Grapefruit Goes Way Beyond Breakfast

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A breakfast favorite, the large succulent grapefruit has a yellow skin and is about three times the size of an average orange. With a powerful pucker-up quality, the grapefruit needs to be fully ripe before enjoying. Not only are grapefruits a great way to start your day at breakfast, they are versatile enough to take you all the way to dessert. Let's look at this refreshing fruit and learn more.

What is It?

Tart and tangy with a sweetness that grabs your taste buds, grapefruit rivals the popularity of the orange. Although they are generally available throughout the year, grapefruit are at their peak during the winter months. Grapefruits are typically two to three times larger than their orange cousins. The Latin scientific name for grapefruit, citrus paradisi, actually means “paradise-like.” Grapefruits are categorized as white, pink, or ruby, but their color isn't evident from the outside. The classification reflects the color of their flesh.


Grapefruits are one of the newer fruits to be become known outside of their native area. It wasn't until the 18th century that grapefruit was found in Barbados. Grapefruit trees came to the US in the early 19th century. Scientists believe that the grapefruit was born out of a crossbreeding between an orange and the pomelo. The name 'grapefruit' actually came from the way these delicious fruits grow – hanging in clusters, like grapes, from trees. Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas are the four top producing states in the US.

Health Benefits

Grapefruit is an incredible source of vitamin C, which helps support the immune system. Vitamin C also helps prevent free radical damage and is therefore also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The vitamins and nutrients in grapefruits also help promote cardiovascular health. Consumption of super-foods rich in vitamin C has resulted in a reduced risk of death from causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer. Grapefruit also protects against kidney stones and colon cancer.

Fun Fact

A study done in Austria suggests that fruits which are ripe, almost to the point of spoilage, actually have increased antioxidant levels. So, for the most antioxidants, choose a fully ripened grapefruit. Grapefruits are naturally juicier when they're slightly warm rather than cool, so it is important to store them at room temperature if you are planning on enjoying them within a week of purchase. If you will not be eating them within this time period, store them in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep fresh for about two to three weeks. Grapefruit is a great freshener, just like lemon. Put the peelings down the garbage disposal for deodorizing. The essential oils from grapefruit are also used in many scented products as well as beauty products.

How to Eat

Grapefruits are citrus fruit, so you eat them like other citrus fruits. They can be eaten by peeling and separating the segments. You can also slice a grapefruit around the 'equator' and eat it like a bowl, using a serrated spoon to scoop out the sections to eat. You can cut around from top to bottom and continue to cut into wedges, just like other citrus. With the grapefruit, however, you must be sure to avoid eating the white 'pith' as it is very, very bitter. Beyond breakfast and snack time, the grapefruit has seen a resurgence in popularity in everything from vinaigrette to grilled meals to desserts.

This citrus, that has been familiar as a breakfast staple, is finding all sorts of new ways to make it to the table. Get familiar with this tangy sweet and juicy fruit to expand your culinary experience way beyond the ordinary.


Grapefruit Recipes


Grapefruit Salad and Pear with Mint

2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
4 fresh pears, peeled and cut into wedges
1 8-oz can apricot halves, drained
1 cup seedless grapes

Grapefruit Mint dressing:
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fresh grapefruit rind, grated
1 tbsp grapefruit juice, reserved from sections
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, or 1 tsp dried mint leaves, crushed

In medium bowl, combine grapefruit, pears, apricot halves and grapes. Cover and chill.
In small bowl combine yogurt, honey, grapefruit rind, grapefruit juice, and mint. Mix well. Cover and chill.
To serve arrange the fruit in individual serving bowls. Serve the mint dressing on the side.


Grapefruit Crunch

8 red grapefruit sections
2 Tbsp pina colada flavored low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp granola (with almonds)

Arrange grapefruit sections in a shallow bowl or an individual salad plate. Top with yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.


Asian Grapefruit Orange Enhanced Tuna Steaks

2 tsp red or white wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp olive oil
4 fresh tuna steaks
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and 1 tbsp olive oil.
Cut grapefruit sections and orange sections in bite size pieces and add to bowl with sauce, then add the red onion, and two tbsp cilantro; then set aside.
Prepare fish: Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna steaks and cook quickly for about eight minutes, turning once. If you have good tuna, it doesn't need to be cooked through, but that is a personal choice.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the fish with grapefruit orange relish spooned over.
Makes 4 servings.


Creamy Grapefruit Orange Pie

1 small box orange Jello
1 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup boiling water
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
4 grapefruit
1 baked pie shell
4 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
Cool Whip for serving

Mix Jello, sugar, and boiling water together and stir until dissolved.
Now dissolve cornstarch in cold water and add to the Jello mixture. Cook until liquid gets clear; then cool.
Peel 4 grapefruit, separate into sections, then cut into small pieces. Save a few of these sections for a garnish. Add grapefruit to cooled Jello mixture.
Line the baked pie shell with cream cheese softened with a little milk, then pour the Jello mixture into the shell and chill until firm and well-set.
Serve topped with Cool Whip and garnish with grapefruit sections.


Grapefruit Viniagrette Quinoa Salad With Grilled Salmon

1 medium-size grapefruit
1/4 cup olive oil
8 slices fresh ginger
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 small minced chile pepper (jalapeno or serrano)
2 minced scallions
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 large salmon steaks, cut in bite-size cubes
Skewers, for grilling
Ground black pepper, to taste

Use a vegetable peeler and carefully peel curls of the grapefruit rind off, being careful to avoid getting any of the bitter white pith.
Heat grapefruit peel, olive oil, and ginger about 2 minutes in a small saucepan over medium heat. When oil starts to bubble, remove from heat. Set aside and let sit for 30 minutes, then strain and reserve the oil, discarding the grapefruit peelings.
Meanwhile, bring quinoa, water, and 1/2 tsp salt, to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce heat, cover and simmer for fifteen minutes, or until quinoa is light and fluffy and has absorbed the water. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork, then transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
Remove entire peeling now from grapefruit and separate segments over a bowl to reserve juice; set grapefruit sections aside.
Take 3 tablespoons of this reserved grapefruit juice and whisk together with vinegar and honey in a separate bowl, then add salt and whisk again.
To this mixture, slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit-infused olive oil; start slowly, whisking constantly. Season with ground black pepper to taste.
Pour this dressing into the quinoa and toss gently, then add the chile peppers, scallions, and cilantro. Set aside.
Preheat a grill to high heat.
Thread salmon cubes onto skewers, brush with remaining grapefruit-infused oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill salmon skewers about three minutes, turning as each side browns.
Toss grapefruit segments into the quinoa salad and serve with salmon kebobs, or remove salmon from skewers and add to salad.
Makes 4 servings.


Grapefruit Cake

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 cup milk
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 (9 inch) pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and grapefruit zest. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the grapefruit juice and milk. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.