A grapefruit is a large fruit that looks like an orange and it belongs to the citrus family. Though, it’s still regarded as a “new comer,” since it’s a cross-breed between a pomelo and an orange. The diameter of a grapefruit could range between 4-5 inches, and its albedo (the white portion under the skin), is about a quarter to half an inch thick. Furthermore, the fruit’s skin is similar to an orange, but the flesh comes in pink, red, or white. The reason why it’s called grapefruit, is because it grows in clusters, just like grapes. When it comes to taste, it’s usually sour and bitter.
Selection and Storage
- When selecting grapefruits, opt for ones that are richly colored. The skin should be firm and free from blemishes.
- Scars and bruises could often indicate improper handling, or insect damage.
- Select grapefruits that yield slightly to firm hand pressure.
- Ideal grapefruits are usually heavy for their size. It’s also a good indicator of juiciness.
- Avoid those grapefruits that are either soft, mushy, or elongated. They’re generally of poorer quality.
- The difference in taste between red, pink, and white grapefruit varieties is usually unnoticeable. They’re equally sweet most of the time.
Like all fruits, grapefruits are also perishable and should be stored properly to lengthen its shelf life.
- If you’re not planning to eat your grapefruit, don’t slice it. Leave it fully intact at a room temperature.
- Generally, grapefruits could be stored for several days. However, once the bruises or spoil spots start to appear, it’s an indication that it would deteriorate soon.
- Fresh whole grapefruits should be stored inside the refrigerator. Put them inside a plastic bag for optimum results. The longest storage time would be, up to 3 weeks.
- A sliced grapefruit should be stored in an airtight container. This could last for 5 days if refrigerated.
- For best results, it’s advisable to wrap the cut portions of the fruit with a plastic wrap. This would keep as much air as possible, so that the grapefruit wouldn’t become dry.
Note: Peeled grapefruit doesn’t last long. So it’s recommended to only peel the grapefruits when you’re about to consume them.
How to Properly Peel A Grapefruit
- Using a sharp knife, slice off the ends of your grapefruit.
- Stand your grapefruit on one of the ends for easier peeling.
- Insert the top of the knife between the peel and the flesh of the grapefruit. Then, gently loosen the peel.
- You can now start peeling your grapefruit with just your fingers.
- Using a sharp knife, cut one end of the grapefruit. Try to avoid cutting the edible flesh of the fruit.
- In a sawing motion starting at the top, slowly slice the peel.
- Make your way around the fruit in a spiral manner to cut away the remaining peel.
- Never store a whole grapefruit inside a freezer.
- If molds start to form on the skin and the fruit emits a bad odor, don’t eat it.
Several Ways to Cook and Enjoy A Grapefruit
1. Grilled – Grilling a grapefruit could caramelize its natural sugars and bring out the flavor. Best of all, it’s very easy to grill this fruit. All you need to do is cut it in half and grill it face-side down for about 5 minutes. For a healthy grill treat, you could top it with honey.
2. Turn it into a salsa – If you like mango or orange salsa, you’ll definitely love grapefruit salsa! Just dice the fruit, mix with caramelized onions, lime, diced avocado, and diced jalapeno. You can use it to top a salmon, over your crackers, on your salad, or anywhere you’d use your salsa.
3. Candied grapefruit peel – This could be used as a garnish for iced tea, cocktails, and lemonade. You could also add them to a cake batter, frosting, fillings, pan sauces, salad dressings, stews, and braises.
- From organic grapefruits, remove the peel in large sections and try to trim as much pith as you can.
- Blanch it and remove the remaining pith.
- Cut the zest into strips and let it simmer into 1 part of water with 2 parts of sugar for about 45 minutes.
- On the next day, roll the strips in sugar and store them in an airtight container for a longer shelf life.
4. Use it as a sauce
- For a mild fish, add a little blanched grapefruit zest and a spoonful of juice.
- On the other hand, if you prefer an oily fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and swordfish, you’ll need a punchier pan sauce. Sautee your onions and garlic, blanched grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, thinly sliced scallion, and a little soy sauce.
5. As a salad ingredient – Grapefruit is perfect for salads. For a healthy and sumptuous meal, slice them into pieces, mix with walnuts, arugula, feta cheese, walnuts, and a small amount of vinaigrette.
6. Juiced – You can juice this fruit in a number of ways. It could be used as an alternative to lime and produce grapefruit margaritas. Also, you can drink it straight or add a little water. This will depend on your preference.
- After you’ve eaten all of the pulp, don’t throw the remaining of the fruit yet. You can squeeze the rest of the juice and drink it or use it in a smoothie.
- Sprinkling some sugar on top of it could lessen it’s sourness.
- If you’re tired of eating a regular grapefruit, you could freeze them first for a change. You’ll have a yummy ice-like treat that’s very healthy.
- When peeling a grapefruit, be careful not to cut yourself.
- To make it more presentable, you can add a cherry on the center half of it.
- For an added twist, try broiling a grapefruit with blue cheese or a little brown sugar.
- If you’re on medication, consult a doctor first before consuming a grapefruit.
- The tougher parts of the grapefruit shouldn’t be eaten. Even though they’re harmless, they don’t taste that good and they are very hard to chew.
Despite its bitter-sour taste, this fruit is packed with tons of health benefits.
- Weight Loss – Grapefruits are proven to help people lose weight and keep up with their ideal weight. As a matter of fact, most dieticians and nutritionists suggest including grapefruits in a daily diet chart.
- Lowers the Insulin Levels – Doctors came to a conclusion that grapefruits could lower the insulin level, resulting in rapid weight loss. The sugar is used as the body’s fuel instead of being stored as fats.
- Anti-carcinogenic – Grapefruit is full of flavonoids that help the body fight against infections, making it free from carcinogens that could cause cancer. Likewise, the high level of pectin present in grapefruits acts as a laxative that protects the colon mucous membrane.
- Better Eyesight – Red and pink grapefruits contain huge amounts of beta-carotene. It keeps the eyes healthy and improves the vision. One grapefruit a day is more than enough to maintain the ideal vision and eradicate the ravages of eye aging and strain.
- Remedy For Arthritis – The salicylic acid found in grapefruits could lessen the pain of arthritis. For best results, drink grapefruit juice with apple cider vinegar.
- Treatment for Infections – The flavonoid present in grapefruits helps the body fight infections. Wherein, eating grapefruit daily could provide a boost in immunity against diseases.
- Reduces Cholesterol – The antioxidants present in grapefruit could reduce the cholesterol level of a person for up to 15%. Doctors recommend the grapefruit diet to those patients who suffer cholesterol problems. Also, it could strengthen the heart and prevent the development of heart disease.
- A Liver Cleanser – Grapefruit contains several cleansing agents for the liver. Among them are the phythonutrients called limonoids. The limonoids aid in excreting the toxic from the liver, making them more water soluble. Likewise, it also contains naringenin that helps the liver to burn fat instead of storing it.
- Could Reduce Gum Bleeding – Eating 2 grapefruits a day could treat a bleeding gum. It also increases the vitamin C levels of the body which is a way to avoid periodontal disease.
- Treatment for Respiratory Problems – Eating grapefruits could strengthen the immunity and lessen the duration of colds.
- Stops the Formation of Kidney Stones – Studies show that drinking a liter of grapefruit a day could lessen the risks of developing kidney stones. Its high content of vitamin C helps in increasing urinary pH and the rate at which the citric acid should be excreted. Minimizing the risks of kidney stone formation.
- Promotes Hair Growth – Our hair follicles could get clogged up because of dandruff and dry, flaky skin; this could hinder hair growth. However, grapefruit seed extracts could fight the bacteria on the scalp, soothe the skin, and prevent dandruff. Encouraging faster hair growth.