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Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin A, B and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium as well as trace amounts of iron and zinc.The grapefruit membranes are a good source a soluble fiber helpful in reducing cholesterol. Grapefruit pulp, because of its acidic nature, is an effective treatment for urinary infections.

 The fruit stimulates the digestive tract and aids in relieving indigestion and gas. It is also helpful to people with water retention and liver and gall bladder conditions. An infusion prepared from grapefruit flower blossoms is often used as a treatment for insomnia. The beverage is also valued as a cardiac tonic. Rubbed on the skin, grapefruit is beneficial in treating acne and oily skin.


*** If you are on any medication for high blood pressure, refrain from eating grapefruit, since its juice can block special enzymes in the wall of the small intestine that destroys many medications and prevents their absorption into the body. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, more of the drugs get into the body and the blood levels of these medications increase. This can lead to toxic side effects from the medications. (WebMD)

FUN FOOD FACTS   Reverend Griffith Hughes came upon the grapefruit in 1750 and called it the "forbidden fruit" when he and others were seeking the origin of the tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. The grapefruit carried the "forbidden fruit" name for many years after.

 The grapefruit's common name probably came from a 19th century naturalist who noted that the fruits appeared to grow in clusters like grapes.

 The U.S. stock market crash of 1929 and the following years of depression were the catalyst for introducing the grapefruit to destitute families across the country. Grapefruit, along with other citrus fruits, could be had for free with orange food stamps from the welfare board. Families encountering the fruit for the first time weren't quite sure whether it was to be cooked or eaten raw. The welfare board received frequent complaints that the families had cooked the grapefruit for several hours and still found it too tough to eat.

 

Three-Citrus Marmalade


Start with the best citrus you have access to. You can use sweet oranges in marmalade but it is helps to balance that flavor with a supporting role of a bitter or tart variety.


Ingredients

1 ½ pounds organic citrus -- I used grapefruit, sour kumquats, and Meyer lemons, but oranges, limes, and other citrus would also work
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups sugar

Canning equipment: three pint-sized or six 8-ounce or canning jars with rings and lids, a funnel, tongs, a ladle, a wide 12-quart pot, a candy or deep fry thermometer, a sheet pan, and a small 3 to 4 quart pot. 



Scrub your citrus. For oranges, grapefruit, lemons, or limes, slice off the top and the bottom of the fruit, deep enough so you can see the flesh. Half the fruit, squeeze out the excess juice and reserve. Slice each half into halves or thirds, or even quarters, depending on the size of the fruit, then slice thinly, peel, pith, and all. Discard the seeds as you go. For kumquats, slice the fruit thinly, and discard the seeds.

Place the sliced citrus in a wide preserving pan. Add the reserved juice and the water. Set aside for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, bring the fruit mixture to a boil, turned down to a simmer, and cook uncovered until the fruit is tender, about 40 to 45 minutes.

While the marmalade is cooking, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place your washed jars on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Bring a 3 to 4 quart pot of water to a boil and boil your lids, as well as your tongs, ladle, and funnel for 10 minutes to sterilize before canning the marmalade.

When the fruit is tender, stir in the sugar and lemon juice and bring back to boil. Attach a candy or deep fry thermometer to the side of your pot. Boil rapidly, stirring occasionally until the thermometer registers between 222 and 225 degrees F.

Test the set of the marmalade with the plate test. Drop a teaspoon of marmalade on a plate and place in the freezer for 1 minute. If it thickens up on the plate, it is done.

Remove the jars from the oven. Pour the marmalade into the sterilized jars, leaving a 1/4-inch of headspace, and top with sterilized lids. Do not disturb for 24 hours so that a proper set can be achieved. After 24 hours, check to see that the jars have sealed. Refrigerate any unsealed marmalades and use immediately. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.