So many medical claims have been ascribed to the grapefruit that many are perceived as fact. Grapefruit has been mentioned in the treatment of everything from atherosclerosis to stomach cancer. It’s connection to vitamin C as the cure for the common cold is as well-known as the popularity, every few years or so, of the Grapefruit Diet. This particular diet, having been around since the early 1930’s, has borne the burden of investigatory research, as dieticians, doctors and the Florida Citrus Board look for the mysterious connection between grapefruit and weight loss.
Simply put, grapefruit is low in sodium and sugar, has a high concentration of vitamin C and calcium, is rich in the amino acid lycopene and has high water content. Can it help you lose weight – yes. It’s low in calories and high enough in fiber to fill you up and lower the insulin level to but the brakes on food cravings. The pink or Ruby Red variety enjoys a boost of beta-carnitine. Peeled and eaten like an orange, you get the benefit of the pectin that helps lower cholesterol.
As a fairly recent addition to the citrus family – it’s a cross between the orange and pomelo – grapefruit is a breakfast fixture from diners and coffee shops to the family kitchen. The great issue facing this nutritious fruit is how to get it away from breakfast and take its place along with oranges and tangerines as a fruit to eat at any time of day. They can be tart, which may work against it when you get the munchies as 4 pm and try to come up with a snack. The irony is that a segment or two of grapefruit can act as an appetite suppressant, and that 4 pm urge to eat would be significantly reduced if only we could get a grapefruit snack in front of us in time!
Grapefruit juice is making its way into culinary focus with the likes of vinaigrettes, sorbets and in salads. Desserts such as grapefruit crisps and cakes are gaining in popularity, and the fruit make great smoothies and slushies, which just may be the thing to keep in the frig, ready to chase away those munchies.
Frozen Cinnamon Grapefruit
1 whole grapefruit, pink or white, peeled
1 cup Splenda
2/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
Make the cinnamon syrup: Combine the water and Splenda in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the Splenda is dissolved. Lower the heat and add the cinnamon stick. Simmer for 15 minutes, the syrup should be slightly thickened. Separate the grapefruit into whole segments. Remove as much pith as you can without puncturing the segments, and carefully remove any seeds. When the syrup has cooled, remove the cinnamon stick. Dip the grapefruit segments in the syrup then place each one on a wire rack that sits over a baking pan. After each segment is glazed and positioned on the rack, freeze them until they are solid. Take out only as many segments as you want at one time. The frozen segments can be kept in a tightly covered container after they have been individually frozen. Another fun way to do this is to insert a skewer or candy stick in each segment and freeze – you can eat them like a frozen pop.