6 Creative Ways to Cook and Bake With Grapefruit

The grapefruit is one of the sweet pieces of winter citrus that all too often gets overlooked. It can be enjoyed as a simple breakfast or snack, and now that winter is in full swing and certain winter citrus is finally at its peak, it’s time to stock up on grapefruit and eat according to the season.

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C, along with copper and vitamin A. High levels of vitamin C are especially vital to maintain during the cold winter months, because that is when the risk for the flu and other winter sicknesses are peaking, and vitamin C helps build your immunity against them. Consumption of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C is therefore vital, and thankfully in grapefruit’s case, eating it doesn’t even feel like a chore.

Most people like to have their grapefruit taken simply with a sprinkle of sugar, but there are also more creative ways to enjoy it. Here are 6 recipes that do grapefruit right, and remind you that the seasonal citrus deserves a spot in your diet each and every winter.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Broiled Grapefruit

Up first is a tried and true grapefruit recipe from Simply Recipes that many consumers surprisingly don’t know about. Instead of simply slicing your grapefruit and eating it raw, try broiling it. This technique takes just 5 minutes, and really makes the grapefruit flavor pop, making your breakfast feel more fancy than it really is. For this recipe, all you need are two ingredients and a broiler. This is the perfect (healthy) breakfast to warm your bones on a cold day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 grapefruits, cut in half through the middle
  • brown sugar, 2 to 3 teaspoons per grapefruit half

Directions: First cut ¼ inch off the bottom of each grapefruit to make it easier for them to sit on the pan. Then, to make it easier to remove the grapefruit segments with a spoon once the grapefruit is cooked, use a sharp paring knife to cut around the edges of the fruit, where the fruit meets the rind. Gently cut inside the grapefruit, along the edges of the segments.

Line a broiling or roasting pan with foil or parchment paper. Place the grapefruit halves, cut side up in the pan. Spread brown sugar over the top of the exposed fruit, about 2 to 3 teaspoons of brown sugar per half.

Place under a broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, until the brown sugar is bubbly and beginning to brown and caramelize. Remove from oven. Let cool for a minute.

Salad with shrimp, avocado, tomatoes and grapefruit.

Source: iStock

2. Watercress, Pink Grapefruit, and Walnut Salad

If you’re still keeping in line with your 2015 resolutions this year, try this Watercress, Pink Grapefruit, and Walnut Salad from Martha Stewart. This dish is fresh and light but feels fun thanks to the addition of grapefruit. Everyone needs a little citrus in their lives during the long, dark days of winter, and this salad will help your system get a kick from vitamin C.

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 2¼ tablespoons minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 8 ounces watercress, thick stems removed
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions: First, make the dressing: Whisk together ginger, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually add olive oil, whisking constantly until fully combined. Set aside.

Remove peel and pith from grapefruit. Holding over a medium bowl, carve out flesh between the membranes, letting segments drop into the bowl. Add watercress. Pour dressing over watercress and grapefruit; toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts. Season with salt and pepper.

Beetroot salad, fennel, radish, grapefruit

Source: iStock

3. Beet, Kale, and Kohlrabi Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

In this salad from A Couple Cooks, the grapefruit is enlisted for the dressing, rather than for the topping. The light and citrusy grapefruit vinaigrette pairs perfectly with the sweet and savory flavors of beet, kale, and kohlrabi, and gives the salad a unique tart kick. This dish will stick to your healthy eating goals but allow you to enjoy lunch and dinner, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 beet
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds or pepitas

Directions: Remove the stems from the kale and chop it into bite-size pieces. Chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Peel the kohlrabi, beet, and 2 carrots and chop them into matchsticks with a knife or using a food processor. Remove the sections from half of the grapefruit and peel them.

In a small canning jar, combine juice from the remaining half grapefruit, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Cover the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Place vegetables on serving plates or in bowls. Top with grapefruit vinaigrette and sunflower seeds or pepitas.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

4. Sparkling Grapefruit Sangria

And you don’t necessarily need to get your vitamin C via eating grapefruit, you can also drink it, too, in fun recipes such as this one for Sparkling Grapefruit Sangria from Serious Eats. Your 2015 just got a little sweeter. This fruity drink requires only 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time. You can easily prepare it before a party or as a simple fun aperitif. We know New Years Eve is over, but there’s no reason you can’t still celebrate with bubbles.

Ingredients:

  • 15 fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup simple syrup 
  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice, plus ¼ of one grapefruit, peel intact, cut into rough chunks
  • 1 cup Lillet Rosé
  • 1 bottle Cava, chilled

Directions: In the bottom of a pitcher, gently muddle together the mint leaves and simple syrup. Add grapefruit chunks, grapefruit juice, and Lillet Rosé. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. When ready to serve, add Cava to the pitcher and stir gently. Serve over ice.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Pivoting to the sweeter side of things, we come to this Grapefruit Yogurt Cake from Smitten Kitchen. Whole-milk yogurt replaces the butter in this recipe that also calls for grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, and other baking staples. What’s more, this yogurt cake proves that you can eat (relatively) healthy and have your dessert, too. Try this recipe and see if you can get on board with enlisting yogurt in your cake. This fun snack or dessert pairs perfectly with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8½-by-4¼-by-2½-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the ⅓ cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice and pour over the cake.

White chocolate chip cookie, milk

Source: iStock

6. Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Last but definitely not least: Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies from Joy the Baker. No one said you absolutely had to get your vitamin C the healthy way. Joy nails this recipe that combines white chocolate chips, brown butter, and grapefruit sugar. These cookies are the perfect sweet treats to bake during the cold winter months, so preheat your oven and warm your house right up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips

Directions: Place half the butter in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep checking the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown, remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, rub together the granulated sugar and grapefruit zest until the sugar is fragrant. Beat the remaining 8 tablespoons softened butter with the grapefruit granulated sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the brown sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.

Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to fold in the white chocolate chips and pecans and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough. Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-size balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2 inches between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.

More From Life Cheat Sheet: