Grapefruit and All Its Glory
Despite the word “grape” in its name, you won’t find grapefruit growing on a vine. Grapefruit is a juicy citrus fruit and it is thought that it was originally from the West Indies, a cross between the pomelo and the orange.
Grapefruit are said to have a slightly sour, but very pleasant, taste. They are almost round, often with a flat bottom and a slightly tapering neck. They are normally, thin-skinned and yellow, but some do come in red and red-blushed colours. Inside, grapefruits are divided into distinct segments by thin, white membranes which radiate from the centre like wheel spokes. The fruits very pale yellow flesh comprises hundreds of small translucent juice sacs. Some varieties are seedless and others have reddish-orange flesh.
In Australia grapefruit is generally available all year round with the best value being from April to November. They are differentiated by colour and variety. Pigmented varieties, with a red blush, are becoming increasingly popular because they are often sweeter than the yellow varieties. The three main varieties in Australia are Marsh Seedless, Ruby and Thompson.
So why are grapefruits so good to eat?
Grapefruits are rich in vitamin C and compounds called bioflavonoids that help protect the body against infections. Pink grapefruit are one of the few good sources of lycopene (tomatoes and watermelon are the other major sources). Lycopene is one of the carotenoid family and it’s being investigated for some major health benefits in adults. This delicious citrus fruit will supply dietary fibre a plenty and a 100g of fresh grapefruit flesh contains just 140KJ, making it a great addition to a healthy diet.
Grapefruits grow in clusters and resemble a large bunch of yellow grapes. Once they have been picked they don’t ripen further. They are picked by hand to minimise damage. Grapefruits should feel heavy for their size when you choose them and select those with glossy, golden skin. The fruit is harvested ripe and ready to eat, however if you store at room temperature they will keep for up to 7 days. Refrigerating with extend storage.
South East Queensland is one of the prime grapefruit growing areas in the country. And as we are so lucky to have this delicious fresh fruit right on our doorstep, we should enjoy it to its fullest!
- Delicious eaten raw with a little sugar or over breakfast cereal, in salads, fruit salads, sorbets or drinks. Grapefruits can be halved and served in their skins.
- Grapefruits can be sauteed, grilled, barbecued and served with vegetables, added to grilled sandwiches or sauces.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Grilled Grapefruit
Halve and cut a grapefruit into segments leaving flesh in the skin. Mix 1 tablespoon each of brown sugar, coconut and flaked almonds. Sprinkle over fruit and grill until lightly browned.
- Grapefruit Salad
Mix grapefruit segments with sliced apple sprinkled with lemon juice on a bed of shredded fresh spinach. Season yoghurt with honey and chopped mint. Pour over salad with roasted hazelnuts.
- Grapefruit Sherbet
Halve 2 grapefruits, squeeze juice and freeze shells. Combine 1 1/4 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar and heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes. Cool. Add 2 cups grapefruit juice and pour into pan. Cover and freeze until partly set. Beat with 2 egg whites and pour into frozen shells, cover with tops and foil and freeze until set. Serve with sprigs of mint.
Fresh delicious grapefruit is available at the Farmers Markets right now!!!!! Don’t miss out, this is fresh farm produce at its best.