15 Uses For A Split Grapefruit

We are lucky to have a guest blog entry by a fantastic Pick Leader, Tessa Lucero, who offers tips on how to use all of those split grapefruit! Read on for 14 great uses (and 1 silly one!). What is your favorite grapefruit recipe?


15 Uses For A Split Grapefruit by Tessa Lucero

Grapefruit: the zucchini of the citrus world.

Don’t get me wrong. Grapefruit are delicious. And they are easy to pick and they fill a box very quickly. Many of them are big, most are juicy and succulent.

But the average grapefruit tree just produces so MANY of them. Grapefruit tree owners, you know this. You pick them. You eat them. You give grapefruit to your neighbors (who may also have grapefruit trees) whenever you see them. You bring a bagful into work and press grapefruit on your coworkers, at least the ones who aren’t on medication that means grapefruit is a No-No. You put grapefruit out at coffee hour at church for everyone to enjoy. You juice them and freeze the juice. You make drinks from the juice. It’s like that memorable summer when you bought the six-pack of zucchini plants and they all survived and thrived and bore copious amounts of squash. People run when they see you with a bulging shopping bag.

And still they keep coming, those big golden orbs hanging on the tree, the ones that multiply even as you look at them.

And if they fall off the tree, they split.

When you go out to pick them, you pick one, another two fall on the ground. And they split.

The good volunteers of Food Forward come to harvest the tree. They get 15 boxes of lovely ripe grapefruit for the food pantry. They knock some grapefruit off the tree while picking is going on. And they split.

So the food pantry gets the grapefruit, your green bin runneth over, and there’s a leftover box of split grapefruit that someone takes home to deal with because it’s such a waste to throw them away.

What can you do with split grapefruit? Or surplus grapefruit?

Marmalade. Grapefruit makes excellent marmalade, and the recipe couldn’t be simpler. Wash the grapefruit. Take the zest off the grapefruit with a fruit peeler and put it in a bowl. Pull the fruit open, remove all the pulp and juice, and put it in the bowl with the zest. Put it in the food processor and process it a bit to make the pieces of zest smaller and break up the sections. Put the bowl on the scale and zero it out, then put the processed grapefruit back into the bowl. Note the weight. Put the grapefruit into a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the same amount of sugar, by weight, and cook over medium high heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring regularly. It will come to a boil, turn a rich dark gold color, and set up nicely – grapefruit has a lot of pectin in it so you don’t need any special additives. When it’s thickened to the texture that you like your marmalade, turn the heat off. Either seal it in small jars or put it in a container in the refrigerator, either way it’s good. With the marmalade you can make:

Marmalade Bars
Marmalade Cake (the NY Times has a great recipe)
Marmalade Muffins

Or just give the jars of marmalade as gifts. California sunshine in a jar!

If you don’t want to make marmalade, try:

Grapefruit Poppyseed Cake
Grapefruit Bars
Grapefruit Upsidedown Cake
Grapefruit Meringue Pie
Grapefruit Sorbet
Grapefruit Ceviche
Grapefruit Salsa
Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Roasted Grapefruit


You won’t throw out the split grapefruit again!

Wait, you say. That’s only 14 uses?

Well…the 15th use depends partly on the state of your throwing arm. If there’s a squirrel trying to steal something from your garden, a well-aimed grapefruit is unlikely to do any permanent damage but he’ll think again before going after your bird feeder or your apricots.*

*Food Forward does not promote the use of citrus to harm animals or any living creatures.