by Holladay Allen
Native Foods Cafe Tribe Member
It’s no secret that am deeply enamored with any fruit or vegetable that aids and abets in detoxifying my liver. Cause my liver is soooo rad. It cleans me out and produces a ton of very important compounds that my body needs. So when I found out that February is National Grapefruit Month, my heart leapt with joy. I can exploit this fabulous fruit in the name of health, love, taste, and the fact that it has its very own month!
Chef Tanya from Native Foods Cafe loves fresh grapefruit right off the tree in her backyard.
The grapefruit is a hybrid fruit first grown in the Barbados (what a magical birthplace) and was initially nicknamed the “forbidden fruit,” and later became known as one of the seven wonders of the Barbados. It is thought to be a hybrid of the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo, with a few other variations in existence as well.
The grapefruit was first brought to America by Count Odet Philippe in 1823, where it landed in Florida and has not left since! The primary varieties in Florida are Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson, Marsh, and Duncan…. And grapefruit season usually lasts from October to June. The grapefruit also took up residency in Texas where the Ruby Red grapefruit is often looked upon as the symbolic fruit of Texas. Yee-haw grapefruit! You’ll find really BIG grapefruit in Texas… hint, hint, wink, wink…. Cuz everything is bigger in Texas. Ha! Something to beware of though…radiation was often used to trigger mutations to amp up and retain the bright red tones in Ruby Reds.
Texas Reds... Say no to radiation! And yes to detoxification! Native Foods Cafe would ratify this amendment.
Grapefruit is loaded with Vitamin C, pectin (which has been shown in studies to reduce cholesterol… which is produced in the liver!), liminoids (a phytonutrient that has been shown to inhibit tumor growth), lycopene, and it boosts liver detoxification enzymes exponentially! There is a two-phase process in liver detoxification, which clears out toxins and carcinogens. Some foods amp up the activity in Phase I but do not follow through in Phase II, which can actually be quite dangerous… “enzymes belonging to the cytochrome P450 family, work on the toxin to make it more attractive to enzymes involved in the second part of the process, Phase II. Unfortunately, the action of Phase I enzymes often renders the toxin not only more attractive to Phase II enzymes, but even more dangerous, and some foods contain compounds that only increase the activity of Phase I without also turning up Phase II.” (www.whfoods.com) Grapefruit enhances the liver’s detoxification ability in both phases, which makes it awesome!
Due to its hepatic detoxification amazingness and the fact it contains a polyphenolic compound that inhibits a certain enzyme used to process certain drugs, the medical community often prohibits grapefruit consumption with certain prescription drugs. It ups the effect so much of certain drugs that it has led to some deaths. So read your labels! (and look into yoga, Chef Tanya recommends Iyengar for its restorative benefits, as an alternative to certain drugs and medical treatments… with a doctor’s supervision of course).
My grandfather always served fresh grapefruit halves with fresh sugar sprinkled on top and he always had those funny grapefruit spoons with the spike part.
Grapefruit is great as is, in juices, or the juice blended with some ice like a slushy, with vodka, in salads, as sorbet, and even in cakes! We got this recipe from the Chef Tanya's good friend, the lovely Evelyn Gray, cat rescuer extraordinaire… We love you Evelyn. Check it out… you will not regret it.
GLAZED VEGAN GRAPEFRUIT CAKE
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup soymilk
1 cup vegan margarine
2 cups sugar
3 egg replacer for 3 eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 10-inch bundt pan.
Add apple cider vinegar to soymilk. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg replacer.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture, alternating with the soymilk mixture. Stir until smooth. Fold in the grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, and poppy seeds. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes then (carefully!) remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
Combine confectioner's sugar and grapefruit juice and mix until smooth. When cake has completely cooled, drizzle with glaze.
You can also try a layer cake making an icing out of Tofutti cream cheese, Earth Balance, powdered sugar and grapefruit juice and zest, with pieces of grapefruit between the layers. Yum!!!