Candied Grapefruit Peels

DIET Vegan
I love fresh squeezed juice. It’s one of Sunday’s little pleasures. But I am a bit annoyed by all the left over peels. And one can only add so much citrus to their worm composting bin, ya know? As I mentioned last time, this country wastes too much food so I am always looking for ways to eat what is usually discarded. And while I haven’t gone full-on freegan (or even tried it), candied grapefruit peels seems like a reasonable compromise. Right?
|Written January 31, 2013


  • 4 grapefruits, the peels
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup baker's sugar
  • Water
SERVINGS12 servings

Candied Grapefruit Peels Main


After you use the citrus fruit of 4 grapefruits, whether it be by juicing or something else, you’ll need to scrape out all remaining fruit with a spoon. You don’t have to get all Type A about it. Some can be left behind.

Sliced Grapefruit

Cleaned Grapefruit after Juicing


Then you want to cut the peels into strips. Of course, this depends on how you plan to use the candy. If you are going to use it as a garnish, julienning the peels is probably best. But if you are going to put them in a candy dish or mix them in with your granola, you might want to cube them. If you are going to eat them off of your partner during some sexy fun time, maybe slice them into rings?

Grapefruit Peels Sliced for Candying


Add the peels to medium sauce pot and cover them with about 1-inch of water. They’re going to float so you need to push them down in the pot to ensure you have enough water.

Boiling Grapefruit Peels to Reduce Bitterness


Transfer them to the stove and bring them to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, strain the peels. I love this part, the whole house starts to smell like warm citrus. It’s a bit intoxicating.


Repeat step four at least three more times using fresh water every time. This is to remove some of the bitterness in the pith. If you like orange marmalade, doing this four times should be enough. If you aren’t a fan of bitter, you can do it two more times.

Candying Grapefruit Peels


For our fifth boil, you are going to add 2 cups of sugar along with the water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a low simmer. Cook the peels for two hours. If the water starts to cook down too fast, just add a bit more.


Remove the candied peels from the stove. They should be Gummi Bear-like and the sugar and water mixture will be syrupy. If you want eat these immediately, place the candied peels on a drying rack and let them firm up. Do this for a few hours. Or you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week until you are ready to use them.

Candy Grapefruit Peels Drying


Once the peels have cooled and firmed, place 1 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl and roll them in it. You can mix this up too. Mix in 1 tablespoon of dried ground ginger with the peels to add a bit of spice. Clove would also work.


How beautiful are these? Do me a favor and read up on food waste. There is a lot you can do to help.

Candied Grapefruit Peels Rolled in Sugar

Candied Grapefruit Peels

This recipe originally appeared on KQED’s Bay Area Bites.



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Jerry James Stone

Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say 'hella' too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.
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