Most folks just cut it in half and eat it with a spoon, which is why the concept of grapefruit recipes seems a little odd to some. Grapefruit is healthy, refreshing and incredibly delicious. And sure, it is amazing to eat on its own, but it’s even better when used in recipes that bring out everything this citrus treat has to offer. Whether you choose to sip this tangy fruit or use it as a salad topper, you’re doing your taste buds and your body a big favor. Grapefruits are loaded with vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and fiber. They can help protect you from cancer, help cure the common cold, promote healthy vision and healthy weight. We got your attention with that last one, right?
According to a recent study at UC Berkeley, consistent intake of grapefruits may minimize weight gain of a high-fat diet. While the connection between grapefruits and dieting is nothing new, Joseph Napoli, professor and chair of nutritional sciences and toxicology at UC Berkeley, explains, “We see all sorts of scams about nutrition. But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.”
Whether you are fighting off germs or you’re trying to get your weight under control, grapefruits might just be the nutritional boost you are looking for. Lucky for you, they are currently in season, they store well in cold temperatures, and since they are amazing in a wide variety of dishes for virtually every meal of the day, you will never get bored of this refreshing fruit. Here are 10 recipes for grapefruit to keep your taste buds guessing and your body in shape.
1. Avocado and Grapefruit Salad Two fresh flavors that work incredibly well together are grapefruit and avocado. They go together like peas and carrots, except WAY better. The texture and coolness of the avocado is the perfect mix for the tart grapefruit. Tossed with a simple lemon, mustard and olive oil vinaigrette and you’ve got a perfectly refreshing dish that’s great on it’s own or as an accompaniment to any protein (we love it with grilled chicken).
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2. Red Grapefruit, Feta and Mint Salad Another amazing way to combine this citrus fruit with a nutritious salad is to give it a Greek spin. This dish combines the traditional Mediterranean flavors (feta, olives, onions) with the nutrient-packed grapefruit, adding sweetness, complexity and lots of vitamins.
3. Grapefruit with Vanilla Honey and Coconut If you like something sweet first thing in the morning then look no further; this treat, which is one of our fave grapefruit recipes, will make you forget you ever craved a muffin. Seriously! The grapefruit is sweet and invigorating, the vanilla honey sauce is sweet like sugar without actually adding any sugar, and the toasted coconut gives the dish a tropical twist, which, let’s be honest, a lot of us need in the dead of winter.
4. Grapefruit Infused Water Simple? Yes. Boring? Hardly. There is a reason why fancy hotels have fruit-infused water at the spa or by the pool. Because a) it’s good for you and b) it’s delicious. And it just feels a bit fancy, doesn’t it? This grapefruit-infused water is beyond easy to make but it will quench your thirst and keep you from grabbing the nearest soda can. Empty calories don’t stand a chance this year!
5. Red Grapefruit Sorbet Problem: you love dessert but your damn “get healthy” resolutions are making it really hard to indulge. Solution: grapefruit sorbet. It is sweet, refreshing, cleanses your palette and it satisfies your deep dark desire for sugar…without the fat. Plus this recipe is extra interesting thanks to the addition of a little black pepper, which gives it a hint of spice.
6. Grapefruit Green Smoothie This is one of our favorite grapefruit recipes. We all know that you need to eat your greens, and now we know that you should be eating your grapefruit too as a part of a super healthy diet. What if you could drink them together in one tasty smoothie? It’s possible with this recipe, which combines apple, banana and grapefruit (for the sweetness) with spinach (for the green). The final touch is the liquid base: choose from almond milk, water or orange juice (we vote almond milk every time). The result, a nutrient-packed drink to jumpstart your day that is refreshing, sweet, detoxifying and really easy to whip up.
7. Grapefruit and Honey Salmon Grapefruit isn’t just for eating, it’s a great addition to any sauce too and it pairs perfectly with seafood. This salmon dish uses grapefruit juice mixed with honey to create a sweet-yet-tart sauce, plus grapefruit segments as a salad topping for the cooked salmon. If you like citrus, you will love this dish. And let’s talk about how healthy it is…salmon is high in protein, vitamins, amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids—all really important to maintaining a healthy heart. Plus you have the benefits of grapefruit. We taste a winning combination.
8. Grapefruit Yogurt Cake Cake = unhealthy. Right? Wrong! Is that the best news you’ve heard all day? Before you get too excited, let’s back up. Some cakes are obviously unhealthy, and anything in excess is not good for you. But this cake uses Greek yogurt for moisture, has no butter, and instead of a traditional frosting it has a grapefruit glaze. It is just the right amount of sweetness and tartness and while we don’t suggest you eat the entire cake, you’ll probably want to.
9. Brown Sugar-Spiced Grapefruit Remember when you were a kid and your mom tried to bribe you to eat your fruit by springing some sugar on top? Well this is kind of like that, except very grown up and very delicious. The ginger and cinnamon add just the right spices, the brown sugar makes it sweet, and when you broil the grapefruits with the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top you get a warm, refreshing, sweet treat with a little crunch and a lot of flavor. Hello new favorite breakfast, let’s be best friends!
10. Roasted Halibut with Grapefruit Fennel Salsa This is one of the best recipes for grapefruit out there. It’s time you add grapefruit to your fish dish, in this case as a salsa that adds a ton of interesting flavor to the roasted halibut. The roasted fish is simple, seasoned only with salt and pepper, so to kick it up a notch this recipe adds a fennel salsa with grapefruit, olives, parsley and red pepper flakes. This will be your new go-to dinner recipe when you want something quick, easy and delicious.Photos 4, 7, 9 & 10 courtesy of Food Network.com