BARTOW, Fla., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With winter fast approaching, many might assume that the change in season also means the end of fresh fruits and vegetables until summer. This simply isn't the case. This time of the year fresh, ripe and vitamin-rich Florida grapefruit begin to hit the supermarket shelves once again, marking the start of the Florida grapefruit season!
Florida grapefruit harvest begins in October, stretching all the way into April. Florida grapefruit is available in market from November through May, with peak season sweetness and juiciness starting in January. Even in the coldest weather, world-famous Florida grapefruit provides an invigorating taste with every bite. Grapefruit is also a healthy and versatile ingredient that can help contribute to a nutritious diet while adding a touch of sweetness to your meal.
"Winter is on its way which means that Florida Grapefruit is ripening to its sweetest and juiciest," says Michael Schadler, Director of International Marketing at the Florida Department of Citrus. "With Florida grapefruit, there's more than meets the eye. Many regions around the world produce grapefruit during the winter and spring months, but Florida's unique subtropical climate creates the world's most delicious grapefruit. There's nothing else like it."
Growers in the sunny and lush Florida citrus groves have been harvesting delicious grapefruit for generations. "While Florida's unique subtropical climate provides ideal growing conditions for grapefruit to thrive, it can impact the overall aesthetic of the grapefruit we grow," explains Mike Garavaglia, a Florida grapefruit grower and packer based in Fort Pierce, Florida. "The sun, humidity and rains during Florida's growing season are a blessing when it comes to producing flavor and juiciness, but as a result, Florida grapefruit's exterior appearance doesn't always look as good as grapefruit grown in other areas, but it certainly tastes better." For this reason, many Florida growers are fond of reminding customers not to judge a book by its cover and to remember there really is amazing inside Florida grapefruit.
"Even when it is cold and bleak outside, your meals don't have to be," says Gail Rampersaud, registered dietitian. "Preparing meals with fresh Florida grapefruit not only adds flavor, but also nutrients that can help energize you during the dreary months. Florida grapefruit is a healthy way to tantalize your taste buds and provide a natural boost in energy with essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fiber."
Rampersaud recommends the following tips to eat healthy during the winter months:
- Every bit counts, so look for ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your meals throughout the day. This can be as easy as adding fresh fruit to a breakfast smoothie or a lunchtime salad.
- Whenever fruits are on the menu, consider serving yourself an extra half or full helping to boost your intake. If needed, account for any calorie differences and reduce the amount of other foods you eat accordingly.
- Select fruit high in vitamin C. Half of a Florida grapefruit contains at least 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, an important nutrient that can help support a healthy immune system.
- Opting for fruit with high water content, like Florida grapefruit, may help keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
- One-half of a medium sized Florida grapefruit is fat-free and contains just 60 calories. The juice from grapefruit has fewer calories than many commonly consumed fruit juices at around 100 calories per 8-ounce glass, making it a great addition to any weight management regimen.
About the Florida Department of Citrus
The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs nearly 76,000 people, provides an annual economic impact close to $9 billion to the state and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida's schools, roads and health care services. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit http://floridajuice.com/.
David Steele – Florida Department of Citrus
Jenny Blonn – Golin
SOURCE Florida Department of Citrus