Make Bitter Better: Tips for Enjoying Grapefruit
Grapefruit commonly causes one of two reactions: people either love or hate it for its bitter and acidic flavor. Despite mixed reactions from consumers, health officials can't deny the myriad health benefits that grapefruits provide. They serve as an instrumental weight loss aid by naturally increasing the metabolism, and they can ease and prevent the symptoms of arthritis. In addition, grapefruit also contain a variety of essential nutrients, including the following:
- Vitamins A, B, and C
These vitamins and minerals, as well as a variety of antioxidants, help grapefruit to lower cholesterol, fight heart disease, and stop cancer. Regardless of such an extensive list of medical benefits, people can't always be persuaded to eat grapefruit. Its bitter taste is often considered to be overwhelming, and people would rather eat more traditional fruits like oranges and berries.
The Bitter Taste of Grapefruit
The grapefruit was first bred in Barbados in 1750, making it relatively new to the populace compared to other fruits and vegetables. Today, scientists realize that the very bitterness of grapefruit may contribute to its health benefits. Another scientific revelation, is the impact of bitter flavors on some people. Persons with highly sensitive taste buds eschew anything even slightly bitter, like coffee and dark chocolate. For them, grapefruit is out of the question. In an effort to combat grapefruit's bitterness, many individuals slice the fruit and season it with a sprinkling of white granulated sugar, brown sugar or honey. Still others add orange or pineapple juice to the grapefruit slices with an extra dash of sugar. A favorite means of enjoying grapefruit in the southern states is to sprinkle each grapefruit half with Grand Marnier, dark rum and brown sugar, and broil them for several minutes until the sugar is bubbly.
For some people, however, even this isn't enough. The following recipes incorporate grapefruit with other foods to camouflage its taste, take advantage of its multiple health benefits, and add a vibrant note of citrus to otherwise ordinary dishes.
Grapefruit Salad with Avocado
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large red grapefruits
- 4 ripe avocados
- Romaine lettuce
1. In a small bowl, mix the mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper together.
2. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is incorporated.
3. Cut the avocados in half, remove seeds and carefully peel off the skin.
4. Cut each half into four thick slices. Toss the slices in the vinaigrette to preserve their color.
5. Use a large knife to peel the grapefruits, ensuring the white pitch is removed. Cut between the membranes to release individual grapefruit segments.
6. On a large platter, arrange the romaine lettuce leaves and then place avocado slices around the edge.
7. Place the grapefruit segments in the center, spoon the vinaigrette on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
8. For extra flavor, use dill or shallots as a garnish.
Sauteed Tilapia with Grapefruit
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tilapia fillets, about five or six ounces each
- Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 3 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons each of grapefruit and orange juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
1. Peel and section the grapefruit. Save juice that accumulates and add to the orange and grapefruit juices.
2. Place butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
3. Season tilapia with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Cook sole about three minutes on each side, turning carefully to keep the fillets intact.
4. Add shallots and bell pepper and cook until both are soft, approximately three minutes.
5. Add grapefruit sections and juice, then bring to a boil and reduce for one or two minutes.
6. Pour over fish and sprinkle with basil.
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons French tarragon, fresh or dried
- 1 tablespoon crushed mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 cups grapefruit juice, pink or white
- Fresh French tarragon sprigs for garnish
- Club soda
- Crushed ice
1. Heat water until near boil and add tarragon and mint leaves.
2. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes to desired strength.
3. Add honey, then strain and cool.
4. Combine herb infusion with grapefruit juice and stir.
5. Place French tarragon sprigs and crushed ice in tall 16-ounce glasses.
6. Add herb-juice mixture and top with club soda. Stir gently.