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Our Blog: January 24, 2024

The Sweeter Side of Ugli Fruit

If you’ve ever been curious about this funky little item while wandering through the produce department, this is your sign to give it a try!

Ugli fruit, known as a Jamaican tangelo, is in the citrus family. Named for its distinct, wrinkled appearance, it is a cross between a mandarin orange and a grapefruit. An ugli fruit is typically the size of a large grapefruit with a yellowish-green outer skin and many imperfections. Don’t let the surface fool you, though! What lies below is a real treat. They are easy to peel and tend to taste sweet like a clementine or tangerine.

One ugli fruit has about three servings of fruit for adults or six servings of fruit for preschool-aged children. Incredibly, it also provides enough vitamin C to meet the daily requirement! That makes it a powerhouse source of antioxidants to strengthen your immune system during cold and flu season.

Ugli fruit can be peeled and enjoyed on its own or using one of these ideas:

  • Tropical Smoothie: Blend ugli fruit, banana, pineapple juice, milk, and ice.

  • Fruit and Avocado Salad: Combine sliced ugli fruit, diced avocado, mixed greens, and a citrus vinaigrette for a sweet salad packed with bright flavors.

  • Yogurt Parfait: Layer yogurt with sliced ugli fruit and granola.

Ugli fruit is in season between December and April.

About the Author

Nicole Spain, MS, RDN

Childhood nutrition has been Nicole’s passion for more than 20 years. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Dietetics from Northern Illinois University. During her career with Learning Care Group (LCG), Nicole has assisted with developing and implementing the company’s proprietary Grow Fit program. Through her curated menus, the healthy lifestyle initiative positively impacts approximately 100,000 children daily in LCG’s 1,050+ schools. She aided in the rollout of the Veggies Early & Often campaign in 2021 and helped LCG be recognized as the 2017 Partner of the Year by the Partnership for a Healthier America. Since 2004, she’s also been an active Junior League member and developed the Kids in the Kitchen program for their Detroit and Milwaukee chapters. Nicole and her husband, John, have three children. In her spare time, Nicole competes on a rowing team with the Detroit Boat Club Crew.