I hate calling things “diet foods.” It seems anytime I eat a rice cake or a spoonful of Greek yogurt, somebody has to make a remark about my eating habits. While these items are in fact low in calories and technically considered healthier than a chocolate chip cookie, why do they have to be considered diet foods? If I slathered my rice cake in Nutella, then would the naysayers quiet down?

Grapefruit is one of those foods that has the reputation of being a dieter’s best friend. Nearly all of us have heard of the grapefruit diet; allegedly, the fruit has some magic power that can zap fat and encourage weight loss. Essentially you just consume a low-calorie, high-protein diet that includes drinking a glass of grapefruit juice at every meal. But besides the juice, the diet doesn’t specifically mention eating a grapefruit. Even more, there is no substantial scientific evidence that suggests the effectiveness of grapefruit consumption as a means of burning fat. And so it seems that the fruit’s reputation is all based on unproven facts.

Yet even with these questionable weight-loss benefits, I still feel like I am getting judged as a health nut when I pick up a piece of grapefruit from Leo’s. It doesn’t matter that I pour two (or four) packets of sugar on top of it; the simple fact that I have it is enough for people to assume.

Last week on spring break, it was easy to forget about judging eyes. Having spent the week in Florida, I enjoyed a fresh, juicy grapefruit nearly every morning. And even if the grapefruit did have any health benefits, I probably undermined them with my accompanying plates of waffles and sugared pieces of fried dough.

Despite the fact that grapefruit always seems to be available at the dining hall, it is actually in season this time of year. While certainly delicious to eat as is, the fruit’s sweet and tart taste combination makes it terrific for creating unique and flavorful desserts. As this recipe for no-bake cheesecake shows, grapefruits can shake their diet reputation by simply combining them with a few decadent ingredients.

Bethany Imondi is a junior in the College.  MARKET TO TABLE appears every other Friday in the guide.

Grapefruit Cheesecake

Serves 8

From food.com

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit
1/2 cup water
1/4 oz. gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 nine-inch graham cracker pie crust

Directions:

1. Peel and section grapefruit. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand one minute. Cook over low heat for three minutes, or until gelatin is completely dissolved; cool.

3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, dissolved gelatin and grapefruit juice; beat well. Stir in whipped cream.

4. Pour into prepared piecrust and chill until firm, about four hours. Top with grapefruit sections.

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