Simple Trick for Naturally Sweet Grapefruit

April 8th, 2013 at 8:08 am

I love myself a nice juicy grapefruit anytime of day, not just for breakfast. We’re still on the tail end of citrus season, so with that in mind I’ve been getting my grapefruit and orange fix while the produce lasts. Most of the grapefruits I’ve bought lately have been incredibly juicy and sweet, but that’s not always the case.

Even if a grapefruit is particularly tart, I’ve learned to just suck it up and embrace the tart flavor without adding any sweetener to the fruit. I used to put spoonfuls (literally, spoonfuls!) of granulated sugar on my grapefruit. (I cringe just at the memory of all that Great White Junk going into my body.) I can’t imagine doing that now! I love the natural tartness of grapefruit, but if it’s just a bit too sour, I’ve learned how to tame it with one simple trick.

Are you ready? This is pretty cool.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A heavy grapefruit with evenly textured skin
  • Extra virgin olive oil

There’s really no way to guarantee yourself a sweet grapefruit. Choose one that feels heavy for its size and that has evenly textured skin without any bumps or rough patches. Slice the grapefruit in half, and then get your olive oil ready!

Adding just a little olive oil to grapefruit tempers its bitterness ever so slightly while letting the natural tart characteristic still shine through. Dip your finger in a little olive oil and rub it on the cut surface of the fruit. You don’t need a lot. (Maybe 1/4 teaspoon or less for the entire surface.)

That’s it! Now you’re ready to enjoy your naturally sweet, but perfectly tart grapefruit.

The olive oil gently masks the acidic bite of the fruit. When we pair a little healthy fat with lycopene-rich foods like grapefruit, it helps us absorb the nutrients better, so it’s a win-win.

I did a side by side taste test of plain grapefruit and grapefruit with a little olive oil. The difference was subtle but definitely noticeable to my palate. Try it and let me know what you think!

There’s so much to love about grapefruit. Try out some of these recipes:



  1. I have to try this. I only recently started liking grapefruit, I always found them to be too bitter/tart. That was until I moved to California and they are soooo amazing here. I’ll try this soon and tell ya what I think.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I put a little sugar on my grapefruit but I will try this tomorrow morning.

  3. What about coconut oil? Another healthy fat… and may taste better, too. If you like coconut flavor, of course. (Although it comes in unflavored…)

  4. How interesting! Must try! Thanks, Hallie. :-)


  5. Heather said on April 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I wonder if coconut oil would work the same way?

  6. I think coconut oil would probably work, too. Oil negates bitterness, so it’s definitely worth a try! :)

  7. What a neat tip, Hallie! When I was pregnant with Nate I ate pounds and pounds of grapefruit. I haven’t had the same cravings this time. We’ll see what happens in the third tri.

    Thanks for sharing my broiled grapefruit recipe! It has gotten thousands upon thousands of hits from Pinterest. Who would have thought??

  8. Ooo – can’t wait to get some good quality olive oil and try this! So much simpler than broiling :) Bon appetit!

  9. Very interesting tip. Thank you for sharing.

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.