Reach your winter peak with in-season citrus

TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - With the Olympic buzz fresh in our minds, there's a renewed excitement for winter athleticism in Canada. Before rushing off to ski hills and local skating rinks, Canadians should remember that incorporating natural, healthy options into daily eating habits is necessary to build and sustain energy levels during, and in between workouts. Athletes and fans take note: there's a way to keep excitement levels up while staying healthy and fit long after the medals are handed out.

To maintain a well-balanced diet for an active lifestyle, look out for seasonal fruit and vegetables available to Canadians during winter months. In-season fruit and vegetables are a natural source of essential nutrients and vitamins that can help sports enthusiasts keep going all day long, whether it's a rigorous workout or a long workday. World-class Florida grapefruit is at the height of season right now and will help keep energy levels up all day.

Fresh, juicy and sweet, Florida grapefruit can turn any dish into a medal-winner. Filled with vital vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin C, fibre, potassium and magnesium, your winter recipes are sure to be a contender with this crowd-pleaser.

"Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be more challenging during the winter months," says Lydia Knorr, MHSc, a Registered Dietitian with the Florida Department of Citrus. "We need to remember to incorporate fresh, natural food into daily eating habits to ensure continued health. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, such as Florida grapefruit, that are high in vitamins and antioxidants, is an easy way to help stay in prime condition during those lethargic winter months."

Introducing Florida grapefruit to your typical meals will add an extra kick of flavour and is a delicious addition to many classic dishes. Integrating healthy choices such as Florida grapefruit not only provides essential nutrients and antioxidants for an active lifestyle but can add zest to your winter meal plans.

    
    Citrus Tips to Bring the Sunshine to You:

    -   Opt for 100 per cent Florida orange or grapefruit juice instead of
        sports drinks. They're a healthier source of energy and a great
        addition to a morning smoothie.
    -   For a flavourful and nutritious lunch, try a fresh salad with
        grapefruit and avocado to boost your vitamin, mineral and
        phytonutrient intake.
    -   During dessert try a tropical fruit salad with grapefruit, tangerines
        and pineapple. This provides a sweet option without weighing you
        down.

    For an interesting take on a healthy salad, try our Roasted Sweet Potato
and Grapefruit Salad - full of antioxidants and vitamins, it's a fresh
alternative for a light meal:

    Roasted sweet potato and grapefruit salad
    Makes 6 servings

    Ingredients
    3 sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs/1.25 kg), peeled and chopped
    45 mL (3 tbsp) pure maple syrup
    15 mL (1 tbsp) chopped fresh thyme
    2 Florida Ruby Red Grapefruits* (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g)
    2 L (8 cups) baby spinach
    25 mL (2 tbsp) white wine vinegar
    15 mL (1 tbsp) canola oil
    Pinch freshly ground pepper

    Directions

    1.  In a large bowl, toss together sweet potatoes, maple syrup and thyme
        to coat evenly. Spread onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and
        roast in 220 degrees C (425 degrees F) oven for about 30 minutes or
        until tender and golden. Return to bowl.
    2.  Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, cut both ends off grapefruits.
        Using sawing motion, cut skin and white pith off and discard. Cut
        grapefruit between membranes into segments into sweet potato bowl.
        Stir to combine.
    3.  In another bowl, toss spinach with vinegar, oil and pepper. Divide
        among plates and top with roasted sweet potato and grapefruit
        mixture.

    Nutritional information per serving:

    Calories: 220
    Protein: 4 g
    Total fat: 3 g
           Saturated fat: 0 g
           Cholesterol: 0 mg
    Carbohydrates: 47 g
           Fibre: 7 g
    Sodium: 124 mg
    Potassium: 892 mg
    

About the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC)

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of the 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. A few of the popular varieties of Florida citrus fruit available in Canadian supermarkets are Ruby Red Grapefruit, Flame Grapefruit, and Marsh Grapefruit with 100 per cent pure Florida orange juice and Florida grapefruit juice available all year round.

SOURCE Florida Department of Citrus

For further information: For further information: Jessica Greasley - GolinHarris, (416) 642-7952, jgreasley@golinharris.com

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Florida Department of Citrus

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