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Monday, November 24, 2014

Help stave off sickness with citrus

(NC)-Like it or not, winter is here, and making healthy diet choices from morning 'til night is crucial to warding off aches and sore throats.

Your mother may have told you to take your vitamins, and she was right. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a key nutrient that helps support a healthy immune system and aids your body's natural ability to fight colds and flu. Vitamin C can also help the absorption, transport and storage of some forms of iron.

"Having a glass of orange juice or a whole grapefruit as part of a healthy breakfast is an easy way to brighten your morning, provide a full day's supply of vitamin C and give your immune system what it needs to function at its best," says registered dietitian Lydia Knorr. "However, healthy eating doesn't have to stop at breakfast. Adding orange juice or a few slices of Florida grapefruit into your lunches and dinners is an easy way to help get your recommended 7-10 servings of fruits or vegetables daily."

Knorr also points out that citrus fruits and juices are versatile ingredients that fit easily into modern cuisine and add a boost of flavor to traditional winter fare. The following recipe incorporates Florida grapefruit juice as a fresh complement to a festive feast:

Grapefruit Coriander Mussels

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin

1 cup (250 mL) Florida grapefruit juice

Half red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 bag (about 2 lbs/1kg) fresh mussels, rinsed

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, half of the coriander and cumin for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add juice, red pepper and jalapeno; bring to the boil. Stir in mussels. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until mussels are open.

Sprinkle with remaining coriander before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

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