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Roasted Beet and Grapefruit Salad (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)

pink grapefruit halves on a countertop

Grapefruit is now coming into season here in Southern California—and shipping to grocery stores nationwide. With a bumper crop of fresh citrus everywhere (it’s common for people to have some type of citrus tree in their yard here), it’s important to find creative ways to use it up.

Here is a special way to enjoy the brightness of grapefruit this season.

A Brief History of Grapefruit

The grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is a large citrus fruit related to the orange, lemon and pomelo. Grapefruits are categorized as white (blond), pink or ruby, which refers to the color of their flesh inside the yellow or green peel.

Grapefruits were commercially discovered in Barbados in the 18th century. Many botanists think the grapefruit was actually the result of a natural cross breeding which occurred between the orange and the pomelo, a citrus fruit that was brought from Indonesia to Barbados in the 17th century.

The resulting fruit was given the name “grapefruit” in 1814 in Jamaica, a name which reflects the way it’s arranged when it grows—hanging in clusters just like grapes.

Grapefruit trees were planted in Florida in the early 19th century, although they did not become a viable commercial crop until later that century. Florida is still a major producer of grapefruits, as is California, Arizona and Texas. Other countries that produce grapefruits commercially include Israel, South Africa and Brazil.

Grapefruit Nutrition

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers inflammatory conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. As free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke, vitamin C is beneficial to promoting cardiovascular health.

The adrenal glands are the body’s primary consumer of Vitamin C. If you have any kind of stress in your life, or if you are suffering adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, getting lots of Vitamin C is crucial to your health.

Grapefruit is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, potassium, folate, and vitamin B5. Grapefruit also contains many phytochemicals including tons of bioflavonoids and lycopene. The rich pink and red colors of grapefruit are due to lycopene, a nutrient that appears to have anti-tumor activity. Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight free radicals, which can damage cells, leading to disease.

Grapefruit juice has been shown to help prevent kidney stones and protect against various forms of cancer. Owing to the multitude of vitamin C’s health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Grapefruit can also help lower your bad cholesterol and triglycerides, but it is so powerful, there is one caveat:

Compounds in grapefruit are known to increase circulating levels of several prescription drugs, including calcium channel blockers and statins. For this reason, the risk of toxicity associated with statins and other prescription drugs may increase when grapefruit is consumed.

Talk to your doctor about whether you can eat grapefruit safely with your prescription medications.

Selecting and Storing Grapefruit

A good grapefruit doesn’t have to be perfect in color. Skin discoloration, scratches or scales may affect the appearance of a grapefruit, but they do not impact the taste or texture quality. Signs of decay include an overly soft spot at the stem end of the fruit and areas that appear water-soaked. These forms of decay usually translate into poor taste.

The fruits should be heavy for their size as this usually indicates that they feature thin skins and therefore a higher concentration of juicier flesh. Those that have overly rough or wrinkled skin usually tend to be thick skinned, and should be avoided.

Grapefruits should be firm, yet slightly springy when gentle pressure is applied. While chilled grapefruits do not have any fragrance, those kept at room temperature should have a subtly sweet aroma. Grapefruits can be purchased throughout the year, although the height of the season ranges from winter through early spring.

Here is a unique winter salad to help you enjoy this delicious and nutritious fruit.

pink grapefruit halves on a countertop

Roasted Beet and Grapefruit Salad

The brightness of grapefruit combines with the rich, earthiness of beets to make this delightful winter salad.
Print Pin
CourseSalad
CuisineGAPS, Gluten Free, Paleo, Raw Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian
DietGluten Free, Halal, Kosher, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Servings4 servings
Calories287kcal

Ingredients

Salad

  • 6 small beets
  • 1 medium red grapefruit cut into supremes
  • 2 ounces alfalfa sprouts trimmed
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds lightly toasted (optional)

Dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Roast beets for about 1 hour or until fork tender. (It can help to wrap them in foil)
  • Remove beets from oven, unwrap and let cool 5 minutes before peeling them. Slice the peeled beets into eighths.
  • Place the supreme-cut grapefruit segments in a bowl. Take the inner grapefruit remains and squeeze whatever juice you can out of it over the top of the grapefruit segments in the bowl.
  • Mix together all the dressing ingredients along with all the juice that you can strain from the bowl of grapefruit.
  • Assemble the salad by making a little heap of alfalfa in the middle of the plate. Scatter the cut beets around the plate. Pinch off pieces of the grapefruit segments and scatter them around the plate, too. Toss almonds over the salad, if using.
  • Drizzle generously with dressing, top with more freshly ground black pepper, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 30.4mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2.1mg
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About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.

28 Comments

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  • These recipes sound wonderful! I enjoy grapefruit but get so tired of eating them plain– these would be great ways to incorporate more citrus into my diet!

    Another blogger and I host Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop. We are looking for posts just like this to participate- we would love to have you join us. Here is a link so you can check us out: http://www.countrylivingonahill.com/2013/01/healthy-tuesdays-blog-hop_28.html
    Hope to see you soon!

    Kerry from Country Living on a hill

  • A lovely, informative post. We enjoy grapefruit so much by itself, I rarely think to use it in a recipe, though I did use it as substitute for oranges in a tea cake and it was wonderful. Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. 🙂

  • I love grapefruit but have never tried it any of these ways! I’m going to try the rosemary syrup on my next one.
    I usually just touch it up with a little sugar, or slice them in half, top with sugar, a maraschino cherry and broil until the sugar has caramelized.

  • I love grapefruit. Thanks for all the information and fun recipes. These are such delicious ways to get all these important nutrients. Thanks for sharing.

  • I LOVE grapefruit! And it’s in season right now and super cheap, so we eat it all the time for breakfast. I am going to have to try your easy recipes, thanks!!

  • Hi Dawn, I had no idea they may have originated from a natural cross-breeding of an orange and pomelo! I am delighted to hear of the health benefits of the pamplemousee ( I love the word too!) and intend to eat more of it now! Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Seasonal Celebration! Have a good week:-)Rebecca@ Natural Mothers Network x

  • YUM! I love the zing that grapefruits bring to the citrus family and I’m looking forward to trying these new ways to eat them. Thanks for sharing your link on Nap Time Creations link party. 🙂

  • Nothing better than a fresh grapefruit off the tree! Great recipes! Got this tweeted and pinned! Thanks for linking up at Gluten Free Fridays!

  • One year there was a horse named The Pamplemousse on the Triple Crown trail. I had no idea what it meant until years later. It really made me laugh though when I realized that the favorite for the Kentucky Derby until he got hurt was really named The Grapefruit.

  • Delicious refreshing recipes! Can’t wait to try! I would love for you to share this post at our Meal Plan Monday link-up!

  • The avocado-grapefruit relish sounds delicious! We love grapefruit in our house! Thanks for sharing your recipes at Thrifty Thursday!

  • We love Grapefruit and all of your new ideas. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipes with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • It’s so interesting to find out more about grapefruit! Thanks for sharing this on Wildcrafting Wednesday and The HomeAcre Hop!

  • I remember thinking the word pamplemousse was the BEST in high school French class. Thanks for the reminder! I’m going to teach my 3 yo…he loves grapefruit. 🙂 I appreciate the link for how to supreme grapefruit…lately I’ve just been making a mess out of my grapefruit and I need some help! And that recipe with the rosemary syrup…seriously sounds divine!!

  • We LOVE grapefruit at our house! Thanks for the great ideas! We’ll have to try them out. I can’t wait to try the relish. Have a great day!

  • Wow! these recipes look delicious. I love the different combinations you’ve come up with. Thanks so much!

  • hi, i’m stopping by from real food wed. i might try the rosemary syrup next time i make orange/grapefruit salad, sounds delicious. vive le pamplemousse!

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