Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Warm Grapefruit "Tea"


Here in the Phoenix area, it's inevitable--every winter, some friend or neighbor WILL give you a giant grocery bag of extra citrus from their tree. There are just no two ways about it. It goes along with living in the Valley like getting used to the idea of scorpions and thinking of 87 degrees as normal October weather. It's a blessing and a curse. But if you like citrus like I do, mostly a blessing. Every season when the bag shows up in my home, I engage in a frenzied scouring of the internet to determine how I will use up a gazillion oranges/lemons/grapefruit before they all go bad.

This year my citrus grab bag included quite a bit of grapefruit. Last year when this happened, I made several loaves of grapefruit bread (which surprisingly ended up being the hit of a bridal shower I threw--who knew?), ate grapefruit halves broiled with brown sugar (meh--okay), and made one heinously inedible grapefruit-tofu stir fry. (Please DON'T. EVER. TRY. THIS.) This year I went straight to Martha Stewart, remembering a grapefruit granita of hers I also made last year. Yeah, so I made a lot of grapefruit...it was a weird time in my life. 

Anyway, one of Martha's 30 grapefruit recipes (or should I say her staff's 30 grapefruit recipes--no one in their right mind has 30 grapefruit recipes of their own) sounded intriguing. Warm Grapefruit Tea. I figured this must be an infusion of a regular tea with grapefruit juice. Nope. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a recipe for how to make hot grapefruit juice. There is no tea involved.

Gross, right?

Well, like I say, I was intrigued. Reviewers raved about it, and I judge a lot by reviews--and who am I kidding, I have like 9 freaking grapefruit to get through! Throw me a bone here! Plus, as mentioned in previous posts, I do enjoy the element of surprise and/or trying something new when it comes to cooking. So I went for it. You'll never guess...

It was amazing! 

It really does taste like tea, but like the most refreshing hot tea ever. And with cold and flu season upon us, it certainly can't hurt to get some vitamins and antioxidants in a new and unique way. Grapefruit is loaded with Vitamin C, as you may have guessed, but what you might not know is that it contains lycopene, the same antioxidant found in tomatoes (makes sense when you realize their flesh is in the same color family of pink/red). Grapefruit also contains plenty of Vitamin A and has a low glycemic index, which has been indicated in weight control and disease prevention. 

Now what to do with all those oranges...



Warm Grapefruit Tea
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Juice from 2 large pink or red grapefruit (about 2 cups)
2-4 Tbsp. honey
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. whole allspice or cloves
1/2 c. water

In a medium pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Strain and discard solids and enjoy carefully--it will be very hot!

Serves 2.

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