Grapefruit recipes for the creative cook

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pink grapefruit sliced
The Latin name for grapefruit is Citrus paradisi: Citrus Paradise
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Here are easy recipes with grapefruit that'll inspire you to experiment.

If you’ve never tried grapefruit recipes, you’re in for a treat. Tart and tangy with a juicy sweetness that almost always trickles down your wrist; grapefruits are as fun to cook with as they are to eat raw.

Whether you bought one dozen too many on sale or find yourself looking for ways to incorporate more of this healthy fruit into your family’s diet, you’ll find a wide array of surprising and delicious ways to cook with grapefruit.

Nutritional Benefits of Grapefruit

Uncooked, one grapefruit offers 78.1% Daily Value of Vitamin C, which supports the immune system and boosts cardiovascular health. Pink and ruby red grapefruit are twice as healthy as white grapefruits. They get their color from lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that fights free radicals. In addition to lowering insulin levels and promoting detoxifying enzymes in the body, grapefruits protect against lung, colon and prostate cancer, and kidney stones. The pectin in grapefruit is a soluble fiber shown to lower cholesterol.

Peak Season

While available in stores year-round, grapefruit are at their peak from winter through early spring. They come in white and pink, seed and seedless varieties. Grapefruit with overly soft spots are usually past their prime. If refrigerated, they don’t have an aroma. When left out at room temperature, they should smell slightly sweet.

Cooking with Grapefruit Recipes

Few family recipes incorporate grapefruits, possibly because they are a relatively new entry to the culinary world. First discovered in Barbados in the 18th Century, the first U.S. grapefruits were grown in Florida in the 19th Century. Today, Arizona, California, Texas and Florida are major grapefruit producers in the U.S.

Here are a few tried and true grapefruit recipes for a variety of dishes. Be sure to always rinse grapefruits before cutting into them to avoid transferring bacteria or dirt.

Broiled Grapefruit

Perhaps one of the most popular ways to cook grapefruit is to broil it for breakfast or dessert. There are a number of spices and sugars you can sprinkle on top for a rich, carmelized top. A simple grapefruit recipe is to drizzle a little honey or sprinkle brown sugar with cinnamon and cumin powder for a pleasant contrast. Line a baking sheet with foil and broil grapefruit halves on high for 3-4 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown as the sugar carmelizes.

*Each of the below dishes is accompanied by a link to the full grapefruit recipe.

*Grapefruit-Ginger Tea Bread Recipe from Vegetarian Times

This mouth-watering recipe includes a primer for “supreming” grapefruit, a culinary technique for removing the pith beneath the skin and stringy membrane from the pulp.

Ingredients include 2 grapefruits and grapefruit zest. Baked with crystallized ginger and pecans, then topped with a bright glaze of grapefruit juice and confection sugar, this recipe produces a moist treat that disappears way too quickly.

*Fennel and Grapefruit Summer Salad from

Grapefruit works in a number of salads. This simple recipe combines hearts of palm, fennel and gorgonzola in vinaigrette with thinly sliced grapefruit.

Other tasty grapefruit salads include avocado, jalapenos and salt with a drizzle of honey. For a colorful, nutty salad try mangoes, oranges, grapefruit and toasted walnuts with mesclun and balsamic vinaigrette. Yum.

*Grapefruit, Ginger and Star Anise Compote from Bon Appetit

Originally featured in Bon Appetit, this grapefruit recipe on Epicurious makes for a yummy dessert at small parties or a sweet side with yogurt at breakfast. It includes white and pink grapefruits, as well as star anise and fresh ginger. The sweet syrup eases any bitter or sourness in your grapefruit and the simple combination of spices creates a spectacular flavor.

Good luck with these recipes and enjoy!

WH Foods: Grapefruit nutrition
Veg Paradise: History of Grapefruit

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