Hidden Gems of the Produce Section
When you step out of your comfort zone with the slightly more exotic fruits, you can reap rich rewards in flavor and nutrition.
One example is the sweet-and-delicious pomelo, which is sometimes called pamplemousse, pumelo or shaddock. It originated in Southeast Asia, and it’s a popular food for the Chinese New Year, because it is considered a sign of prosperity and good fortune. It’s also the largest member of the citrus family and a sweet-not-tart cross between an orange and a grapefruit.
Pomelo range from:
- Round to pear-shaped.
- Yellow to green in color.
- The size of a cantaloupe to a watermelon.
- White to dark pink flesh.
- Look for one that is firm, heavy and sweet smelling.
- They last about a week in the refrigerator, after being cut.
- Excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of folate.
How to Enjoy Them
- Open/peel similar to an orange.
- Cut the stem end off leaving a flat top. This allows you to see how thick the rind is (can range from thin to well over an inch).
- Score or cut downward through the skin in four to six places to make it easier to peel off.
- Pull apart the pieces by pressing thumbs into the center of the flat top section, and pulling downward.
- The rind is edible, but bitter and tough so it is worth the time to remove as much as possible.
Tasting notes from a 3-year-old: “It tastes like a door, which is yucky to me.” (She then proceeded to take several BIG bites.)
Tasting notes, middle-aged man: “It tastes like what you always hope a grapefruit will taste like – but never does.” Having watched me break the fruit down, he also commented, “If it is about the same health-wise as an orange or grapefruit, why go to all this work?!”
Thoughts of a dietitian: These are a great way to add a little variety when it comes to eating fruit, and although it’s more work to break down, they’re so large that one easily makes four servings.
Chicken and Pomelo Salad
- 2 cups white cabbage
- 1 cup red cabbage
- ½ cup thinly cut carrots
- 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup peanuts or cashews
- ⅓ cup cilantro
- 1 medium pomelo
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Thinly slice the red and white cabbage. Combine cabbage, carrots, green onions, peanuts, cilantro, sesame seeds and chicken.
- Peel the pomelo, remove the skin and cut each segment of flesh into 2-3 pieces, and toss into salad.
- With a hand mixer or blender, combine sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, honey and lime juice.
- Drizzle over salad, mix and enjoy!
Tips: You can save time if you use a tri-color coleslaw mix, a combination of white cabbage, red cabbage and carrots, in place of the veggies in this recipe.
Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian at Avera Heart Hospital. Get more insight on nutrition and health.