Grapefruit is available all year long but the peak season is typically from November to April, so like other citrus; wintertime is the prime time to be enjoying grapefruit!
How to Select
Pick a grapefruit that has smooth, firm skin, and that feels heavy for its size. Avoid any with blemishes, any which are overly soft or have uneven soft spots. The skin should be yellow and may have a blush of pink or a little green.
How to Store
Despite their size, grapefruits can be quite fragile. Handle with care between the store and home. Grapefruit can last up to a week on the counter or up to two weeks in the fridge.
How to Prepare
Grapefruit is a classic for breakfast! Wash fruit well before cutting it. Simply cut in half to see the beautiful fruit inside. Run a sharp knife between the fruit and the pith to loosen the fruit, and then use a narrow spoon to wedge out the pieces! There are special grapefruit spoons with serrated edges to make it easier, but you can use a regular spoon too.
Preparing grapefruit supremes (i.e. exposing the flesh of the fruit) is very similar to how you would prepare orange supremes. To separate segments without the fibrous pith for salads or savoury dishes, use a sharp knife to cut the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Then pare the skin off, cutting away the pith and exposing the fruit.
You could also cut grapefruit into slices by cutting off the top and bottom, and paring off the pith. Slice across the fruit with a very sharp knife for beautiful, sun-shaped grapefruit slices to garnish on cakes or salads.
Alternatively, make your own fresh grapefruit juice! Depending on your taste preferences, you may want to add some maple syrup or sugar to add a touch of sweetness. Another idea is to blend in some orange or pineapple juice.
How to Freeze
Grapefruit supremes freeze well since the membrane has been removed. Store in an airtight freezer bag to add to smoothies for later! You can also freeze grapefruit juice in an ice cube tray to add to your favourite drinks later. This will both chill and add some flavour, without diluting your drink.
When people think of grapefruit, they often picture red and pink-fleshed fruit. The pink variety is tangy-sweet and great for juicing. The red variety is higher in lycopene, which explains the deeper, brighter hue. Some think that the red variety is sweeter than the pink, but despite the colour difference their level of sweet-tanginess is almost identical.
There are also white grapefruit varieties, which have a creamy yellow to light yellow skin and a pale, white fruit inside. They are the least sweet of all the varieties of grapefruits, with a vibrant, sweet-tart flavour.
There is also a large variety called pomelo: which is thought to be a hybrid of orange and grapefruit. Pomelo looks like a giant grapefruit, with a thick pith and pale, pink segments that are sweet but slightly less juicy than other grapefruit types due to their stronger membranes. They’re sweeter and less bitter than pink grapefruit, but not quite as sweet as an orange—hence their hybridity!
Another variety is the Oro White grapefruit, which has a green to yellow skin, thick pith, and white flesh. This tends to be the sweetest grapefruit variety.
- For an extra dimension of flavour, you can broil grapefruits with a bit of sugar on top to caramelize and bring out the sweetness
- Avoid eating anything sweet before eating grapefruit, as it will make you less receptive to the natural sweetness of the grapefruit
- Compliment grapefruit’s flavour with sweet ingredients like honey, sugar, or maple syrup
- To cut grapefruit’s bitterness, serve or juice it with oranges
Goes well with
Grapefruit goes well with creamy or sweet ingredients, which balance out their sweet-tart flavour.
Dairy: Feta cheese, ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, coconut cream, and yogurt
Produce: Orange, lemon, lime, cherries, pomegranate, ginger, kale, spinach, cucumber, and avocado
Sweets and Spices: Honey, maple syrup, sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, caramel, vanilla, mustard, mint, and rosemary
Protein: Almonds, cashews, shrimp, and scallops
Try grapefruit supremes in dessert with a coconut cream, and some caramelized sugar shards!
You could also try it in a salad with some deep, flavoured greens like kale or spinach. Top with some feta cheese, and a light, honey mustard vinaigrette.
Grapefruit makes a delicious frozen treat too! Make it into a granita or sorbet, cutting its tart flavour with some lemon and sugar, or honey.
According to the Canadian Nutrient file, half a medium-sized pink or red grapefruit contains 60% of your daily required intake of Vitamin C, 18% of Vitamin A, 9% of your daily fibre intake (2.3 g), 6% of folate, 5% of potassium, 4% of magnesium, and 1453 µg of the antioxidant lycopene!