Written by Desireeh Chevere | Reviewed by Nikita Kapur MS, RDN, CDN
Grapefruits are a cross between a pomelo and an orange, but their name came from the fact that they grew in clusters similar to grapes. They vary in hue from white or yellow, to pink and red, and can also range in taste of acidic, sweet, bitter, or sugary. Grapefruits are available throughout the year, but peak between the months of November and June.
There are other benefits of eating grapefruits besides it looking pretty and tasting great. For instance, they are low in calories, full of nutrients, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. The nutrients that are found in grapefruits, such as fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, and choline, all help maintain a healthy heart. Grapefruit is also one of the most hydrating fruits out there, with 91% water content, and full of important electrolytes, which can help prevent dehydration. For people with digestive issues, grapefruits will aid with regularity of the digestive tract and prevent constipation because of its water and fiber content.
Surprisingly enough, grapefruit can actually be eaten in many ways rather than just by itself. For instance, below you will find three healthy, delicious, and unique grapefruit recipes that you can try during the holidays!
One last tidbit to be cautious about is that grapefruit can also interact with certain medications so make sure to check for any drug-nutrient interactions before consuming grapefruit if you're on a medication.
1. Grapefruit Chicken Satay Salad
2 large pink or ruby-red grapefruits
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts; cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
8 cups roughly chopped romaine lettuce, (about 2 hearts)
1 cup sliced radishes, (about 8 radishes)
1. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from grapefruits and discard. Cut the grapefruit segments from the surrounding membranes, letting them drop into a small bowl. Working over a large bowl, squeeze the remaining membranes to extract the juice. Set the segments and juice aside separately.
2. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil.
3. Toss chicken, dry mustard, garlic powder, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, pepper and salt in a large bowl until the chicken is well coated. Place on the prepared pan in a single layer.
4. Broil the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar and hot sauce into the reserved grapefruit juice until smooth. Add the cooked chicken and lettuce; toss to combine. Serve the salad topped with radishes and the reserved grapefruit segments.
Side note: People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled “gluten-free,” as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.
2. Tilapia with Grapefruit-Caper Sauce
2 medium red grapefruit
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1 1/4 pounds tilapia
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp. capers, rinsed
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. honey
1. Slice both ends off one grapefruit. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith; discard. Working over a small bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Set aside. Juice the second grapefruit into another small bowl. Drain any accumulated juice from the segments into the bowl with juice.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of fish with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Add the fish to the pan and cook until browned and opaque in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible. Tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Add shallot to the pan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add the grapefruit juice, capers, butter, honey and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir the grapefruit segments into the sauce. Serve the fish with the sauce.
3. Grapefruit Rounds with Halloumi Cheese
2 red or pink grapefruit
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp., divided
1 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1 tbsp. minced shallot
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
4 oz. halloumi cheese, cut crosswise into 8 thin slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1. With a sharp knife, remove the skin and white pith from the grapefruit; remove any seeds. Slice each grapefruit into 4 rounds.
2. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, shallot, pepper and salt in a small bowl.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cheese and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total.
4. To serve place 2 grapefruit rounds on each plate and top each with a piece of the cheese. Drizzle each serving with about 1 tbsp. of the vinaigrette and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. mint.