Buying groceries and preparing meals can seem overwhelming, especially when trying to feed your family nutritious meals on a budget. However, shopping for seasonal fruits and vegetables is a healthy and cost effective way to tackle the task. When crops are at their peak, farmers have an abundance of produce to unload and grocery stores pass the savings on to you – especially if you take advantage of the weekly sales.
Citrus fruit is prolific in the winter months and even into the early spring. One of my favorite citrus fruits since childhood (my family had a tree in our Arizona backyard) is grapefruit. Lucky for us, we enjoyed these grapefruit glory days for free – but even without a backyard orchard, you can find great deals on grapefruit if you buy in bulk. Instead of paying 79 or 99 cents a pound for grapefruit (some weigh a couple pounds!), scan store circulars for specials on big bags of grapefruit – for example, I recently purchased a 15 pound bag of grapefruit for $3.98 – that’s less than 27 cents a pound! If you’re worried a mother lode of grapefruit will go bad before you can use it up, don’t be. Grapefruit will stay fresh in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for at least one month (maybe two) and can be kept peeled, sectioned and in zip-top bags in the freezer for up to a year. In my family, we have no trouble polishing off a jumbo-sized bag of this economical and healthy fruit – I’m sharing three of my favorite ideas that are great for grapefruit!
Grapefruit Infused Water – Fill a pitcher or large tea jar with cold water and add slices of grapefruit (leave the skin on, but wash the exterior first). Add other flavor enhancers to create a refreshing beverage – I like lemongrass and mint, but the alternatives are unlimited. After letting the ingredients sit in the water for one hour, strain into clean glasses through a mesh sieve smashing remaining pulp to extract juices. Enjoy!
Grapefruit, Avocado & Feta Salad – Section one grapefruit and slice into chunks. Gently toss in one avocado that has been peeled, seeded and diced. Top with a sprinkling feta cheese crumbles and herbs of choice.
Honey Broiled Grapefruit with Lemongrass and Basil – If you’ve never enjoyed grapefruit caramelized under the broiler, you’ve been missing out! This quick and low-cal fruit dessert is exceptionally tasty and uses honey (you can substitute brown sugar) and spices to create a crust that locks in the fruit’s natural juices. I haven’t listed it in the following recipe, but sometimes I add just a dash of cayenne pepper for an unexpected pop of heat. Enjoy!