Grapefruit Growing Regions
At Hale Groves, we’ve been told that eating our succulent grapefruit is like enjoying a “slice of Florida sunshine.” Makes perfect sense to us! Though grapefruit is believed to have originated in Barbados, Florida and Texas offer ideal growing environments for the fruit. Here’s why:
- Grapefruit grows best in locations that have hot summer days, warm nights, and where the humidity that stays above 60% (USDA Zones 9 and 10).
- The redder the flesh, the sweeter the grapefruit, and long, hot summers help to increase the pigmentation of red-fleshed varieties.
- Where summers are cooler and drier (like California and Arizona), the flesh of red grapefruit may appear light pink or white; pink grapefruit has a tart flavor similar to that of white grapefruit varieties.
- In hot, humid climates, grapefruits take 6-12 months to ripen; in cooler regions, they can take 14-18 months.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is low in calories and carbs, yet high in nutrients (which is probably how the fruit became associated with diets and weight loss). A rich source of antioxidants, grapefruit benefits the immunes system also. A medium-sized grapefruit has:
- Calories: 52
- Carbs: 13 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin A: 28% of the recommended daily intake
- Vitamin C: 64% of the recommended daily intake
- Folate: 4% of the recommended daily intake
- Magnesium: 3% of the recommended daily intake
- Potassium: 5% of the recommended daily intake
- Thiamine: 4% of the recommended daily intake
What is Grapefruit Good For?
Grapefruits of all varieties are delicious on their own, as are their juices (grapefruit juice makes an invigorating, lower-calorie alternative to orange juice). Some folks sweeten their grapefruit with white or brown sugar, or a bit of honey. Some add cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. As an appetizer before dinner, grapefruit halves may be similarly sweetened, lightly broiled, and served hot, often topped with a maraschino cherry. The sections are commonly used in fruit cups or fruit salads.
How to Eat Grapefruit
Once ripe, a grapefruit can remain on the tree for several months without going bad. A grapefruit that feels heavy for its size is ripe and ready to eat or juice. Some grapefruits have more seeds than others; seedy fruits have richer flavor and separate into segments more easily than fruits with few or no seeds. The best way to eat a fresh, chilled grapefruit is to slice it in half and scoop out the segments with a serrated grapefruit spoon or grapefruit knife.