or white powdery mold. Decay is normally wet and mushy. Internally the fruit will be affected and eventually it will become completely rotten. It is important to keep fruit cool and out of the sun. What ACTION should you take? Don't eat it. Affected fruits should be removed quickly - the remaining fruits in the net can be wiped clean and eaten as normal.

Citrus Myths

Oranges are inconvenient to eat-FALSE!
Oranges are sturdy, portable and pre-portioned, making them a convenient and nutritious snack! Plus, oranges are virtually seedless and easy to peel so they can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. One orange contains all the vitamin C the average person needs each day, as well as potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid and antioxidants. And an added bonus, they are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free -- and only 80 calories! For added convenience, you can also try using a citrus peeler.

You should limit citrus in your diet if you suffer from Acid Reflux-FALSE!
Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason to avoid citrus fruits if you suffer from Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD. According to a study conducted by Stanford University and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (May, 2006), there's insufficient evidence to support the notion that eating citrus or other acidic foods will make heartburn worse-or that cutting them out will make it go away. For those suffering from Esophageal Reflux Disease, Dr. Heber of UCLA Center for Human Nutrition suggests the following tips:

• Sleep with your head elevated
• Avoid eating anything within three hours of sleeping
• Avoid high fat/spicy meals
• Maintain a healthy weight

Acidic fruits should be avoided while playing sports-FALSE!
The nutrient dense orange is an easy way for athletes to get the right mix of vitamins, antioxidants and a great tasting energy boost while participating in organized sports. In addition to being a great carb replacement, nutrients in oranges such as potassium may help reduce muscle soreness. Plus, the sweet, refreshing taste of fresh oranges is a bonus for any athlete looking for an energy boosting pre- or post workout snack!

Adding Lemon to Green Tea helps increase the absorption of antioxidants-TRUE!
According to a digestive model study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research by Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University, citrus juices enable more of green tea's unique antioxidants to remain after simulated digestion, possibly making the pairing even more beneficial for human health than previously thought. Results show that lemon juice caused 80 percent of tea's catechins to remain. Following lemon, in terms of stabilizing power, were orange, lime and grapefruit juices. Ferruzzi said both vitamin C and citrus juices must interact with catechins to prevent their degradation in the intestines. In addition to the health benefits, adding lemon to green tea can also improve its taste! According to Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington, the sourness from lemon juice can help mask the bitter taste of green tea.

Fruit is bad for people with diabetes because it contains sugar-FALSE!
People with diabetes are strongly encouraged to choose fruit over more processed foods high in sugars and other carbohydrates. Fruit contains natural fiber, vitamins, enzymes and other essential nutrients that people with diabetes need to maintain a healthy diet. The majority of common fruits, including oranges, have a low to medium glycemic load, which means most people with diabetes can enjoy fresh fruit as part of a healthful diet. The key to eating fruit on a diabetic diet is to space out the portions over the course of a day.

You need to limit fruit intake because of carbs-FALSE!
It's okay to have carbs, you just want ones that release their energy slowly. Most fruits, including oranges and grapefruit, are perfect for this because they have a low glycemic load and also contain fiber. In other words, the carbohydrates found in fruit such as oranges are truly quality carbs. Any way you slice it, nutrient rich fruits are good for you and should be a part of your everyday diet!

An apple a day is all you need to keep the doctor away-FALSE!
While all fruits and vegetables provide benefits, a new rating system for foods will soon be used at thousands of Topco grocery stores. Developed by a team of researchers led by Dr. David Katz, of the Yale University-Griffin Hospital Prevention Research Center, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI) evaluates foods based on their nutritional values giving credit for such things as vitamins, fiber and whole grains while debiting points for ingredients such as salt, sugar and transfat. Consumers will see the results as a score of 1 to 100, the higher the healthier. According to the ONQI scale, Oranges scored the full 100 points while apples received 96 points. So despite that old saying about "an apple a day," the orange beats out the apple in this ranking system. The best way to "keep the doctor away" is to enjoy both!

Vitamin C and Scurvy
Did you know that the word "ascorbic," as in ascorbic acid (the name for Vitamin C), means "no scurvy?"
The story of Vitamin C began hundreds of years ago before the beginning of modern chemistry. Many people suffered from a disease called "spring sickness" or scorbutus. The symptoms were bleeding gums, loose teeth, aching joints, red spots on the skin, and decayed flesh. Today, this disease is known as scurvy. Sailors were particularly susceptible to scurvy. In the last part of the eighteenth century, sauerkraut and citrus fruit were taken along on English ships bound on long voyages. Miraculously, these foods eliminated the disease. (Can you guess why British sailors are called "limeys?") However, it wasn't until 1932 that the chemical in these foods, named ascorbic acid, was purified in a laboratory. It is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables; citrus is an excellent source. Ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C, is now known to be extremely important for the body's manufacturing of collagen, the protein responsible for keeping cells, muscles, and bones connected to each other. A lack of collagen causes the cells of the tiniest blood vessels to separate and allows blood to leak into tissues, resulting in the bleeding gums and red splotches characteristic of scurvy.

Citrus in the Kitchen & Harvesting

Citrus flowers are all edible. Just pull them off the tree, wash them gently, let them dry a few minutes on a clean paper or cloth towel, and then add them to salads, teas, or soups. Or let them dry to keep for future use.

Of course, you don’t want to strip the tree of many flowers that might turn into fruit, but nature provides many extras. Take a few from several bunches rather then a whole bunch from one place.

Citrus fruit eaten whole and fresh is low calorie, fat free, cholesterol free, refined sugar free, fiber rich, and loaded with important vitamins and minerals as well as being delicious.

Citrus and related fruits will not ripen after being picked, but they will stay in prime condition on the tree for many weeks or months, depending on the variety and barring a freeze that goes below 28 degrees F. If cold weather forces you to pick more than you can use, fruit will keep several weeks in a cool place.

Otherwise, leave fruits on the tree until needed or as long as they are in prime condition.

This requires knowing what variety you have and the months its season for picking covers. Do not depend on the color. Some kinds like the Ponkan, Oroblanco and Satsuma can be ready when they are still mostly green. Valencias are orange months before they are sweet and sometimes get lighter or even turn back to lime green when fully ripe. Taste is the test.

If you lost the tag or never knew the variety name, or if you got the fruiting trees with the property and don’t know the kinds, you will have to taste and learn by experience.

If you notice that wildlife is eating your fruit, you can be sure it is ready. Animals know to the day. The trick is to get there a day ahead.

How to Harvest Citrus
When you pick citrus, take hold of the fruit and give it a quick twist. Some types, especially Tangerines, are best cut off. If picking opens a hole at the stem end, use that fruit quickly or it will rot.

Pick the larger fruit first because they tend to dry out toward the end of their season, especially the Navel Oranges. They are still good, but not nearly as juicy.

My husband fixed a claw type cultivator on a longer pole with masking tape so we can reach the tops of the trees to take off the high fruits. You can also buy harvesting poles that include a basket and a sponge for catching the fruit. Only Pummelos seem to split from a high fall, and they won’t fit into those catchers. Use a ladder for them if necessary. They are well worth the trouble.

Citrus Greening

sOrlandoAn insect that you can barely see on your fingertips has forced Tim Brown, owner of Sarasota's Brown Grove Citrus & Produce, to completely rethink his business.

Because of the Asian citrus psyllid and the citrus greening that it has caused, Brown, whose family has farmed for nearly 100 years, no longer sells citrus wholesale to large companies. He simply doesn't have the excess fruit.

He reluctantly had to raise the price of the citrus that he sells at his roadside stand in Parrish and to customers at area farmers' markets. His production costs have at least doubled, and he's stopped selling citrus trees to the public.

Brown's not the only one facing tough times. Citrus growers around the Sunshine State - who collectively provided 65% of the nation's citrus in 2012-have been hit hard in the last five years by the bacterial disease called citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing or HLB. Citrus greening was first identified in the United States in South Florida in 2005, but it's now found in the 30 plus counties of Florida that produce citrus, including Manatee and Sarasota, according to Denise Feiber, public information director for the plant industry division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It's also found in other citrus-growing states around the country.

sValenciaThe insect that carries the bacteria that causes citrus greening spreads the disease as it feeds on citrus leaves and stems. In turn, the affected trees produce lopsided or bitter fruit. Fruit that stays green even after an attack.

Within Florida, citrus greening has caused about $4.5 billion in economic damage and has affected about 8,200 jobs, says Andrew Meadows of Florida Citrus Mutual, a Lakeland based trade group that represents the citrus industry.

Greening also has led to a dramatic decline in the state's citrus production over the past two to three years, says David Steele, director of public relations for the Florida Department of Citrus in Bartow. This year's production is expected to slump to 115 million boxes, compared with 133 million boxes in the 2012-2013 seasons and a recent high of 242 million boxed in the 2003-2004 seasons. "All of the state's citrus-producing regions have been profoundly affected." Brown's Groves has taken a hit because of the high production costs now associated with citrus growing. Those extra costs go toward buying more trees-a tree's life is now 10 years or so compared with 30 to 50 years, said Brown. Brown also spends more money on fertilization and nutritional sprays to try to combat HLB.

Because his citrus production decreased, Brown could no longer wholesale his fruit as he simply has not had the excess.

Mixon Fruit Farms in Bradenton has had a similar experience. "You get a load of fruit and 25% of it you just have to throw away - and you're paying for it." says Janet Mixon, who operates the farm with her husband, Dean Mixon.

At your average citrus grove, production costs have skyrocketed from an average of $500 an acre to as high as $2,000 an acre, much of it going toward expensive pesticides and plant nutrition, says Meadows. There are also increased labor costs. Because of Mixon's location, they've had to do some spraying in the middle of the night when local businesses and schools were closed. That meant some employees had to return to spray in the wee hours.

The challenge of citrus greening has prompted some growers to exit the business entirely - something that Brown does not want or plan to do. "This is something we love, and we hope the future looks brighter," he said.

Still, battling greening will require immediate solutions, says Mixon. " If we don't get help, in two years there won't be any orange groves in Florida," he says.


As Mixon alluded, citrus growers can't battle HLB on their own- and they need solutions fast. There are research dollars currently invested into finding cures for citrus greening, including $8 million at the state level and $21 million from the federal government appropriated this years, said Steele.

The 2014 Agricultural Act-commonly known as the Farm Bill-has allotted $125 million spread out over the next five years to help find a citrus greening solution. However, funding needs to reach growers sooner rather than later, says Mixon. The Mixon family visited Tallahassee in March to discuss the need for citrus greening dollars to reach growers directly.

Finding an overarching cure for citrus greening may not produce an immediate "magic bullet" although it may result in disease eradication or more resistant trees, says Steele. there's also research underway to help restore or sustain the productivity of existing and infected trees, says Steele.

The state's agriculture department is working closely wit industry, the University of Florida, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop and implement Citrus Health Management Areas, where growers are encouraged to take part in timed pest-control measures to achieve area-wide control of the psyllid, says Feiber.

The department is also involved with biological control facilities to produce higher volumes of an insect called the Tamarixia radiate, which attacks the Asian citrus psyllid.

There are also efforts underway to release wasps in areas where psyllid counts are particularly high. "Tiny wasps that parasitize Asian citrus psyllids but do not harm other pants or humans are being reared," says Feiber. A number of farms, including Mixon Fruit Farms, are trying nutritional sprays that could benefit their trees. Mixon says she and her husband feel positive about their current use of a spray that gives energy to the tree and kills the psyllid. They are still fertilizing trees, but not using other pesticides. Mixon is hopeful. "Right now, it's our only option," she says.

How consumers can help? Just what should citrus lovers do to help in the fight against citrus greening? First, you don't need to worry about the quality of the fruit your eating, says Brown. Greening often prevents fruit from ripening so the actual fruit you eat won't have greening problems. Plus, growers are always checking to make sure the fruit they use and sell is of top quality.

Next, if you enjoy a glass of orange juice, support brands that use Florida-grown oranges, Steele suggests. "We want consumers here and around the world to continue their longtime love affair with Florida citrus," he says.

Brown steers customers away from buying citrus trees right now because of the greening problems. However, down the line nutritional sprays like the one used at Mixon may be more readily available to backyard growers. If you already have backyard trees, make sure to report any greening symptoms to the state so they can track where it occurs, said Meadow.

You can support local famers in their efforts to diversify, says Brown.

Article written by Vanessa Caceres

Citrus around the House

sValenciaLike other herbs, but perhaps more so, citrus lends itself to making household chores more simple and successful for less work, expense or exposure to more toxic material. It is a pleasant way to make better use of the resources we would otherwise waste. If you take up the challenge you may find, as I did, many happy surprises that make for better living with little or no cost or trouble.

Citrus for Fragrance
If you have an open fire, indoors or out, put oranges among the refreshments and throw some of the peels on the fire. Or save citrus peels just for this use. There is a high content of flammable oil in the skins and they make good fire starters or kindling. The fragrance of the orange oils will mix delightfully with the wood smell!

Great Citrus Aromas and Air Fresheners

Fresh closets.
Dried citrus peels, especially of lemons, pummelos, and any orange with extra fragrance in the skins, can be used to add a pleasant mild scent to drawers or closets and reduce any musty smells. Cut the peel in small pieces and put in a cloth bag.

sNavelRepel flies and mosquitoes.
A small pile of citrus zest will deter flies and mosquitoes from ruining your picnic or porch sitting without using any smelly poisons.

Perfume the car.
Depending on the variety, whole citrus fruit gives out fragrance that has subtle changes in strength and aroma.

Clean scent.
The scent of lemon is synonymous with “clean” and used in countless household products, soaps, perfumes and cosmetics.

Half a citrus fruit.
Take notice of how half a lemon or orange in a dish can freshen a room. You can boil peels, after making juice or cutting up a single pummelo, to freshen the whole house. And grinding a few rinds in the garbage disposal will deodorize the drain.

Freshen the humidifier.
Add a teaspoon of lemon or orange juice to freshen the aroma from your humidifier.

sLemonsLemony dishes.
A half a lemon in the dishwasher will result in sparkling, spot-free, clean smelling dishes and pots and pans. I was afraid there would be pulp left on the dishes, but there was not.

Air freshener.
Make your own air freshener by mixing 1 cup of hot water with a tablespoon of baking soda in a small spray bottle. Then add a quarter of a cup of strained lemon juice. Shake well and spray. (This will not have a long shelf life)

Remove odor.
To remove moth ball odor from drawers or closets, wash the surfaces with a strong solution of lemon juice in water.

Remove fishy smells.
Rub hands and cooking utensils with a cut lemon to remove fish smells.

Remove stains.
Do the same to remove fruit and vegetable stains from hands.

Prevent cabbage odor.
Put a lemon wedge in the pot when cooking cabbage to keep odor from filling the whole house.

Glass and surface cleaner.
Put equal parts of strained lemon juice, vinegar, and water in a small spray bottle and use it for an all purpose cleaner on mirrors, windows, counter tops, and the easier stains on clothes. Between uses, keep it in the refrigerator.

Ink remover.
For ink spots apply ample lemon juice right away.

Chewing Gum remover.
The mild acid in lemon or lime juice will disintegrate chewing gum on shoes, clothing, or in hair. It works quickly. Be sure to rinse it away once it has worked so as not to bleach the hair or cloth.

Grater cleaner.
To clean and sanitize your food grater and get rid of the food particles that get stuck in the holes, rub both sides with half a lemon. The residue will come off easily. If any resists, use an old toothbrush to finish the job. Then wash and rinse thoroughly.

Cutting board freshener.
Get your cutting board clean by squeezing the juice from half a lemon, rubbing it in, and leaving it to soak for 20 minutes. Then rinse with water. This will kill germs and remove strong odors, even garlic and onion.

Machine oil remover.
Mechanics have used oranges to remove grease and oil from machine parts and from their hands.

Citrus Aroma Therapy Candles


It's best to dry the citrus slices a day or two before making the candles. Ice cubes help create the texture and aid in keeping the citrus slices toward the outside surface of the candles. Most supplies are available at your craft store.

You'll Need:

• Dried Sunkist lemon and orange slices
• Straight-sided pint, quart or half-gallon wax-coated dairy or juice cartons
• Household wax (paraffin), premium candle wax or glass-fill wax
• (One pound of wax makes a 6 inch high (2 3/4" x 2 3/4") candle in a 1 quart carton. One and one-half pounds of wax makes three 3 to 4 inch high (2 3/4" x 2 3/4") candles in three 1-pint cartons)
• Medium wire wicking
• Wick tabs (optional)
• Pencils or wooden skewers
• Ice cubes
• Dried bay leaves
• Cinnamon sticks and star anise (optional)

sNavelTo dry citrus slices:
With a sharp knife, slice off one end of each citrus (do as many citrus slices as will fit on wire rack used). Cut each citrus into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. Leave any seeds in place. Discard ends. To quicken drying, gently pat slices between layers of paper towels. Lay slices on large wire rack on baking sheet. Dry in oven at 170° F for 4 hours, turning once. Remove from oven; leave on rack to air-dry.

To prepare the carton mold(s) and wick(s):
Cut the top off the wax-coated carton. Candles can be made as tall or short within the carton as desired. Cut the wire wicking about 2 inches longer than the carton is high. (Attach a wick tab, following package directions, if desired, to one end of the wick.) Roll one end of the wick around a pencil and lay the pencil across the top of the carton with the wick centered straight down and just touching (with or without a wick tab) the bottom of the carton. Before the final candle is poured, a small amount of warm melted wax can be poured around the bottom of the wick (or wick tab) and allowed to harden to help hold the wick in place.

sLemonsTo prepare and melt the wax:
With a heavy serrated knife or cleaver, cut or thinly slice wax into small pieces on cutting board covered with brown paper grocery bag(s). Place a small round trivet, flat side-down, in a 2 1/2 to 3 quart saucepan and add about 2 inches of water. Heat the water. Melt the wax in a cleaned, dried one-pound coffee can set on the trivet in the hot but NOT simmering water. Stir occasionally with a clean wooden stick. (Wax can also be melted in special boil bags, following package directions.) Heat wax only until all wax is melted. Do not leave wax unattended. Remove pan from heat and leave wax in water to cool slightly (130° to 160° F.) while assembling ice cubes and decorations in carton mold.

To assemble candle:
Loosely start to fill the carton with ice cubes (keeping wick in center). Position citrus slices, leaves and spices randomly, as desired, touching the sides of the carton and using the ice cubes to help hold the decorations against the sides of the carton. Keep adding ice cubes and decorations to desired height, but not too close to the top of the carton. Pour the warm melted wax over the ice cubes, filling the carton to cover the ice and decorations by at least 3/4 inch. Carefully set aside to cool completely. Remove the pencil. Remove the carton over sink by carefully peeling away the paper carton from the candle. Drain out all water and let dry before lighting the wick

Candied Citrus Peels

Around the holidays I always see people buying and eating expensive store bought candied citrus peels. This year I made my own. It's relatively easy and inexpensive, but it does take a bit of time.

This recipe is for the basic peels. There are two optional variations: 1) dipping the peels in chocolate and 2) leaving the final coating of sugar off so that you can use the peels for baked goods.

Step 1 Ingredients

Decide what kind of citrus peel you want to candy. Grapefruits, lemons, and oranges are the traditional ones; I've also heard of people using limes. Adjust the amount of fruits you purchase based on how big they are. Two grapefruits are about equal in peel amount to three/four oranges, or four/five lemons or limes, depending on size. You want fruit with a thicker peel.

Granulated Sugar
I've used different amounts of sugar for different amounts of fruit peel. On my first go, I used four cups of sugar to four cups of water to three oranges. The second time, I used two cups of sugar to two cups of water to two grapefruits. For more peel, use a larger amount of sugar and water, for less peel use less. Just make sure you have enough syrup to keep the fruit covered the whole time.

Just like what it sounds like. Make sure to use cold (or at least cool) water during the blanching process. Also make sure to keep the ratio of water to sugar the same while making the syrup. Otherwise, nothing special here.

Optional: Chocolate
Peels can be dipped in chocolate after they've been cooked in syrup. Dark or milk chocolate go well with the orange peels. I'm planning to try dark chocolate with the lime peels as well.

For this to work well, you need to be prepared ahead of time for the various stages. You'll want a good paring knife for the cutting step, a large pot for the cooking steps, and a colander, a metal drying rack and wide, shallow bowl for the drying/sugaring step.

Step 2 Cutting the Peels

sLemonsCut the fruit into quarters. Remove the pulp part of the fruit from the peel and save for another use.

Cut away as much of the pith (the white, spongy, bitter stuff on the inside of the peel) as possible. I found that cutting the peels into smaller pieces makes this process easier, but increases the amount of time it takes because there are more peels to process. (You will eventually cut all the peels down to a small size either way.)

Start cutting at one end. Slowly wiggle the knife along the peel. Generally, you'll want to make several passes with the knife to get all the pith off. (It's easier to remove the pith when the peel is a little dry, rather than wet -- so I definitely recommend doing this before blanching the peels.)

Step 3 Blanching the Peels

Put the peels in a medium or large pot. Cover the peels with cold water. Heat the peels and water up to boiling. Soon after the water boils, remove the pot from heat and drain the water from the peels.

Repeat this process at least three times for best results. Blanching before cooking the peels takes away a lot of the bitterness while leaving behind the flavor.

Step 4 Cooking the Peels

Set your peels aside for the moment.

On the stove, heat up an equal amount of water and sugar. As stated in the directions, this can be four cups of each or two cups of each, depending on the amount of fruit peels involved. Two cups of each seemed to be plenty for two grapefruits. Four cups of each was a lot of syrup compared to three oranges worth of peels. Experimentation will give you the best results.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil. You can stir the mixture at this point to help the sugar dissolve faster. Once the sugar is entirely dissolved and the syrup is boiling, add the peels and turn the heat down to a simmer.

Allow the peels to simmer in the syrup until translucent. The amount of time this will take is related to how thick the peels are. I left oranges in for a full hour and ended up with very translucent, soft peels. Grapefruits seemed to finish up after only forty-five minutes. When I tried lemon peels (the thickest peel so far), I left them in for a full hour and they still were relatively hard.

Step 5 Sugaring and Drying the Peels

Once the peels are translucent, turn off the heat. Allow the peels to cool down in the syrup.

(I've tried storing the peels in the syrup overnight, rather than immediately processing them. This resulted in very crystalized syrup and peels covered in what was basically rock candy. I think you're better off just finishing the peels right away.)

When you're ready to pull the peels from the syrup, set up a wide shallow bowl or plate filled with more granulated sugar, a wire rack, and a colander.

Put the colander in the sink and pour the peels and syrup into it, draining away the excess syrup. Pull the peels from the colander one by one. If you're using the peels for baking or dipping the peels in chocolate, place the peels on the wire rack without any further modification. Otherwise, roll the peel in the sugar and then rack the peel.

(If you don't have a colander handy, you can also use paper towels to blot the peels when they come out of the syrup. I found that this takes a lot longer, is much messier, and results in lots of wasted paper towels. The colander method is much quicker and less messy.)

After about half an hour, the peels should be firm enough for storage, chopping, or dipping in chocolate. I just put mine in plastic sandwich bags until I'm ready to package them; Tupperware would work fine as well

Buying and Storing Citrus Fruits

sPinkGftIf you cannot or do not grow citrus, you can buy many varieties in the grocery store and at fruit and vegetable stands. Choose fruits that seem heavy for their size and have good, bright colored skins. There are some varieties that are ripe and delicious when still green. Valencia sometimes go back to green in warm weather but are still good. Avoid fruit with bruised or wrinkled skin.

Unfortunately you can not taste an orange before you buy it as you can a grape from the clump, but when you find a variety you have not tried before, buy a small amount and see how you like it.

Oranges vary in size and shape and some that look strange, like the Ponkans, are the most delicious. So look around and taste so that you don't miss that treasure. Do not be concerned with rusetting, a mottling of brown or tan on the skins. This often indicates thin skin and superior quality.

sTempleOranges will keep well for a week at room temperature (best for juice) or at least a month, possibly as long as six weeks in the refrigerator or in a cool but not freezing place. This applies to most citrus.

Lemons should be smooth with small points on each end.
Limes can vary in color from bright green to pale yellow. Key Limes will be smaller and rounder. Limes will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks and at room temperature for one week.

Grapefruits should have a firm, smooth skin, the color of which will vary some depending on the color inside. The sweetest ones I've tasted had skin almost red. These will keep for a month in the refrigerator.

sValenciaIf you find a pummelo, buy and try it. It is delicious. You can eat it right away or keep it on a shelf for two weeks or more and it gets sweeter. These come in different sizes and shapes, mostly large, and some are bell shaped.

Tangerines come in many sizes and shapes and usually are a bit smaller than oranges and with naturally looser skin. They will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

If you live in a citrus growing climate and someone offers you fruit, take at least a few and try them. There are many delicious kinds that do not store or ship well and are never found otherwise.

from Citrus by Monica Moran Brandies

Benefits of Citrus Fruits

sTempleWalk through the produce aisles at almost any time of the year and you’ll find a colorful array of citrus fruits — from refreshing, sweet-tart grapefruit and juicy sweet oranges to tangerines, tangy lemons and limes. Citrus fruits are very versatile: Oranges and grapefruits are great as snacks, in salads, for sauces, in smoothies and in salad dressings. But the benefits of citrus fruits go far beyond their versatility.

A Nutritional Powerhouse
Think the benefits of citrus start and end with vitamin C? While it’s true that they’re an excellent source of vitamin C, citrus also provides many other important nutrients, including:

• Folate, a vitamin that helps prevent certain birth defects and helps body tissues to grow.
• Potassium, a mineral that’s essential for the body’s growth and maintenance. It also helps keep the body’s fluids balanced and helps the body use proteins and carbohydrates from food.
• Vitamin B6, which helps the body fight disease, maintain normal nerve function, form red blood cells and break down protein from food.
• Thiamine, a vitamin that’s essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system and that helps the body convert carbohydrates to energy.
• Niacin, a vitamin that assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves and that helps convert food to energy.
• Fiber, an indigestible substance in many plant foods that helps digestion, lowers cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

svarietytrioCitrus Lemonoids and Health
Citrus fruits are also the only source of substances called “lemonoids.” Scientists say that citrus lemonoids may work with other phytochemicals (plant-based nutrients) in citrus to help fight certain cancers. Although research is in the early stages, citrus lemonoids appear to work against cancer either by preventing cancers from forming, slowing the growth of existing cancer, or killing cancer cells.

Other Health Benefits
Eating citrus may also help reduce your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of cataracts, and aid your body’s healing process. The vitamin C in citrus also helps your body absorb iron.

Easy Ways to Add More Citrus to Your Diet
Citrus fruits make great snacks, but there are many other ways to use citrus in the kitchen:

• Substitute lemon, orange or grapefruit juice for the vinegar in vinaigrette recipes.
• Squeeze a lemon over cooked vegetables just before serving.
• Make a simple dessert of orange slices drizzled with chocolate syrup; top with toasted sliced almonds, if desired.
• Toss fresh-cut fruit in a little bit of lemon or orange juice to slow the natural browning process.
• Use citrus juice instead of vinegar in marinade recipes.
• Add peeled grapefruit segments to fruit salads.
• Add a twist of lemon or lime to tap water to give it a fresh flavor.
• Use lemon juice or lime juice to add flavor to Latin-style soups and stews. Squeeze a half lemon or lime over the soup just before serving.
• Sprinkle grapefruit halves with brown sugar and broil.
• Make a citrus sauce for pancakes or waffles by microwaving or melting 2 tablespoons of orange marmalade in the microwave and mixing with 1 peeled and chopped orange.
• Chop fresh grapefruit instead of tomatoes for your favorite salsa recipe.
• Add a teaspoon of grated orange peel to chocolate chip or brownie dough
• Enjoy the fresh and delicious flavors of citrus and get some great health-boosting benefits at the same time!

sPinkGft5 Good Uses for Your Citrus Peels

Don't throw away that clementine peel! Did you know that there are plenty of things you can make with the leftover peels from all that citrus you've been eating? Here are a few suggestions...

  1. Make Candied Peels: These are great to munch on their own or as a garnish on top of cakes and parfaits. Our recipe for Candied Lemon Peels can be adapted to any kind of citrus.

  2. Dry and Save for Tea: Dried peels make a nice addition to your basic cup of black tea! We also like to use them in our homemade chai tea mix this time of year. Scrape away as much of the bitter pith as you can and leave the peels in a single-layer on a plate or drying rack for a few days. If you're very eager, you can also toast them in a 200° oven until completely dry. Store in an air-tight jar away from direct sunlight.

  3. Add to Meat Dishes: A hint of citrus will enhance many meat dishes. Throw the peels in the braising liquid or put them in the cavity of a whole chicken before roasting.

  4. Infuse Liquor: Citrus-infused vodka is excellent in cocktails, of course!

  5. Mix with Fireplace Kindling: A few peels thrown in the kindling makes for an especially fragrant fire! They work best if you let them dry out for a day or two beforehand. Just collect the peels in a bowl and leave them out in the open or on top of a heater.

About Zesting, Juicing, Storing and Peeling Citrus

sJUICECitrus Zest - Zest is the colored part of a citrus peel, and can be peeled off and "twisted" to add flavor and color. When choosing citrus for zest, do a scratch-and-sniff test on the peel. Once scratched, the fruit's floral scent should fill the air as the aromatic oils are released. This scent recedes quickly, so add zest at the end of your preparation process.

A zester is a handy little grater that shears off long fine strings of the colored rind. Use the strings "as is" or mince them. For very fine zest, use a rasp-type zester. These have no holes and look like a woodworker's rasp.

Always wash fruit, but don't cut it before zesting. Measure zest loosely in a spoon, don't pack it too tightly. To store freshly grated peel, seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Extra zest can be frozen for later use, up to six months.

Citrus Peeler - A citrus peeler is a pencil-sized plastic device with a v-shaped protrusion on the side of one end. Place the v-shape at the top of the orange and pull it down over the rind to slit the rind only.

You can make several of these slits spaced around the orange, then easily remove the peel.

Juicing - To squeeze the most from your citrus fruit, prick the skin in several places with a fork, without going all the way into the flesh. Microwave on high for about 10 to 20 seconds. Let stand two minutes before rolling the fruit between your palm and the countertop. Cut open and squeeze out the juice. Store fresh-squeezed juice in an airtight screw-top jar for up to five days in the refrigerator.

Most whole citrus fruit can be stored at room temperature for one week or uncovered in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. To remove wax from the skin of citrus, scrub under warm water. Citrus fruit doesn't ripen after picking. Choose fruit that is heavy for its size to ensure ripeness. Freeze citrus juice in ice cube trays. When solid, place cubes in a heavyweight plastic bag and seal tightly. Freeze for up to six months.

Instead of cutting a lemon for just a few drops of juice, stick the fruit with a toothpick and squeeze out what you need. To store, reinsert the toothpick, place lemon in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

Slicing the Perfect Section - Orange or grapefruit sections add color and tang to green or fruit salads.

For perfectly sliced sections, follow these steps: (If you need finely grated orange peel for the recipe you're working on, do that before you begin sectioning the orange.) With a sharp knife, slice off the top and bottom so the orange will stand on end. Slice the peel off from top to bottom, making sure to slice away all the white pith and the outer membrane of the orange sections. Each orange section should come out easily, though you may need a paring knife to separate it from the dividing membranes. Do this last part over a bowl to catch any juices you may need.

Another way to make picture-perfect fruit sections for a salad is to immerse whole citrus in a pot of boiling water and let stand four minutes. Remove and cool until easy to handle. When you peel the fruit the pith should come right off.

To make a "twist" for a garnish, you can use a special tool with a small hole in the end to peel off a very thin strand of rind. If you don't have this tool, you can also use a very sharp paring knife to carefully slice a long strand from the fruit before peeling it.

A Guide to Ama-Zing Florida T-Fruit

svarietytrioDid you know?

…Florida Tangerines, Tangelos and Temples are “Every Zing a snack should be?”
Florida Tangerines, Tangelos and Temples (we refer to them as Florida T-Fruit) are hybrids of other citrus varieties and , as a result, combine the best qualities of all citrus fruit. Each variety has a deep, tantali-Zing flavor, and is juicy and easy-to-peel. Their vibrant, tangy taste adds “Zing” to your day.
Florida T-Fruit are seasonal citrus varieties available during fall and winter. Because of this, many people view Florida T-Fruit as holiday gifts; in fact, they are great for any occasion. To take advantage of the limited availability of Florida T-Fruit, look for various varieties from November through March.

…Each Florida T-Fruit variety is unique?
While most people can easily tell the difference between an orange and a grapefruit, Florida T-Fruit varieties often are not identified so easily. When shopping for Florida Tangerines, Tangelos and Temples, look for the special, unique traits that each variety offers.

...Tangelos (Available December-January)
Tangelos are a hybrid of grapefruit and tangerines and larger than other Florida T-Fruit. As their lineage implies, tangelos have a delicious tart/sweet flavor. There are two major varieties:
...*Orlando – Oval to round in shape and medium to large in size. The Orlando Tangelo has a light to deep orange color and pebbly peel of medium thickness.
...*Minneola (Honeybell) – A medium to very large tangelo that is slightly bell-shaped. They are deep orange to red-orange colored with smooth to pebbly skin and few seeds.

sMinneola ...Tangerines (Available November – March)
Tangerines are the most plentiful and best-known variety. Often called “zipper skin fruit” because they are so easy-to-peel, tangerines are famous for their rich, sweet flavor. There are four major types of tangerines:
...*Robinson – Medium to large size, orange-colored with a smooth to pebbly peel and few seeds.
...*Sunburst – A hybrid of two tangerines. Medium-size with a deep orange to red color; the sunburst tangerine has a deep flesh color and few seeds.
...*Dancy – Small to medium size, orange to red-orange colored with a smooth, loose peel, few seeds and a spice aroma.
...**Honey (Murcott) – Small to medium size, orange-yellow with possible green or russet tint. They have a smooth peel, with few seeds and a sweet fragrance. Honey tangerines are available February and March.

...Temple Oranges (Available January – March)
Generally regarded as Florida’s finest eating orange, temple oranges are medium in size with a deep orange color and pebbly peel. They have some seeds, peel and section easily and are great for juicing with an appeti-Zing fragrance and rich flavor quite different from other varieties.

Florida T-Fruit are peelable, portable and add a “Zing” to snacking!

sMurcottFlorida T-Fruit are very portable and can easily be put into lunchboxes, a briefcase or even your pocket as a snack. Easier to peel with smaller segments than other citrus varieties, Florida tangerines, tangelos and temples make the perfect snacks for children.
Florida T-Fruit’s vibrant, tangy taste and surpis-Zing-ly succulent, mouth-watering texture make them an excellent afternoon pick-me-up at home or in the office.

Florida T-Fruit are nutritious!

Like all Florida citrus, T-Fruit are natural sources of beneficial nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, folate and dietary fiber. For example, a jumbo-size tangerine is an excellent source of vitamin C, with only 46 calories.

Florida T-Fruit are easy to store and stay fresh for weeks!

Florida T-Fruit can be stored at room temperature for a week or more. For longer storage, put the fruit in a perforated plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator.

Next time you’re looking for a snack to energize your day, order some Florida T-Fruit.
They are... “Every Zing a snack should be!!!!"

***Florida Dept. of Citrus

Fruit Gift Baskets

Citrus Fruit Baskets: Traditional and Life-Affirming?

sBASKETOne of the healthiest and increasingly popular gifts to send during the holidays or some special event is a citrus fruit basket. Citrus fruits are enjoyed by just about everybody. They are an important food source, containing essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and many others. In ancient times the fruits and flowers of citrus trees became renowned for their fragrance, which was used to perfume rooms, repel insects and sweeten breath. Some believed that citrus fruits were remedies for poison or sickness. Alexander the Great brought the first citrus fruits from India to his empire in Greece in 4th Century BCE, and later in 1493, Christopher Columbus introduced citrus fruits to the New World. Florida and California are now the largest producers of the world’s finest fresh fruits, which go into the best citrus fruit baskets.

The most common citrus fruits that go into a citrus fruit basket are traditional favorites that are generally available in the United States all year long, such as grapefruit, orange, clementine, tangerine, mandarin, lemon, lime, kumquat and pomelo. 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 elegant decoration. Occasionally other more exotic citrus fruits are included, if they are seasonal and appropriate to the celebration or event.

You simply won’t go wrong when you send a citrus basket as a present. Because the live fruits in a citrus basket are a celebration of life, they are most appropriate gifts to honor the birth of a baby, a wedding or anniversary, graduation or even a new job. At the same time, 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 for the departed loved one rather than having to cope with providing food and snacks for visitors paying respects.

The most traditional times of the year to send citrus fruit baskets are Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah when many people and businesses are expecting visitors and need to serve snacks that almost everyone will enjoy. But a citrus fruit basket can also be enjoyed on more personal holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Seeing a citrus fruit basket in the lunchroom on Administrative Assistant’s Day makes every office worker smile. The gift of a citrus fruit basket is smart, thoughtful, and money-savvy, yet can lead to years of appreciation on your investment, whether you send it to a business or to your family.


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.


The World

Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals that of the ever-popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health-promoting benefits. Although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring. Grapefruits usually range in diameter from four to six inches and include both seed and seedless and pink and white varieties. The wonderful flavor of a grapefruit is like paradise as is expressed by its Latin name, Citrus paradisi.

Health Benefits:
Grapefruit may be the less favored citrus choice when compared to its sweeter cousin, the orange, but grapefruit sparkles with health promoting compounds that may help:

  • fight cold symptoms
  • prevent certain forms of cancer
  • prevent heart disease

Vitamin C
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms. Over 20 scientific studies have suggested that vitamin C is a cold-fighter. Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, and is, therefore, also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. As free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke, vitamin C is beneficial for promoting cardiovascular health. Owing to the multitude of vitamin C's health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Protection against Lung and Colon Cancer: Not only are grapefruit rich in vitamin C, but new research presented August 2004 at the 228th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society provides two more reasons to drink grapefruit juice: protection against lung and colon cancer. In humans, drinking three 6-ounce glasses of grapefruit juice a day was shown to reduce the activity of an enzyme that activates cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. In rats whose colons were injected with carcinogens, grapefruit and its isolated active compounds (apigenin, hesperidin, limonin, naringin, naringenin, nobiletin) not only increased the suicide (apoptosis) of cancer cells, but also the production of normal colon cells. Researchers also confirmed that grapefruit may help prevent weight gain by lowering insulin levels.

New insight into how grapefruit protects against cancer: Grapefruit juice significantly increases the production and activity of liver detoxification enzymes responsible for preparing toxic compounds for elimination from the body. The liver clears out toxins, including carcinogens, using a two step process called Phase I and Phase II detoxification. In the first part of this process, Phase I, enzymes belonging to the cytochrome P450 family, work on the toxin to make it more attractive to enzymes involved in the second part of the process, Phase II. Unfortunately, the action of Phase I enzymes often renders the toxin not only more attractive to Phase II enzymes, but even more dangerous, and some foods contain compounds that only increase the activity of Phase I without also turning up Phase II. Grapefruit increases the activity not only of the Phase I enzyme CYP1A1, but also that of NAD(P)H:quinone reductase 1, a Phase II detoxification enzyme that protects cells against oxidative stress and toxic quinines.

The end result: grapefruit works in both Phase I and Phase II to enhance the liver's ability to remove cancer-causing toxins.

Lycopene - The rich pink and red colors of grapefruit are due to Lycopene, a carotenoid phytochemical. Lycopene appears to have anti-tumor activity. Among the common dietary carotenoids, Lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells.

Limonoids - Phytochemicals in grapefruit called limonoids inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of glutathione-S-transferase, a detoxifying enzyme. This enzyme sparks a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for excretion from the body. Pulp of citrus fruits like grapefruit contain glucarates, compounds which may help prevent breast cancer.

Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that forms a gel-like substance in the intestinal tract that can trap fats like cholesterol. In animal studies, grapefruit pectin inhibited the formation of atherosclerosis. Animals fed a high-cholesterol diet plus grapefruit pectin had 24% narrowing of their arteries, while animals fed only the high-cholesterol diet had 45% narrowing.

Prevent Kidney Stones
Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink grapefruit juice. A study published in the August 2003 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition found that when women drank ½ to 1 litre of grapefruit, apple or orange juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.

Protection against Macular Degeneration
Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Archives of Opthamology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.  In this study, which involved 77,562 women and 40,866 men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARM, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARM, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but grapefruit can help you reach this goal. Try starting your day with a half grapefruit, add grapefruit sections to your green salads, or for an elegant dessert, spread a little honey over a half grapefruit and broil for 1-2 minutes.

The grapefruit is a large citrus fruit related to the orange, lemon, ugli and pomelo. Grapefruits are categorized as white, pink or ruby. However, this terminology doesn't reflect their skin color, which is either yellow or pinkish-yellow, but rather describes the color of their flesh. Grapefruits usually range in diameter from four to six inches, with some varieties featuring seeds while others are seedless. The wonderful flavor of a grapefruit is like paradise, just as its Latin name Citrus paradisi connotes. It is juicy, tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness that weaves throughout.

Grapefruits have a rather recent history, having been discovered in Barbados in the 18th century. Many botanists think the grapefruit was actually the result of a natural cross breeding which occurred between the orange and the pomelo, a citrus fruit that was brought from Indonesia to Barbados in the 17th century. The resulting fruit was given the name “grapefruit” in 1814 in Jamaica, a name which reflects the way it's arranged when it grows – hanging in
clusters just like grapes. Grapefruit trees were planted in Florida in the early 19th century, although they did not become a viable commercial crop until later that century. Florida is still a major producer of grapefruits, as is California, Arizona and Texas. Other countries that produce grapefruits commercially include Israel, South Africa and Brazil.

Tips for preparing grapefruit:
Grapefruits should be rinsed under cool water before consuming, even though you will probably not be eating the peel, since cutting into an unwashed fruit may transfer dirt or bacteria that may reside on the skin’s surface to the edible flesh. Grapefruits are usually eaten fresh by slicing the fruit horizontally and scooping out sections of the halves with a spoon. To separate the
flesh from the membrane you can either cut it with a sharp knife, a special curved-blade grapefruit knife, or a serrated grapefruit spoon. If there are seeds, you can remove them with your spoon before you eat. Grapefruits can also be eaten like oranges. You can peel them with your hands or with a knife. If choosing the latter method, starting at the top, make a vertical incision that runs downward and then back up to the top on the other side and then repeat so that there will be four sections of similar size. Be careful to only cut through skin and not into the membrane. The skin can then be peeled back with your hands or with the knife. The membranes can be separated, as you would do to an orange eaten in this manner. Another way to serve grapefruit is to peel and slice them.

A few quick serving ideas:

  • Grapefruit sections add a tangy spark to green salads.
  • Instead of your morning glass of OJ, have a glass of grapefruit juice.
  • Combine diced grapefruit with cilantro and chili peppers to make a unique salsa.
  • To enjoy a salad with a tropical flair, combine chopped grapefruit pieces, cooked shrimp and avocadoes and serve on a bed of romaine lettuce.

Grapefruit and Drug Interactions
Check with your healthcare practitioner if you're taking pharmaceutical drugs with grapefruit juice. Certain pharmaceutical drugs combined with grapefruit juice become more potent. Compounds in grapefruit juice, including naringenin, slow the normal detoxification and metabolism processes in the intestines and liver, which hinders the body's ability to breakdown and eliminate these drugs. These interactive drugs include the immunosuppressent cyclosporine and calcium channel blocker drugs, such as felodipine, nifedipine and verapamil. Other drugs enhanced by grapefruit juice are the antihistamine terfenadine, the hormone estradiol and the antiviral agent saquinavir. Research also indicates that individuals taking statin drugs should avoid grapefruit. Grapefruit increases the amount of statin drug that reaches the general circulation in two ways. First, grapefruit contains a compound called naringenin, which inactivates an enzyme (cytochrome P450 3A4) in the small intestine that metabolizes statin drugs. Secondly, grapefruit also inhibits P-glycoprotein, a carrier molecule produced in the intestinal wall that would normally transport the statin drug back to the gut. The end result of these two mechanisms is that much more of the statin drug enters the systemic circulation than would normally be the case, leading to a build up in statin levels that can be quite dangerous, and may trigger a rare but serious statin-associated disease called rhabdomyolysis. Rhaddomyolysis affects muscle tissue, usually causing temporary paralysis or weakness, unless the muscle is severely injured. (March 25, 2004)

Nutritional Profile
The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good or good source. Next to the nutrient name you will find the following information: the amount of the nutrient that is included in the noted serving of this food; the %Daily Value (DV) that that amount represents (similar to other information presented in the website, this DV is calculated for 25-50 year old healthy woman); the nutrient density rating; and, the food's World's Healthiest Foods Rating. Underneath the chart is a table that summarizes how the ratings were devised. For more detailed information on our Food and Recipe Rating System.

0.50 each
60.00 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%) Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C 66.00 mg 110.0 33.0 excellent
vitamin A 750.00 IU 15.0 4.5 very good
dietary fiber 2.70 g 10.8 3.2 good
potassium 230.00 mg 6.6 2.0 good

Health and Wellness - Weight Management

Did you know that with their fiber content and low glycemic loads, citrus fruits could be considered a secret weight-loss weapon? Studies have shown that a person can actually lose weight while eating larger quantities of food by choosing foods high in fiber and water content such as citrus fruits. Why does this work? These foods contain fewer calories per gram, provide a greater feeling of fullness and keep blood sugar levels more constant, thereby resulting in better appetite control. According to Dr. Barbara Rolls, the Guthrie Chair in Nutritional Sciences at Pennsylvania State University and author of the best selling book Volumetrics, "Citrus is excellent for weight loss because it can be eaten in satisfying portions for very few calories. The fruit also provides beneficial vitamins and nutrients, which is important for a weight loss plan because people are at greatest risk of nutrient deficiencies when they are cutting calories."

Want to learn more about the positive effects citrus can have on your weight management?

Oranges: The Less Than 100 Calories Snack

Eating healthy isn't as hard as it seems. Snacks are often a source of high calorie eating, but combating the problem is as simple as finding a low calorie snack that is both satisfying and delicious. By now most of us have seen the "100-Calorie Packs," available at stores, of snacks such as cookies and chips. Some say that having such pre-portioned foods at hand could help dieters control their calories and avoid over snacking. Unfortunately, these snacks aren't a particularly nutritious choice and if price is a concern, these pre-packaged treats might disappoint you. The solution: Try an orange or tangerine for a healthier snack alternative! At just 80 calories each, oranges make the perfect, pre-packaged, self-contained, pre-portioned healthy snack. And because oranges contain pectin, a unique type of dietary fiber that helps maintain appetite control, people who eat them tend to eat less at subsequent meals, compared to those who eat "lighter, more calorie-dense foods" such as chips, desserts or candy. Check out a few more reasons why you should make oranges and other citrus fruits your snacks of choice.• A handful of fat-free pretzels is equivalent in calories to nearly two whole oranges, but the oranges will leave one feeling full longer, making fresh citrus an effective weight loss strategy.

• Enjoying a whole orange with breakfast instead of 8 oz. of juice saves 30 calories in one meal and adds fiber, which research shows can curb appetite and suppress hunger levels for up to four hours.
• All things being equal, choosing an orange as a snack instead of a serving of chips or cookies can save 200 calories a day, which can translate into increased weight loss - up to 21 pounds a year!
• Taking the time to peel citrus fruit and enjoy the sweet aroma can stop "mindless" snacking and add to a more satisfying experience.

The Grapefruit Diet
From weight loss to heart health to disease protection, three recent studies shed more light on the multiple potential health benefits of grapefruit.*

Human Study Confirms Grapefruit Promotes Weight Loss
A study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food supports the long-held belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge. Dr. Ken Fujioka from Scripps Clinic in San Diego conducted a 12-week study of 100 obese men and women and found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds with some participants losing up to 10 pounds. Individuals who ate the grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin in their blood, which the researchers speculated resulted in the weight loss. Insulin promotes hunger, so having lower levels of insulin in the blood helps dieters control hunger. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss since those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight despite the lack of fiber.

Directions for the Grapefruit Diet:
The grapefruit diet is easy! Simply eat a half of a grapefruit three times a day before each meal. While there's no need to alter anything else in your diet, eating less fat and sweets and doing 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week is a great way of speeding up the weight loss process as well as helping maintain weight loss. Want it sweeter? Sprinkle on your favorite calorie-free sweetener to sweeten the fruit.

Grapefruit Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Researchers in Israel found that red and white grapefruit contain powerful antioxidants that help promote heart health. Published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that serving heart bypass patients the equivalent of one grapefruit a day significantly reduced LDL "bad" cholesterol levels. The study included 57 patients, both men and women, who recently had coronary bypass surgery and failed to respond to cholesterol-lowering medication. Red grapefruit was especially effective, reducing cholesterol by 15 percent and triglycerides by 17 percent.

Compound in Grapefruit May Protect Against Prostate Cancer
A laboratory study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that naringenin - a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit and oranges - helped repair damaged genetic material (DNA) in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying. The research was published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Scientists noted that DNA repair by naringenin might contribute to the cancer-risk reducing effects associated with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

*Some prescription drugs may interact with many foods including grapefruit. Anyone with questions about how their medication might interact with their diet should talk to their doctor or pharmacist for more information. For the majority of Americans, there is no reason to stop enjoying the delicious, healthy benefits of grapefruit.

1 Fujioka K, Greenway F, Sheard J, Ying Y. The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome. J. of Medicinal Food. Spring 2006;9(1):49-54.
2 Gorinstein S, Caspi A, Libman I, et al. Red Grapefruit Positively Influences Serum Tryglyceride Level in Patients Suffering from Coronary Atherosclerosis: Studies in Vitro and in Humans. J. Agric Food Chem. ASAP Web Article released February 3, 2006.
3 Gao K, Henning SM, Niu Y, et al. The citrus flavonoid naringenin stimulates DNA repair in prostate cancer cells. J of Nutr Biochem 2006;17(2):89-95

Easy Ways to Eat More Grapefruit

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 grapefruit with your breakfast in the morning, how can you work grapefruit into your busy schedule? It’s easy, if you get creative.

The health benefits that you’ll get from eating grapefruit make it worth the time and effort to find new and fun ways to get more grapefruit 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 grapefruit 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 grapefruit in your kid’s lunches and serve grapefruit 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 grapefruit a perfectly portable snack for you and your whole family.

If you don’t want to carry grapefruit 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.

Grapefruit aren’t just for snacks or 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 grapefruit, or you can make desserts as simple as gelatin and grapefruit segments and they will all be delicious and nutritious.

Healthy Fruit Diet

Fat Burning Foods - The Truth Behind Grapefruit and Citrus Fruits

According to an array of research and studies, many citrus foods-specifically grapefruit-help the body to burn fat. For example, the Nutrition and Medical Research Center at Scripps Clinic in San Diego initiated research and studies that prove how the simple consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice led to a significant loss in body fat and weight. While a fad-diet from the 1980s, titled the “grapefruit diet,” may have been the first source of the grapefruit fat burning rumors, experts and scientists are uncovering new information that supports the fruit’s powerful effects!

The Fat Burning Benefits of Grapefruit
Whether you drink a simple glass of pure grapefruit juice, or if you enjoy the fruit in its whole form, consumers of grapefruit experience significant fat burning benefits. In examining a clinical study of this fruit, leading researcher Dr. Fujioka created a trial wherein 100 obese individuals were monitored as some participants consumed grapefruit while others did not. While engaging in this trial, participants did not make any changes to their diet or exercise habits, other than those who were required to add a daily serving of grapefruit. Dr. Fujioka broke the participants into three groups, and studied their fat burning processes by implementing specific grapefruit requirements:

• The first group did not consume any grapefruit
• The second group ate half of a grapefruit before each meal, three times each day
• The third group drank grapefruit juice before each meal, three times each day.

According to Dr. Fujioka’s results and reports, the two groups who consumed grapefruit before each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds over the course of 12 weeks! When comparing this to the group abstaining from grapefruit, the non-citrus eaters only lost an average of half of a pound during the 12 weeks.

Additional Benefits of Grapefruit
While grapefruit has been proven to work as a fat burning food, consumers of grapefruit will also experience additional health benefits. According to Dr. Fujioka’s study, individuals who consumed his allotted amounts of grapefruit each day also experienced decreased levels of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the body’s metabolism, energy, and blood sugar levels. An excess of insulin can actually lead to serious illnesses, such as diabetes; therefore, a steady diet of grapefruit can actually prevent the development of this health disorder.

When examining how grapefruit provides consumers with fat burning and health benefits, some suggest that the lower insulin levels are the main catalyst for enhanced fat burning abilities. Essentially, as grapefruit stabilizes energy levels and insulin levels, the body is able to maintain a more stable energy state. Oftentimes when faced with an energy crash or feelings of fatigue, the body will jump into a hunger-mode, as the body will seek out sugary and unhealthy foods to receive an immediate and fast energy boost. When engaging in these habits, individuals are choosing foods that lead to weight gain. In contrast, when individuals experience more stable blood sugar levels, the body is able to regulate its energy, burning up fat cells in order to invigorate and boost the body.

Additional Citrus Fat Burning Foods
While grapefruit has been the most researched and verified fat burning citrus product, some studies indicate that other citrus foods can also lead to fat burning effects. For example, lemon and oranges may also promote enhanced fat burning processes; however, these fruits are less clinically supported than the powerful grapefruit benefits. When choosing to incorporate grapefruit into your diet, enjoy the whole fruit or purchase a juice with no additives, sugars, or concentrates. Fresh squeezed and all natural grapefruit will deliver the greatest fat burning benefits.

John Hartie is a recognized authority on fat burning foods, his website; provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about fat burning foods.

A Fruitful Diet: The Many Benefits of Fresh Citrus & Fruit

Looking for something to turn back your internal clock by increasing your vitality and improving your appearance?

Of course there’s no Fountain of Youth, but research suggests that nature has provided us with an answer that comes very close — fruit. It almost seems too simple: Eat fruit; fool Mother Nature.

Yet studies show that by eating four to five servings of fruit each day, you can improve your chances of staying healthy and vibrant as you age. That’s because fruit is loaded with phytochemicals, which are natural compounds that may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of many diseases.
Phytochemicals fight to protect your overall health by providing antioxidant effects, stimulating your immune system, modulating the metabolism of your hormones, and acting as antibacterial and antiviral agents. Get too few of these marvelous compounds and you set yourself up for premature aging, as well as placing yourself at risk for some cancers, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cataracts, osteoporosis and urinary tract infections. But if you eat the recommended amount of fruit each day, you improve your odds for a healthier life.

If you think “eat more fruit” means you should just have another slice of strawberry pie, it’s time to explore the variety of offerings Mother Nature has provided in her fruit basket:

Granny Smith, Jonathan, Macintosh, Red Delicious — there are many different varieties of apples. Whether you like them tart or sweet, apples are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. (One medium apple has 5 grams of fiber.)

Apricots are “stone-fruit” and are related to the plum and peach. Buy apricots that are orange-yellow — that indicates ripeness. They spoil quickly so if you don’t eat them right away, freeze them for later. Apricots contain vitamin A, which you need for healthy skin and to protect against infections.

Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins C and B6. Store bananas at room temperature, never in the refrigerator. (The cold makes the fruit decay from the inside.)

Blueberries have more antioxidant power than any other fruit or vegetable, giving them remarkable anti-aging potential. Research suggests that blueberries protect against the effects of age-related deterioration of the brain, such as short-term memory loss. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Cantaloupe is high in vitamins C and A and a good source of potassium and folate. Folate is linked to the prevention of birth defects (such as spina bifida), heart attacks, stroke and colorectal cancer.

Cherries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Don’t mistake dates for dried fruit — they’re not, even though you’re likely to find them in the dried fruit section at the supermarket. Sometimes known as “the candy that grows on trees,” dates are a good source of fiber.

Grapefruit is high in fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A. Just one-half a grapefruit counts as one serving of the recommended four to five servings of fruit per day.

Grapes are not only high in vitamin C, they contain the phytonutrient “reservatrol,” which is known for its potent antioxidant properties, as well as providing protection against cancer and heart disease.

Kiwifruit may look a little funny — it’s brown and fuzzy on the outside; bright green on the inside with tiny black seeds — but it’s high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber, vitamin E and potassium. You’ll know kiwifruit is ripe when it’s slightly soft to the touch and has a fragrant smell.

This tropical fruit has a flavor that’s often described as tasting like oranges, peaches and pineapples all in one. You’ll know you have a ripe, delicious mango when you can detect a pleasant scent of pine and peach from the stem (no fragrant aroma usually means no flavor). Mangoes are high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.

Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world, with navel oranges and Valencia oranges the two most common varieties. One orange contains all the vitamin C your body needs for the day.

Papayas are a tropical fruit that are rated as one of the most nutritious. They’re high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber and folate. As an additional treat, the black seeds found inside a papaya are edible and have a spicy, pepper-like flavor.

Ever wonder why peaches smell so great? The peach is a member of the rose family and has a similar sweet fragrance when ripe. Peaches are a good source of vitamin C.

There are more than 3000 varieties of pears; Bartlett being the most popular. Pears ripen better off the tree, so ripen your pears in a brown paper bag at room temperature. Pears are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.

When selecting a fresh pineapple don’t look for shell color — that’s no indication of ripeness. (A green pineapple can be just as ripe and sweet as a pineapple with a golden shell.) Look for a pineapple that has a fresh appearance with deep green leaves, and remember to refrigerate it when you get home to preserve freshness. Pineapple is high in vitamin C.

Prunes are actually dried French plums, and just eight of them make one serving of fruit for the day. Eat them right out of the bag for a healthy snack — they’re high in fiber and a good source of vitamin A.

One of the most distinctive features of tangerines is that when they are peeled, the segments of fruit separate easily, making them an excellent snack food for kids! Tangerines are high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber.

Whether seedless or full of seeds, watermelons are high in vitamins C and A.

Remember that whole, fresh fruit is better than canned fruit or fruit juices, but any fruit is better than no fruit. It’s a sweet treat or an excellent side dish or dessert, comes in its own easy-to-open packaging, and best of all, can provide your body with unsurpassed health benefits.

Honeybell Oranges

Facts About Honeybells (Honeybell Oranges)

Honeybell Oranges, also known as Minneola Tangelos, are a citrus fruit. They are actually hybrids of a Darcy Tangerine and Duncan Grapefruit.

Honeybells are usually the size of an adult fist and have a mixed sweet and sour flavor of the sweet mandarin and the tart flavored grapefruit. They’re also very juicy - usually way more juice than it has flesh. Since they have loose skin, they are pretty easy to peel, especially when compared to regular oranges.

In 1931, the Honeybell oranges were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Horticulture Research Station in Orlando. You can easily identify Honeybells by their stem-end neck, which gives it a bell shape, that gave it its name.

It has a bright red orange color when it is fully mature. The skin is thin, making it a quick snack. Although it comes from a tangerine mix, they come in large sizes; usually between 3 and 3 ½ inches in diameter. You can also find between 0 and 12 seeds - 10 on average - in each Honeybell orange.

These oranges are very fruitful on their own, so they must be interplanted with pollenizers, like Sunburst Tangerines, Temple Tangerines or Fallglo Tangerines, but each year there is usually a full crop to be plucked. Farmers usually plant them with mandarin orange or tangelo trees - this helps with the cross pollination and the crop overall. You can find them ripening between December and February - January is the peak month.

These make for great fruits during the winter.

The best place for the Honeybell to grow is in Floridian climates. They aren’t the most profitable orange to grow because their crop sizes are very unpredictable each year. Some years will offer abundance and others scarcity - this is why sometimes you see that they cost a bit more one year and cheaper the next. It is still the most popularly grown of the tangelo types.

Honeybell Tangelos are great for all sorts of dishes, including fruit salads, green salads and fruit drinks. Some even put vinaigrette dressing on them. Honeybells can also be placed on top of focaccia. Grilled Honeybell oranges are also a popular choice. Marinades made with Honeybell oranges are a great choice, too.


Wake up with a Lemon

Start your morning off right with a glass of water - and some fresh Lemon Juice squeezed into it. Lemon Juice is an antioxidant, and also a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. In addition, it may give your immune system a boost and help with digestion throughout the day.

If you do squeeze fresh lemon (as opposed to getting juice from a bottle), be sure to wash it thoroughly ahead of time to clean off any dirt or bacteria that may drift into the juice.

Navel Oranges

Why a Navel Orange is a Citrus Fruit for Many Choices

The Florida 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 cup of 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 navel 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 navel 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 or mold.

Oranges are very popular fruits worldwide. Not only do oranges have a unique taste, they can be found in great abundance and varieties, and oranges have many health benefits.

One of the most popular of the orange varieties is the Navel Orange. When a navel orange is peeled, there is a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit on the blossom end. From the outside, the blossom end looks like a human navel. Navel oranges are seedless, and the flesh is naturally very sweet and juicy.

One of the interesting facts about navel oranges is that technically every navel orange is a clone which comes from the same orange tree from a Brazilian plantation almost 200 years ago. The tree generated spontaneous mutations, and people started cultivating navel oranges in other regions. Because navel oranges are seedless, they can only be cultivated through cuttings and grafted onto fresh stock for expansion and to ensure that the orchard stays healthy. Today in the United States navel oranges are grown primarily in Arizona, California and Florida and are considered a very important industry.

Among their many health benefits, naval oranges are very high in fiber which helps improve cholesterol ratios in the body. Fiber helps regulate sugar levels in the blood, aids in preventing colon cancer. But navel oranges are perhaps best known for their main nutritional ingredient, the antioxidant vitamin C.

The human body does not naturally produce vitamin C on its own. Millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges everyday in the morning as a source of vitamin C as well as to enjoy the taste of this sweet, refreshing fruit. Vitamin C not only helps boost the human immune system, but it also aids in healing wounds, helps the body absorb iron and prevents heart disease. Beta-carotene, which helps prevent cell damage, is another antioxidant that can be found in navel oranges.

Depending on your region, you can find fresh navel oranges from winter through late spring. When you buy navel oranges at the market, make sure you pick out the oranges that are heavy for their size and that don’t have any soft spots or pitting. In some areas of the United States, you can also grow navel oranges yourself, and navel orange trees can often be found in nurseries along with other types of citrus fruits. Most citrus trees have aromatic flowers that can be used for a variety of purposes in addition to yielding delicious, nutritious edible fruit.


The Tangerine is a Healthy Seasonal Delight With a Global History

The ever popular little fruit known as the tangerine is rich in history and tradition as well as being one of the tastiest, most nutritional and convenient-to-eat foods around. The tangerine is actually a member of the mandarin family of oranges and is known to have been cultivated in China and Japan more than 3,000 years before being introduced to the West two centuries ago. The tangerine is an important food source which contains essential nutrients and minerals such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and many others. Tangerine oil, which is extracted from the peel, is used for both cooking and for medicinal purposes.

Tangerines are smaller than oranges, have a deeper orange skin, and the flesh inside is very juicy, usually with a mild, sweet taste. In the United States, the best time to eat tangerines is November through January, although when juiced at the right time, tangerine juice holds up to freezing very well. Otherwise, they should stay in the refrigerator no longer than seven days to maintain their great taste and nutritional value. The best tangerine to buy will be soft and puffy with a loose-fitting skin and feel heavy for its size. It should also be glossy and pebbly-skinned, but don’t worry if there are small green patches near the stem.

To get the most of its nutritional value, the best way to eat a tangerine is to peel it raw and eat its luscious juicy wedges right off the skin. Fresh tangerine wedges are also important ingredients to many healthful, nutritious recipes for meals and snacks at any time of day or night. The tangerine peel is also used not only as a decorative garnish or grating, but when dried and cured properly can also be eaten as a glaze or preserve, like marmalade or jelly.

Tangerine oil is extracted by a process of cold-pressing tangerine peel. The use of the tangerine oil for medicinal applications came from China and is now used the world over for natural healing of all sorts of conditions, both internal and external. It is perhaps most popular in the United States for aromatherapy benefits in cream, bath lotion or vapor form as the fragrance of tangerine oil has been shown to help soothe the nervous system and reduce tension and stress at the same time it boosts the digestive system.

The Little Tangerine Is One of Nature’s Most Versatile Foods

The orange is known as one of nature’s most perfect foods, and the tangerine, which is a hybrid in the mandarin family of oranges, is one of nature’s juiciest, most sweet-tasting delicacies.

Tangerines were first cultivated in China more than 3,000 years ago and didn’t reach Europe or the United States until the 1800s. Now, in addition to East Asia, tangerines are abundant in the Mediterranean, Australia, India and the East Indies, as well as in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

The best months for tangerines are November through January in the United States and North America. They are smaller than most oranges and tangerines of good quality will be glossy with deep orange, loose-fitting skins, heavy for their size and feel soft and puffy. Tangerines can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days but also freezes well after juicing. Most people like to peel them and eat them right off the skin, although fresh tangerine juice as well as frozen juice concentrate are easily available and very popular in the United States. There are also many delicious and healthful recipes which use fresh tangerine wedges in main dishes, salads and desserts.

In addition to its uniquely sweet and mild, refreshing taste, the tangerine is an excellent source of nutrition, containing vitamins C, B1, B2 and B3, as well as potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene and Folate. The properties of tangerine oil have been used for centuries in medicinal applications to help relieve stress and tension, as well as digestive problems such as flatulence, diarrhea and constipation. However, the most popular use for tangerine oil is for increasing circulation to the skin, preventing stretch marks and to reduce fluid retention.

The tangerine has spawned its own numerous tasty varieties of fruit from around the world as well as holiday traditions. The Dancy tangerine is often referred to as the Christmas Orange since it is a tradition in many places for children to receive them in Christmas stockings.

Other hybrids include the popular Clementine, which comes from Spain and North Africa and is a small, sweet-tasting tangerine with no seeds. Also known as the temple orange or royal mandarin, the tangor is a cross between a tangerine and an orange. The cross between a tangerine and a pomelo (a large citrus fruit related to the grapefruit) resulted in the tangelo. Of the tangelos, the Minneola is easily recognized by a little knob formation at its stem end and is one of the most popular tangerine varieties because of its juiciness and sweet, mild flavor.

Temple Oranges

All About Temple Oranges

Temple oranges, also known as tangor, are hybrid citrus fruits. They’re hybrids of the mandarin orange and the sweet orange.

The mandarin orange is a tangerine - this is how tangor came into play. The name tangor is a combo of tangerine and orange. There are all sorts of varieties of the temple oranges, there are:

• King, or King of Siam
• Murcott, or Honey Murcott, Murcott Honey Orange, Red, Big Red
• Ortanique, comes from orange, tangerine and
• Unique Umatilla or Umatilla Tangelo

Then there are the temple oranges from Japan, including:

• Iyokan, also known as sweet oranges
• Miyauchi Iyo, has an early ripening
• Othani Iyo, has a later ripening
• Kiyomi, Trovita navel orange
• Setom, Trovita navel orange

Temple oranges are from the class of Eudicots and the Rutaceae family, and are thought to be identical to the Magnet orange in Japan. The seed of the temple orange was believed to be discovered by a fruit buyer by the name of Boyce. He went to Jamaica in 1896 to buy oranges - this was after a really cold winter in Florida. After finding it, he sent the budwood to Winter Park, Florida. Word began to spread quickly about the new find. One was planted in the grove of L.A. Hakes, who then spread the word to W.C. Temple. Temple then recommended it to H.E. Gillett, the owner of Buckeye Nurseries. The orange was then named, propagated and marketed in 1919. It wasn’t until after 1940 when it began to be planted extensively.

The peel of the temple oranges are between deep orange and deep red. The peel is glossy and a bit rough and thick, almost like leather. You can find about 20 seeds in temple oranges. The trees are thorny and bushy and grows better in Florida than Texas and California. Temples are medium to large, between 2 5/8 and 3 ¼ inches in width and 2 ¼ and 2 ½ in height. It is usually round or oblate. About 25 percent of the temple oranges are under-developed and have a green inside.

Temples are very juicy and sweet, making them a great treat or snack throughout the day. The oranges have nitrogen and potassium excessively applied to them, which produces the acidity of the juice. Those with low acid juice have lower rates of nitrogen and potassium, but high rates of phosphorous.

Valencia Oranges

Who Else Loves Valencia Oranges?

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 produce 0 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 citrus fruit produced 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 on 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.


The Health Benefits of Muscadine Grapes

sselectThe next time you sit down to dinner, don't forget the bottle of wine - Florida that is. Most Florida wines are made from muscadine grapes - a variety of grapes that contain the highest level of antioxidants ever tested in a natural product.

Muscadine grapes are fat free, high in fiber and high in antioxidants. The health benefits of wine have been studied for years and research has indicated that moderate drinking can reduce heart attacks by 50 percent. According to Dr. Serge Renaud, a French scientist and pioneer in alcohol research "Antioxidants in wine help prevent damage to blood vessels, help prevent heart many as 400 other chemicals in wine raise the level of HDL in blood. HDL is the good cholesterol that helps prevent heart attack and stroke."

You never thought that having a glass of wine with dinner had a purpose other than helping to wash down that last savory bite of chicken, beef or fish. However, the health benefits of drinking wine are greater when wine was consumed with meals instead of consumed by itself, according to Dr. Mauizio Trevisan from the University of Buffalo. "Drinking with dinner assures that the protective effects of alcohol are strongest in the evening, when fats from the dinner meal circulate through the bloodstream and carry over to the next morning, when most heart attacks take place."

According to M.D. News Magazine, recent tests show that resveratrol from muscadine grapes can block cancer cells from attacking organs, thus preventing the spread of disease once it starts. Programs at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center in New York City showed that resveratrol was very effective as an inhibitor of the growth of COX, a compound present in breast cancer and other cancers. Compounds that inhibit COX offer promise as a cancer prevention agent by making cancer cells vulnerable to the body's natural defenses. Initial studies showed that resveratrol inhibits tumor growth at three different stages - initiation, promotion and progression. Growing research also notes that additional benefits are in the grapes themselves. "If you don't drink wine, try some jams or a muffin made from muscadines," says Dr. Betty Ector, nutrition researcher at Mississippi State University. "They're an even better source of resveratrol. One half serving (two fluid ounces) of unfiltered muscadine juice, one serving of muscadine jam, one medium muffin, or one-tenth serving of muscadine sauce contains about the same amount of resveratrol as four fluid ounces of red wine"

Florida has 16 unique vineyards throughout the state that produce wines from a variety of muscadine grapes and other Florida agricultural products.

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Address: Mixon Fruit Farms,
2525 27th St. E.
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