We need to keep that promise we made to ourselves and our families at our New Year’s Eve gathering – to eat healthier in 2023. No joke friends – with so many viruses, colds, allergies, cases of COVID and whatever else is lurking in the air – we mean business. Today we are talking about all kinds of fruit: fresh, canned and frozen. If you walked into my kitchen right now, you’d find a fruit bowl on my table with pears, oranges, and apples. There are grapes and grapefruit in the refrigerator drawer. In the kitchen cabinet there is both dried fruit and canned fruit. This has been practiced throughout my life – from my childhood to my married life to my retirement life. Growing up my father always brought home fruits and vegetables from the markets and my older brothers, who drove long haul trucks, brought fruits and vegetables from the south.
Fruits and sweets are almost the same price these days, so I have some on hand. Citrus fruits are rich in multiple nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoids and fiber which confer vascular protection, reduce inflammation, improve gastrointestinal function and health, and play an important role in the prevention of conditions such as diabetes, cancer, neurological diseases. What are the three benefits of citrus fruits? Their soluble fiber and flavonoids can help raise healthy HDL cholesterol and lower harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Fruits may lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease. They’re also high in potassium, which may help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Eating half a grapefruit before each meal is more than just weight loss advice. The pink-colored citrus is ranked among the highest for antioxidants. Grapefruit also helps inhibit tumors and repair DNA in human prostate cancer cells.
Pineapple can help relieve arthritis symptoms and is known to boost immunity and suppress inflammation after surgery or strenuous exercise. Eating a few slices of fresh pineapple a day can help digestion by cleaning the body’s organs and blood, boost metabolism, nourish hair, skin, nails and teeth.
Oranges help your body produce collagen, a protein that heals wounds and gives you smoother skin. This fruit is also easier to absorb iron to fight anemia, fight inflammation and can reduce the severity of conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer and slow down age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can lead to loss of vision.
ROAST CHICKEN WITH LEMON GARLIC
12 ounces new potatoes, peeled and halved, 2 medium lemons, halved, 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs and drumsticks), peeled if desired, 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, 12 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, 1 tablespoon fresh trimmed tarragon. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large roasting pan combine potatoes, lemons, and onion. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to coat and spread into an even layer. To put aside.
Using a sharp knife, make four or five 1/2 to 1-inch slits in the meaty parts of each piece of chicken. Insert a clove of garlic into each slot. Place the chicken, bone side down, in a single layer on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170°F for breast halves or 180°F for thighs). In a large pot, cook the green beans, covered, in enough boiling salted water to cover for 8 to 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain and keep warm. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Remove the lemon halves from the pan. Add the green beans to the potato mixture along with the tarragon; roll to combine.
Juice of 2 large oranges or lemons, 3 tangerines or 1 grapefruit, 1 ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ cup water, sugar, 3 medium limes (1/3 cup juice), ¾ – 1 cup honey, or 1 cup sugar , 6 cups of water, 2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries, ice cubes, lemon wedges, lime wedges, honey or sugar (optional). In a 2-1/2 quart pitcher, combine lemon juice, lime juice, and 3/4 to 1 cup honey. Add water and raspberries. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Just before serving, stir gently to combine. Pour into glasses filled with ice. If you like, add slices of lemon and/or lime. Sweeten to taste with additional honey or sugar, if desired. Makes 8 to 10 servings (6 to 8 oz).
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened, 1 1/2 cups divided powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon table salt, parchment paper. Beat the butter on medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix the zest and juice. Whisk together the flour and the next two ingredients. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, preheat oven to 350°. Drop dough by level spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, using a 1-inch cookie scoop. Bake at 350° for 13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on trays for 5 minutes. Mix together the warm cookies and the remaining 1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl.
4 large egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 1/2 cups divided granulated sugar, 5 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, 5 large egg yolks, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), 1/8 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons orange zest, divided (from 1 large orange), 2 cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 (20 oz.) jar chilled tangerine segments (such as Del Monte), drained and divided. Preheat oven to 275°F. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute; beat in cream of tartar. Increase the speed to high and beat until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Spread the meringue over the bottom and top sides of a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts around the edge of the meringue, pressing lightly to adhere. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 1 hour. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, 2 1/2 tablespoons zest, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in the top of a double boiler. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the top of the double boiler in a bowl of ice water and let it sit, stirring occasionally, until completely cooled, about 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
Beat the cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until medium peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir 1⁄2 cup whipped cream into egg-citrus mixture. Gently fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the egg-citrus mixture. Gently fold 1 cup of tangerine wedges into the mixture. Transfer to the prepared meringue pie shell, smoothing the top. Whip the remaining whipped cream on top of the cake, making a well in the center. Arrange the remaining orange segments in the top center of the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon orange zest. Chill 2 to 3 hours before serving.
This cake will be a hit wherever you serve it. Start with two pre-baked 9-inch pie crusts that are ready to fill. Try a graham cracker crust and a plain one if you like. Then in a large bowl add one can chopped pineapple, drained, one can sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, and a large container of Cool Whip, adding half of this whisk fresh at a time to make mixing easier. Mix well and pour into pie crusts. Refrigerate for an hour before serving or freeze to serve faster.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 3 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter, one can No. 2 chopped pineapple, undrained and 4 slices bread cubes. Mix well and pour into a 1 1/2 quart dish and cook for about 40 minutes.
1 large red grapefruit, 3 oranges (cara cara, navel or a mix), 4 blood oranges, 2 tangerines, a pinch of organic sugar, fresh mint, for garnish. To cut grapefruit, oranges, blood oranges and tangerines, cut the top and bottom of the fruit down to the pulp. Turn onto a flat end and using a sharp knife cut through the peel and pith from top to bottom, working your way around the fruit until all is removed. Turn the fruit on its side and cut into ¼-½ inch rounds. Arrange the fruit on a serving platter. Sprinkle any acidic fruit (grapefruit, kumquats, Meyer lemons) with a pinch of sugar. Garnish with fresh mint. You can arrange the leaves or thinly slice the leaves and sprinkle them on top of the whole thing for more mint flavor. Serve in individual bowls or a large bowl.