National Grapefruit Month: February

I remember every year as a kid getting a box of fruit delivered to our house around Christmas.  Grapefruit and oranges shipped from Florida, delivered with a whiff of citrus floating out of the box.  I loved that smell, clean and fresh, reminding me of summer, a little ray of sunshine through the cold weather.

Grapefruit grows in abundance in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.  Its name comes from the fact that the grapefruit grows in grapelike clusters.  There are two main categories of grapefruit-seeded and seedless.  They’re also broken into color classifications-white, which has a yellowish-white flesh, and pink, the flesh of which can range from pale yellow -pink to brilliant ruby red.  Pink grapefruit has a higher amount of vitamin A than does the white.  The skins of all varieties of grapefruit are yellow, some with a pink blush.  Fresh grapefruit is available year-around.  Choose grapefruit that have thin, fine-textured, brightly colored skin.  They should be firm yet springy when held in the palm and pressed.  The heavier they are for their size, the juicier they will be.  Do not store grapefruit at room temperature for more than a day or two.  They keep best (up to 2 weeks) when wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.  Grapefruit is usually eaten fresh, either halved or segmented and used in salads.  It can also be sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled.  Canned and frozen forms of grapefruit are available in segments and juice.  Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C. 

Stop by the grovery store tonight and pick up a few!  Give these recipes a try!

Fresh Grapefruit in Honey-Thyme Sauce

3 lg -or- 4 sm Grapefruits
2 tb Fresh thyme leaves
1/2 c Dry white wine
1/4 c Honey

With sharp knife, remove skin and white pith and discard. Working over a bowl to catch juice, cut grapefruit segments from surrounding membranes, letting them drop in bowl. Squeeze juice from membranes into a small saucepan. Drain any juice from bowl of segments into the pan. With back of a spoon, crush thyme leaves to release their fragrance. Add to saucepan along with wine and honey. Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 12-15 minutes. Strain syrup into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Arrange sections on dessert plates and drizzle with syrup. Garnish with thyme leaves is desired. Makes 4 servings.

Baked Grapefruit

2 grapefruits
1/2 c. honey

Cut grapefruit in half; remove seeds and center. Trickle honey over top of each. Bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chicken and Fresh Grapefruit Stir-fry

1 Grapefruit; peeled
8 oz Pineapple chunks
1 tb Cornstarch
1 ts Soy sauce; low sodium
2 Skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 md Clove garlic; minced
1/2 ts Vegetable oil
1/4 lb Snow peas; trimmed
2 Green onions; sliced diagonally

Peel and section grapefruit over bowl; reserve juice. Drain pineapple well, reserving juice. Combine juices and add enough water to equal 1 cup liquid. Combine with cornstarch and soy sauce. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry; remove any excess fat. Cut into thin strips. In large non-stick skillet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, stir-fry chicken with garlic in oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until lightly brown. Add the snow peas and cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring until thickened. Add grapefruit, pineapple and green onions and cook until evenly heated.

Grapefruit Tea

1 qt. boiling water
3 reg. size tea bags
2 reg.-size mint tea bags
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice
3/4 c. grapefruit juice
1 qt. cold water

Pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing gently. Add sugar and remaining ingredients. Serve over ice. Yield: 2 quarts.

Grapefruit Pie

1 c Sugar
1/8 ts Salt
4 tb Cornstarch
1/2 c Water
1 c Grapefruit juice
1 tb Butter
2 Egg yolks, beaten
1 Baked pastry shell
Grapefruit Meringue
2 Egg whites
6 tb Confectioner’s sugar
2 tb Grapefruit juice

Combine sugar, salt and cornstarch; add water and grapefruit juice and cook slowly, stirring constantly, until thick. Simmer 5 minutes, add butter and egg yolks and remove from heat. Beat well; cool. Turn into pastry shell. Beat egg whites until stiff, add sugar slowly and stir in grapefruit juice. Cover top of pie with meringue and bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until meringue is browned lightly. Makes 1 (9 inch) pie.

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