Because we can buy citrus fruit almost year round, its easy to forget that it is a winter season crop. Right now is the best time for oranges, grapefruit and other citrus. For a healthy start to your day, combine orange and grapefruit segments with other fruit for a fantastic fresh fruit salad. It makes a refreshing snack too.
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Salad
Our orange tree produced a bumper crop this year, so my kitchen is overflowing with beautiful oranges. While we’ve been sharing the bounty with friends and neighbors, we still have lots of oranges on our hands. So oranges became the base for my fresh fruit salad.
About Oranges and Sugar
While little tastes better than a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, orange juice is very high in sugar. It’s healthier to eat an orange rather than drink the juice. The orange flesh provides healthy fiber, which slows the absorption of the natural sugars. So don’t drink your calories, eat the whole orange.
Not only are oranges an excellent source of vitamin C, they are a good source of fiber, vitamin B1, folate, calcium, potassium and phytonutrients (plant nutrients). Research shows that consuming fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C not only support our immune systems, but they can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Choosing Fresh Fruit
To make a fresh fruit salad, I like to combine orange and grapefruit segments with whatever else is available that looks good at the market and is reasonably priced. I add a banana, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes and pomegranate seeds. Kiwi is another nice addition. In summer, try adding melon, pineapple or mango.
If you are eating fresh fruit salad for breakfast, add some protein to balance your meal. Scramble up an egg or two, add some plain Greek yogurt or steel cut oats.
How to Segment Citrus Fruit
The easiest way for most people to segment an orange or grapefruit is to simply cut the fruit in half, then use a sharp paring knife to cut around each individual segment. Pop the segments out and reserve the juice.
Another technique is called “to supreme” (video link to show how). You trim off the top and bottom of the citrus, exposing the fruit and sit it flat. Next, cut off all of the skin and white pith with a sharp knife following the curve of the fruit. Then with a sharp paring knife, cut each segment out over a bowl to catch the juices.
Do what works best for you. I usually do the supreme method on oranges as they are smaller, and the method shown above on grapefruit as they are larger. It takes a little practice but its not hard. You need a good sharp knife. I use a 7″ Santoku to supreme citrus and a little birds beak peeling knife (or regular paring knife) for the top method.
The most time consuming part is getting your citrus ready. Once that is done, citrus segments stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days in their juice. You can make your fruit salad anytime. It takes seconds to peel and slice a banana and berries just need a quick rinse and dry before folding in. If you are packing it to take to work, it will be fine to mix together in the morning. The most fragile are raspberries, but they too will survive if they are nice, fresh and firm.