Along the Way
Family Travel, Treats, Tips, & Traditions

Grapefruit Peel Candy Recipe

Disclosure: This post has been brought to you by my newest freelance writer, my daughter J. J is 13 and we hope you will forgive spelling and grammatical errors as freely as you do with me! Now introducing, J.

Cooking is an amazing experience, but it causes so much waste. When you’re finished, you’re left with peels, stalks, leaves, and bits and pieces that all just go down the drain or in the garbage can. It’s true you can compost some of it, but what if you could turn leftover grapefruit peels into candy? The truth is, you can! With a little time and effort you can turn peels of oranges, grapefruits, limes or lemons into genuinely delicious candies. They can be used as garnish or in trail mix, or even just as a snack! Additionally, grapefruit rinds have many benefits such as being rich in vitamins. Also homemade candy is much healthier than the stuff you buy at the store. This simple dessert recipe is vegan and gluten free.  Grapefruit peel candies can be made with just two simple ingredients you likely have at home. Making a batch of citrus rind candy is an environmentally friendly delicious treat you are definitely going to want to share with everyone.

easy recipe using grapefruit peels

This post has been brought to you by my amazing new writer, J. My daughter loves to bake and write so she will likely be sharing more fun recipes on our recipe page from now on.  J loves to read and has done a ton of research based on old fashioned candies you can make at home. On our property in Southern California we have a grapefruit tree, tangerine tree, navel orange tree, and a lemon tree.  Our neighbors also have limes they share with us.  While we do compost our green waste, she asked if she could make candy from the grapefruit rinds one day.  I thought it would be time consuming and require too many ingredients. I was very wrong, this recipe could not be any easier.  The recipe for candied citrus peels are practically 0 waste and it creates a delicious treat that is without food coloring, additives, and wrapping.  While this recipe does include sugar, it is far less sugar than many candies available at the store. 

candied grapefruit recipe

Recently our family joined a community ‘crop swap’ that meets once a week in Southern California.  We personally were blessed with more grapefruit than we could eat or share within our neighborhood. The kids were honestly getting tired of eating grapefruit. A crop swap aims at making less waste among the community.  We traded some of our grapefruits for lots of other fun things.  In San Diego, trees are still bursting with all kinds of citrus options.  We were able to make delicious citrus rind candies from our swaps too!  This ‘buy nothing’ style farmer’s market was fantastic.  We brought home lemons, tangerines, several varieties of oranges, and limes.  J was able to use rides from all of these varieties of fruits to make a giant batch of shelf stable candies.  We encourage you to find a ‘crop swap’ group in your area too! If there is not a crop swap already, start one! The swap group we joined has exploded with fun friends just looking to share with one another.

zero waste crop swap citrus

            You may know that grapefruits and oranges are rich in vitamin C and potassium. However, orange peels have way more vitamins the the orange flesh. Orange peel contains potassium and vitamin C in addition to fiber, vitamin B5 and B6, vitamin A, calcium. It also has flavonoids, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, as well as folate and dietary fiber. In addition, orange peels can be beneficial in boosting your metabolism, controlling blood pressure, improving skin appearance, improving digestion, improving immune system, and can even prevent cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help keep your heart be healthy and function properly. As well as improving digestion, orange peels contain pectin which prevents constipation. It also fights acidity which prevents heartburn.  As you can see, although oranges have some vitamins, the peels, which are usually wasted, are packed with tons more nutrients.

Candying grapefruit peels is and easy process and the results  are delectable. Once prepared, they can also be used in a variety of recipes. They can be used as garnish; they look great on cupcakes and you can even put them in some salads. Candied citrus peels are also great cut into cubes and put in trail mix. They are even great on their own just as a snack. For an even fancier treat, you can dip them in chocolate for the ultimate sophisticated dessert. Candied orange peels are an enjoyable treat and can be used in many different ways.

Candied Grapefruit Peel Recipe

To candy grapefruit or orange peels, the first step is to cut the peels into strips about a quarter inch thick, this way they all will cook at the same speed and look pretty when finished. Next, add the peels to a large pot of water. The peels will float but if you push them down with your hand there should be about two inches of water above them. Then, bring the peels to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for about an hour. You will know that orange or lemon peels are down when they are soft and bendy to the touch. Grapefruit peels, however, will become partially translucent. They will also smell super AMAZING. When you reach this point, drain your peels, and make some simple sugar syrup to flavor them.

            The most important part of this recipe is the sugar syrup. Now that we have removed the bitterness from the peels, they will be almost tasteless. Naturally, the next step is to make a incredibly simple sweet syrup for the peels to absorb as flavoring. To make the sugar syrup, add 1 cup of sugar for every 2 cups of water. After it boils for 3 or 4 minutes the sugar should have dissolved and the liquid should be clear. Then add your peels, when you push down the peels with the back of a spoon there should be about an inch of syrup above. Then, stir the peels to be sure that every piece is coated, and then let the peels soak up the syrup for 6 to 8 hours. Orange peels tend to be the sweetest so they won’t need to marinate for more than 6, but grapefruit and lemon should be soaked for closer to 8 to get rid of the sourness. After they have soaked, bring the pot of syrup and peels to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the peels, stirring occasionally. This absorbing process should take about 30 minutes. As the peels get close to finished, watch carefully to avoid burning. You will know that they are finished if you can scrape the bottom of the pot and there is barely any liquid at the bottom. After that, transfer the peels to wax paper or freezer paper and allow to dry for 12 hours. Spread them in a single layer and preferably not touching so that they can all dry evenly. After the 12 hours are up, simply roll them in sugar one by one to coat and allow to dry for 2-3 more hours on a fresh piece of wax paper. 

candied grapefruit

            After they have finished drying, they are ready to eat. You can simply eat them now, or you can melt some semi-sweet or dark chocolate and dip them halfway for a tangy, chocolate- covered sweet. All you have to do is melt some chocolate in the microwave, dip, and let harden in the fridge. Easy! They can be stored for two whole months in an airtight container at room temperature separated in layers by sheets of wax paper. However they never last that long because they get eaten. Ha ha.

chocolate covered citrus peels

            Candied citrus peels taste great and are good for the environment. Don’t throw out the peels to grapefruits, lemons, oranges, or limes every again! Eating them rather than throwing them away keeps them out of the landfill and gives them a purpose. They can be used as garnishes or to improve snacks, or even just to eat as a healthy alternative to fruit-flavored candy. In addition the this, they are super duper easy to make. After all, all you need is some orange peels, sugar, water, and time. If your feeling a little unsure, make sure to watch my video tutorial explaining all the steps below! Try making them today and discover what you’ve been missing out on!


Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Desserts, Food, recipe, Recipes

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