One fruit has definitely been associated with breakfast more often than even the ever-popular orange. And that is the grapefruit.
I’m not sure exactly how this came about. I mean, grapefruit is just as delicious, right? Maybe it’s because oranges are more adaptable to adding sweet flavor to sherbet; soda; candies of all sorts; sweet-and-sour, Asian-influenced dishes; salads; and, well, you get the idea.
And so, not to belittle its brethren, but I think orange, lemon and lime got together and decided to let grapefruit have breakfast (probably because they knew any self-respecting grapefruit could kick the pith out of them any day of the week.).
However it came about, grapefruit (white and pink) has graced the American breakfast table in juice or whole form as far back as anyone alive can recall, unless you can remember back before 1823 when they were first introduced to Florida after originating as a cross between a pomelo and an orange in Barbados. And that grapefruit went on to become one of Florida’s signature crops is not only good for the Sunshine State’s economy but also good for us. Grapefruit has a lot going for it.
Without boring you with all the usual, scientific goodness stuff, it’s safe to say that grapefruit’s abundance of vitamin C, its somewhat acidic nature, and its pectin, bioflavonoids and other good stuff profoundly contribute to digestive health, reduce atherosclerosis, and lower cholesterol. It’s also a safe and effective contributing food for those on a diabetic diet. It helps reduce fatigue and insomnia (a neat trick), and the list goes on and on, including the two that everyone knows: grapefruit as a fat-burning enzyme that many dieters rely on to help them in their quest to maintain a healthy weight and as a provider of vitamin C, which helps with colds (or so we are told by many).
Bottom line, grapefruit is good for you. But you already knew that. So, instead, my challenge is to entice you try a couple of new ways to enjoy this delicious winter fruit.
Now, though you may already enjoy your grapefruit with a sprinkle of sugar, you probably haven’t tried it with one of Michigan’s own natural sweeteners, maple syrup.
Pink Grapefruit & Spring Greens Salad With Maple Teriyaki Dressing
1 Package Nino’s Spring Mix Greens
1 -2 Pink Grapefruit/s, Peeled and Segmented (Save the Juices.)
¼ Cup Teriyaki Sauce
¼ Cup Pure Michigan Maple Syrup
2 TBSP Sesame Oil
1 Green Onion, Chopped
¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper, Cut in 1” Matchsticks
1 TBSP Fresh Ginger, Finely Mashed or Pureed
2 TBSPS Cilantro Leaves, Chopped (Optional)
To Taste Salt & Black Pepper
Segment grapefruit. Reserve juice separately in a medium-sized bowl. Hopefully you’ll have about a quarter cup of juices to help make your dressing.
To the grapefruit juices, add the teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, green onion, red bell pepper, ginger and cilantro leaves. Whisk together well & season with salt and pepper.
In a larger serving bowl, toss together the Spring Mix Greens and the grapefruit segments. Then dress with your Maple Teriyaki Dressing.
Don’t think grapefruit isn’t equally at home in entrée dishes. Chefs know that acids are JUST as critical in balancing the tastes of dressings as they are in marinades and finishing glazes, which, like oranges and grapefruits, are close relatives.
You can make a GREAT (and popular) glaze for chicken and meaty fish, like swordfish, mahi-mahi and tuna, from grapefruit.
Grapefruit Glaze for Chicken & Fish
Makes about 1 Cup
1 TBSP Garlic, Fresh, Minced
1 tsp Grapefruit Zest
½ Cup Grapefruit Juice (Usually Takes 1 Grapefruit)
1 TBSP Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 TBSP Honey
To Taste Salt & Ground Black Pepper
4 Chicken Breasts or Medium-Sized Fish Fillets
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper. (Optionally, if you like a little zing, add a TBSP of Sriracha sauce!
Grill the chicken breasts or fish over moderately high heat, brushing frequently with this glaze, for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn and cook, brushing with more glaze, until the food is cooked through.
In a small, stainless-steel saucepan, bring the remaining glaze to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, and then remove and pour over your completed dish.
Like orange, grapefruit isn’t just for breakfast anymore. You can enjoy this delicious fruit in every course, ranging from appetizers to dessert. It can even go with rum as a headliner in one of my favorite cocktails, a Hemmingway Mojito!