Tuesday, 20 June 2017

12 ways to use your grapefruit abundance


The grapefruit tree (Citrus × paradisi) in my permaculture food forest is laden. I love to eat the fruit sliced in half for breakfast, but I'm pretty sure I can't eat all of those before they start to fall and rot. What else can I do with this large and hardy fruit apart from half slices for breakfast and making marmalade?

This is what I explore in the latest film I made in my garden.


A dozen ideas of things to do with abundant grapefruits:

  1. Juice it - separately, or added to a citrus blend, or a green juice.  Use whatever is fresh and seasonal now.
  2. Add to smoothies - banana and grapefruit is the simplest, you can add yoghurt
  3. Mix with morning oats, chia, yoghurt and ground nuts.
  4. Chunk it into salads - I love grapefruit, avocado and spinach (read as 'whatever leafy green is good in the garden today!') with a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds.
  5. Add chunks to an ancient grain dinner - steamed vegetables, raw greens, quinoa/amaranth, chunks of grapefruit, juice of grapefruit, ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemon myrtle.
  6. Add chunks to a fruit salad and drizzle the juice over it to keep it fresh. 
  7. Drizzle grapefruit juice over an apple to stop it browning, and for extra flavour - great in lunchboxes.
  8. Bake a grapefruit poppy seed cake (I'll post this recipe soon) or add zest to shortbread biscuit mix (yumm)
  9. Make grapefruit butter (use same recipe as typical lemon butter but replace the lemon with grapefruit)
  10. Grapefruit, honey, cinnamon tea helps to soothe coughs and is a great night-time tea. 
  11. Make grapefruit facial toner - squeeze the grapefruit, place into a jar with water, add fresh chopped herbs (select your favourite, eg:lavender, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint...). Let it steep for a couple of hours then splash onto clean skin. So delightful. This will keep in in the fridge for a week or 2.
  12. Add the peel to vinegar to make a super citrus cleaner (See a previous post: Grow your own cleaner: http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com/2017/04/grow-your-own-cleaner-diy-citrus-spray.html)
I'd love to hear other favourite ways you use grapefruit.

I grow pink grapefruit (just a little pink, not the super red ones)  I know mine are ready to harvest when they blush like this. You can still see the hail damage on the older leaves from the storm at the start of the year. The new leaves are looking good.


Grapefruit is delicious and so good for you

Grapefruit is high in Vitamins A and C, high in fibre and is high in anti-oxidants (more so with the red ones). It's good to help fight colds and reduce fevers.

Grapefruit has been consumed for such a long time as a detox food, to help improve digestion and there is much written about it for use in weight-loss diets.  

Embrace the bitters
Our diets have been so overridden by sweet things that we have often abandoned bitter things. Bitter however is important. Bitter foods stimulate the liver to produce bile, which is important for good digestion.  One of the ways to improve our diet is to re-cultivate a taste for bitter food. Bitter foods moderate hunger and blood sugar .

Other sources of bitters from your garden:
  • Vegetables - bitter melon, chicory, rocket (arugula), endive, old varieties of lettuce and carrot
  • Culinary Herbs  - thyme, marjoram, rosemary, tarragon, bay leaves, sorrel, dandelion greens
  • Spice - ginger, pepper, cardamom
  • Cereals - millet, amaranth
  • Fruit - lemon, lime

Note: if you are on medication, grapefruit can interfere with this so check first whether it's OK.

Where to grow

Grapefruit's ideal environment is a warm sheltered position with well-drained loamy soil. If your site is open, consider planting some pioneer species to help provide protection while it gets established. (A pioneer such as pigeon pea could be helpful - see previous blog post here which also includes my short clip about the plant http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/pigeon-pea-perennial-permaculture.html)

Preparing the soil

In this grapefruit film I talk about preparing the soil with a compost tractor. Essentially you place your compost bin on the spot you want the plant a tree and make a compost there - simple really. (You could dig the hole first). When the compost is finished, the soil will be so alive, enriched and opened by the soil life and added materials. Simply lift off the bin and spread out the compost in situ. 

Watch this previous video from my Youtube Channel for some more explanation about compost. Compost Simply

I hope you are enjoying your grapefruit abundance too!


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1 comment:

  1. Hi Morag,

    We have a grapefruit tree, and it is a prolific bearer. It is always good to hear new ways of using this fruit. I make cleaner and also squeeze into our daily orange/mandarin juice. Thank you for the extra tips and information on this underrated fruit :)

    I am enjoying your videos and blog. I live in arid South Australia and permaculture has shown me that maybe there is hope for growing my own food without the constant struggle with water and heat. I cant believe I haven't look into it before now. I live three hours from our nearest permaculture courses so your help on this subject has been immeasurable.

    Wishing you a lovely day,

    ~Tania

    ReplyDelete