Sunny yellow, pale pink, or ruby red, grapefruit offers a full spectrum of citrus flavor and is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Read on for everything you need to know about the juicy winter gems, plus plant-based grapefruit recipes to try today.
When Is Grapefruit in Season?
Like most produce these days, grapefruit can be found nearly year-round, but its prime season is still in the winter months. You’ll find the most perfectly ripe fruits from January through early spring.
Where Does It Get Its Name?
Grapefruit gets its name for the way it often grows on trees, in grapelike clusters.
Grapefruits are categorized based on the color of the fleshy pulp found inside the fruit, not the skin on the outside. There are many varieties, but they fall into these categories.
Pro tip: For premium flavor, specialty varieties, and organic fruit, order directly from citrus producers. Many citrus delivery services offer special deals around and after the holidays, so take advantage and stock up.
Orange on the outside and a brilliant ruby tone on the inside, deep red varieties are prized for their deep sweetness. They’re also high in vitamin A. For the sweetest fruits, choose red varieties grown in warm regions, such as Florida and Texas.
Pink grapefruits have an approachable, balanced flavor, not quite as sweet as red grapefruits but not as sour or tart as white.
White and Yellow
White and yellow varieties are sought out by aficionados for their slightly sour, complex flavor profiles.
Selection and Storage
Choose uniformly colored, smooth, shiny grapefruits that look slightly flattened on the sides. These are all signs the fruit has ripened fully before it was harvested. Weigh each grapefruit in your hand; it should feel heavy for its size.
Grapefruits will keep up to two months in the fridge or a cool area of the house. The fruit tastes better at room temperature, though, so you may want to store one or two on the counter for immediate consumption.
Quick Serving Ideas
Here are some of our favorite ways to use grapefruit. (More recipes below.)
We especially love grapefruit in savory salads, but its distinctive tang shines in all types of salads. Add segments to leafy green, hearty grain, and slippery noodle salads, and use the juice and zest in place of other citrus in sauces and dressings.
Broiled grapefruit makes for a melt-in-your-mouth treat. Place grapefruit halves cut-side-up on a baking sheet, and loosen the sections with a knife. Broil 5 to 7 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly. Serve warm.
For a zesty, refreshing beverage, infuse grapefruit peels into sparkling water. First, remove three long strips of grapefruit peel with a vegetable peeler. Twist each strip to release the flavorful oils, then drop into a 12-oz. glass. Add ice and 8 oz. sparkling water.
Vegan Grapefruit Recipes to Try
These whole-food, plant-based recipes are bursting with citrusy flavor.