February is National Grapefruit Month and I thought it would be great to share some fun facts about this great fruit with you.
- Grapefruit got its name because it grows in a cluster, just like grapes.
- Texas Grapefruit is the Texas state fruit and is harvested October through May of each year. It is a winter fruit.
- 1/2 a grapefruit has 100% of the vitamin C you need for the day. Vitamin C supports your immune system and protects you from getting sick.
- Grapefruit delivers a nutrient found only in certain plants, called lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant, which means that it helps protect our body’s cells.
- Grapefruit can be stored in a cool area for up to 2 weeks or in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
- The color of grapefruit pulp varies from white, pink, and red – red being the sweetest.
When I was a kid I loved it when my mom cut a red grapefruit in half and sprinkled a pinch of cinnamon and sugar on top. It was the only way to eat it. However, as a kid I never understood why the white or light pink grapefruit was so acidic and bitter in taste and the red pulped fruit was always so juicy and sweet. Like other types of fruit, different varieties of grapefruit have different flavors.
My favorite has always been the red variety because of its sweetness. The most common variety of red grapefruit is referred to as, “Ruby Red.” Although grapefruit is harvested in California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida, grapefruit harvested in Texas along the Rio Grande Valley river is always red and sweet, and commonly known as “Rio Star.” Handpicked and harvested off the vine, Texas grapefruit usually arrives at your local grocery store within a week of being picked. This also contributes to its sweetness. This explains why red grapefruit is the ideal variety when used in cooking.
Recipe: Grapefruit Avocado Shrimp Salad
A light and refreshing salad.
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed red grapefruit juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 6 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 red grapefruit, segmented with membranes removed
- 1 avocado, skin and pit removed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound salad shrimp
- In a medium large bowl whisk the grapefruit juice, olive oil, and rice vinegar until well combined.
- Add the salad greens to the bowl and toss until the leaves are well coated.
- Distribute the salad greens among four salad plates.
- Evenly divide the grapefruit segments, avocado slices, and shrimp in four portions.
- Place the fruit segments, avocado, and shrimp on top of the bed of salad greens on each plate.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add any additional vinaigrette to the salad if necesssary.
- Serve immediately.