Gratitude for Grapefruit

Photo by dullhunk from Flickr.com

At the time of writing this, I am five months pregnant and jones-ing for grapefruit most every hour. I am a bit surprised as my first memories of grapefruit involve my parents bickering every morning when the fruit was in season. My dad believed sugar to be the best topping. My mom believed in salting to even higher puckering levels. We were cornered, my sisters and I. Were we salters? Were we sugar fiends? My youngest sibling chose not to eat the fruit at all. My other sister chose to add both in order to make peace with such opposing views. I, not wanting to deny myself goodness, and quite sick of their nit-picking over a fruit, chose neither and just left it free to be its wonderful self.

Just now, Costco is selling huge bags of grapefruits that are just the loveliest, sweetest wonders mid-winter. Thank you, Texas! Thank you truck drivers! Thank you hybrid of a pomelo and orange! I have bought a few successive bags as they seem to be the only thing that calms my recently finicky tummy. I should not be surprised. Despite the citric acid it contains, it is very easy to digest and can help quell indigestion. Other interesting bits to know about this lovely pulp, is that it can naturally reduce fevers, lower bad cholesterol, and jumpstart your metabolism if you eat it first thing in the morning.

Photo by harmonica pete from Flickr.com

Below, I’ve got a quick smoothie recipe that is frothy not due to dairy but the pulp from the grapefruit. It is indeed yummy and is also quite easy to whip up if you’ve got a sharp and fast kitchen tool like a blender, food processor or juicer. Give it a try!Woot and a howdy to grapefruit! Drinking a liter of grapefruit juice also raises your body’s pH levels and can prevent kidney stones from forming. The vitamin C content in a grapefruit is off the charts and you know that vitamin C fights free radicals and prevents yucky conditions like cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Grapefruit is also a natural preservative and is even found in my nasal saline wash! You must also know that it is the best hangover cure around as it supercharged with enzymes that help your liver cleanse itself. Pass me that porter beer bartender! Errrr, after I give birth and finish nursing my impending darling…

And afterwards, try scrubbing your bathtub with kosher salt and a squeezed grapefruit half as a sponge. No joke! It’s easier, healthier, and better smelling than anything I could squirt out of a plastic bottle from a fancy cleaner company.

Grapefruit Smoothie
1/2 inch ginger knob peeled
3 carrots stems removed
1 grapefruit peeled but with pith

Blend, process, or juice!

Broccoli So Good It Should Be Stalked

Photo by Clara S. from Flickr.com

To be honest, I didn’t like broccoli for a long, long time. When I first went shopping as an adult, I was surprised to find the veggie green and crisp in its original form. They seemed alien – these green stalks that resembled trees as seen from an airplane. This form of broccoli, sprayed intermittently and stacked appealingly in the produce isle, was entirely unlike the veggie simmered limp and decidedly brown by my mother. (Sorry mom. But, you do have other skills other than cooking broccoli.)

Still, despite the fresh green that the broccoli offered from our local greenhouse even midwinter, I did not trust a vegetable that could turn out so horribly once applied to a pan. It wasn’t until my son, 18 months at the time and looking to use his newly sprouted molars on something other than the base of my thumb, happily ate a whole hor’s d’ouvre tray of fresh broccoli at an art gallery opening. I didn’t stop him as I figured the patrons and owners wouldn’t notice as long as he was quietly munching away. I bought my very first stalk as an adult after that. I was 36 years old.

Photo by Carolyn Coles from Flickr.com

Broccoli, In addition to its great crunch and fabulous looks, it has high amounts of potassium which is good for your nervous system, your brain, and your muscles. It contains vitamin C which is a natural antihistamine that can help you breathe clearly while fighting a common cold. It also contains elements that repair skin damage, aid your immune system, and maintain bone health. It even contains some vitamin A which our bodies use to form a light absorbing molecule necessary for low-light and color vision. And, as you crunch through your florets, remember that it also contains calcium and magnesium which regulate blood pressure.