Late winter is citrus season, so now’s the perfect time to explore the exotic, tangy Citrus paradisi (Latin for paradise fruit). You probably know it better by another name — the grapefruit!
How to Choose Grapefruit
As with other citrus, grapefruit is usually available throughout the year, but its peak lasts from winter to early spring. This means that now is the time to find the sweetest and juiciest fruit.
Grapefruits typically range from 4-6 inches in diameter with a yellowish skin, and they can be pink, ruby red or white on the inside. There are seeded and seedless varieties.
When choosing grapefruits, select ones with glossy, smooth, firm, unblemished skin. You’ll want ones that feel heavy for their size, because the heavier they are, the juicier they’ll be! If you score your grapefruits shortly after harvest, they can be stored for a week unrefrigerated, or for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
How to Eat Grapefruit
During peak season, grapefruits are sweet, juicy and tangy, so they’re perfect for eating raw as a snack, during breakfast or as dessert. To enjoy it raw, wash your grapefruit thoroughly and cut it into halves or slices. Juicing a grapefruit or two makes for a refreshing morning drink.
If you’re looking to get creative, try these out-of-the-box grapefruit ideas:
- Use grapefruit juice as the base for a tangy vinaigrette
- Chop your grapefruit into a salsa, or use it as a tangy addition to seafood ceviche.
- Enjoy grapefruit as a reduction or in a savory sauce — get inspired by this recipe for Tilapia with Grapefruit-Caper Sauce.
- Try grapefruit In a creative salad, such as in this Fennel, Citrus and Roasted Beet Salad or this Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.
- Broil your grapefruit on high with brown sugar for a grapefruit-brulee.
Grapefruit’s Nutritional Benefits
Grapefruits are a low-calorie, fat-free food, so they’re a good addition to most balanced diets. Grapefruits are an excellent source of several key vitamins and minerals, including the antioxidant vitamin C, folate and magnesium, not to mention a wide array of beneficial antioxidant phytonutrients. They are also primarily water by weight, so they keep you hydrated and feeling full.
One ruby red grapefruit (1 fruit, 246 grams, raw) contains:
- 74 calories
- 1.35 grams of protein
- 0 grams of fat
- 18.45 grams of carbohydrate
- 2.7 grams of dietary fiber (10.8 percent of your recommended daily value)
- 91 milligrams of vitamin C (121 percent of your recommended daily value)
- 20 milligrams of magnesium (5 percent of your recommended daily value)
- 22 micrograms of folate (5.5 percent of your recommended daily value)
- 312 milligrams of potassium
Grapefruits can interact with certain medications. If you take medications, consult with your health professional before adding grapefruit to your diet.