I have a confession: Of all the citrus fruits, my absolute favorite is grapefruit. Sinfully refreshing, every grapefruit season I indulge almost daily with drizzled raw honey and lightly roasted walnuts! I love it as well for an afternoon snack or an after dinner dessert, as is, or with a square or two of dark chocolate.
Grapefruit gets its name because of the way it grows: in clusters, just like grapes. The major types of grapefruit are white, pink/red, and star ruby/rio red varieties. All grapefruit have a similar tangy-sweet flavor and are very juicy. The grapefruits that contain a lot of seeds are used to make juice. Grapefruit season varies slightly, depending on where the fruit is grown. In Arizona and California, January to June is peak, but in Texas and Florida, peak season runs October to June.
Nutritionally speaking, grapefruit is high in vitamins C and A. The pink or red varieties contain more phytonutrients than the white. Grapefruit contains fiber and it is lower on the glycemic index, which means it doesn't cause a big spike in blood sugar. Just like tomatoes, the red and pink varieties deliver an antioxidant called lycopene, which may help to protect against certain forms of cancer. Some studies have even shown that grapefruit can help keep cholesterol levels balanced. Be aware, though, that grapefruit may interact with certain medications, so if you eat or drink it regularly be sure to ask a physician if it could affect any medications you are taking.
As I mentioned, I love to eat grapefruit! Here are some of my favorite ways:
- With a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of toasted nuts
- With cottage cheese or yogurt (try it with vanilla Greek yogurt)
- On a green or spinach salad
- Juice in a juicer or a blender - great with a little green apple and parsley - really refreshing!
- Segment and dip in sweetened cream cheese, natural roasted almond butter or any roasted nut butter.
- Poach in honey water with spices, like this Poached Grapefruit with Star Anise and Honey.
- Add to smoothies.
- Dip in melted dark chocolate.
- Add to fruit salads.
- Blend with olive oil, herbs and spices for a delicious salad dressing. Here's a Frisee and Baby Greens Salad with Grapefruit Citranette.
- Add chopped grapefruit to your favorite pre-made Salsa-Fresca, or chop and add to mango, green onion, jalapenos and tomatoes for a delicious topping for fish. Here's a recipe for Spiced Salmon with Papaya, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
- Combine with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper as a marinade for meat or chicken breasts.
- Add to rice pilaf or use as a substitute for canned Mandarin oranges.
Got a passion for grapefruit? I would love to hear your ideas and recipes.