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Don’t Throw Away Those Grapefruit Peels! Use Them in These 7 Creative Ways Instead

Ever wondered what you could do with all of those grapefruit peels that you get off of every sweet, succulent Texas red? If you believe that throwing away the peels of such a delicious treat seems

wasteful, you’re right.

For some fruit, it may be common knowledge that the peel is the healthiest part. But, did you know that grapefruit peels are also incredibly useful? The next time you bite into a juicy Winter Sweetz Texas red grapefruit, save the peel for later because we have seven creative, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly uses for your grapefruit peels.

1. Candied Grapefruit Peels

The first use for grapefruit peels is the same as for the grapefruit itself: you eat it! While the thought of chewing a pithy fresh peel may not be so appealing (pun unintended), boil that peel in sugar for about an hour, and you’ve got yourself a delicious candied treat. Orange peels are the most common candied peel, but grapefruit peels are thicker, meaning the candies are plumper and a bit chewier. These candied grapefruit peels can be eaten plain, used in baking, or as a garnish in a cocktail.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 large Winter Sweetz Texas red grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for coating

Making the Candy:

  1. Peel your grapefruits and cut the peel into slices that are just over a quarter-inch wide with a quarter of an inch of white pith left attached.
  2. In a small saucepan, add peels and fill with cold water till the peels are covered. Bring to a boil, then drain.
  3. Repeat step 2 two more times.
  4. Add one cup sugar and ½ cup water and bring to boil again. Once the syrup is boiling, reduce the heat, and let the peels simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the peels are translucent.
  5. Drain and dry on a wire rack for 2 to 4 hours, then toss peels in more sugar and serve.

Time: 6 hours (total prep and drying time)

Serves: 2 cups

2. Grapefruit Peel Tea

Making tea can be a creative and personalized activity for many people. From carefully chosen pruned and dried leaves to specially made clay pots, there are many ways to take your tea drinking experience to the next level. On that note, dried grapefruit peels are an excellent addition to any tea connoisseur’s or casual tea drinker’s cup, especially when that cup is full of black tea! Not only does it add a delicious tangy flavor, but it also can help soothe sore throats!

Using your saved peels, scrape away as much of the pith as you can manage, and dry them on a plate in a single layer or on a drying rack. You can also use an oven to dry your peels by toasting them at 200°F. Store your peels away from sunlight in an airtight container.

3. Citrus-Flavored Meat Dishes

Any salmon lover will tell you that salmon without lemon is like a hotdog without a bun: some people may like it but those people are wrong. All kidding aside, there is one big exception to that rule: salmon with grapefruit.

Citrus and savory is a tried and true combination. You can use grapefruit peels for stuffing a roast chicken or turkey for a sweet and unexpected tang or add them to the braising liquid for an infusion of citrusy flavor. Mixing a bit of the acidity and bitterness of a Texas red grapefruit from Winter Sweetz to your meat will add freshness and juiciness that will have any dinner guests begging for the recipe.

4. Grapefruit-Infused Liquor

Grapefruit has the power to be a bartender’s secret weapon. Not only are they good for juice and garnish, but they’re also good for infusing alcohol to give it a unique flavor.

Create a truly delicious cocktail without spending so much on a pricy flavored vodka. Just let your peels soak in the liquor for a few days, and add a bit of simple syrup to create the grapefruit version of Limoncello.

Alcohol strips everything from the peels, so be sure to buy fresh Winter Sweetz Texas red grapefruits to avoid the chemically taste of rot-resistant wax and treatments that often come with other fruit.

5. Burning Grapefruit Peels

From popcorn to Grandma’s cookies, smells can make us feel all sorts of emotions. Curling up in front of a warm fireplace with its smoky and homey smell is one of the nicest ways to spend an evening, but there is one way to make it better: add a little bit of grapefruit peel to your kindling.

After your peels are dry, you can burn them in the fire or even just put them in a bowl on a heater to spread their refreshing aroma throughout your home.

6. Grapefruit Cleaning Supplies

If you came to this list with any knowledge of alternative uses for citrus peels, it’s likely that that knowledge covered ways of using citrus peels for cleaning. The acidity in grapefruit makes them an excellent, healthy alternative to many chemical cleaners out on the market currently. 

Grapefruit peels can be infused in vinegar to make a cleaning solution that is safe to use around kids, and it won’t stink up your house like straight vinegar can. You can also mix grounded up dried grapefruit peels with borax and baking soda to make a scouring scrub to clean countertops, sinks, and bathtubs. Use it the same way you might use any bleach-based scouring powder; just make sure to get off all of the scrub when you’re finished.

What You’ll Need for the Scrub:

  • 1 Winter Sweetz Texas red grapefruit
  • 3 tbsp. borax
  • 5 tbsp. baking soda

Making It:

  1. Peel your grapefruit, and let the peel dry on a plate for several days until it is completely dry. Using an oven is not recommended as it breaks down the essential oils.
  2. Grind the peels in a coffee grinder or food processor until it becomes a fine powder.
  3. Mix 3 tbsp ground peels with your borax and baking soda in a shaker.

Winter Sweetz is here to meet all of your grapefruit needs. You can find our Texas red grapefruit at any of these locations, or ask your local grocer to contact us at (956) 424-7775 to start stocking today.

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