Grapefruit Candy: A Zero Waste Recipe

How much do you like grapefruit? Picture taking a bite of perfectly sweet and
delicious grapefruit, maybe with a little sugar sprinkled on top. Ok, now imagine a
grapefruit gummy worm. Still interested? Then let’s make Grapefruit Candy.

This zero-waste recipe comes from my wonderful grandmother who used to make
this special treat as a way to turn food waste into dessert. I like to think of it as
turning straw into gold (or day old bagels into vodka).

You will need
3-4 grapefruits (as many as you want)
~2 Cups of Cane Sugar (or other sweetener, but come on we’re making candy use

Step 1
Cut the grapefruits in half and eat out the middle edible part. It does not matter how
much pith is left over. This can be done days in advance, just keep the empty
grapefruit halves stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Inline image 1

Step 2
Bring a large pot of water to boil and put in all of the grapefruit halves. They should
be fully submerged in the water. Set a lid on the pot and let it boil for 10 minutes.

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Step 3
Strain out the water and run the grapefruit halves under some cool water so that
they can be handled. Use a spoon to scoop out the grapefruit pith (put the pith in the
compost). How much pith you leave on is a personal preference. My grandma would
scoop out almost everything leaving just the rind, but I like to leave a little on to
create gummy worm style candy.

Step 4
Fill up the pot with water again; bring to a boil, and put the grapefruit halves back
in. Every 5-10 minutes you’ll empty out the water, refill the pot with fresh water,
and boil again. Do this several times. By emptying out the water, you are helping to
remove the bitterness from the grapefruit rind. There’s a reason people don’t
normally eat grapefruit rind- it’s bitter and tough and gross. These repeated boiling
sessions in fresh water removes the bitter flavor and soften the rind.

Step 5
When the grapefruit halves are floppy and soft, empty out the water for the last time
and rinse the grapefruit in cold water so that they can be handled. Slice the halves
into long strips. This is the final shape of your candy, so make them as wide or
narrow as you want.

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Step 6

Measure out equal parts fresh water and sugar. I usually do 2 cups of water and 2
cups of sugar. Mix together over low heat in the big pot until the sugar fully
dissolves. Congratulations, you’ve just made simple syrup!Inline image 5Put all of the grapefruit slices into the simple syrup over low heat and stir to
combine. Ideally, the slices are fully or nearly submerged in syrup. Put a lid on it and
stir every few minutes.
If the syrup evaporates too quickly, you can add more sugar and water.

Inline image 6

Step 7
It takes about 10 minutes for the grapefruit slices to absorb all of the syrup that they
can handle, so when you pull one out for taste and it tastes good then you can turn
the heat off.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the grapefruit candy from the leftover syrup and
place them onto a plate/bowl/whatever.
Don’t throw away the leftover syrup; it’s picked up a lot of yummy grapefruit flavor
and mixes well into cocktails.

Inline image 7

Step 8
Enjoy! You can eat grapefruit candy hot out of the pot, cold from the fridge, rolled in
more sugar, dipped in chocolate, however you like. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for
three weeks in an airtight container. Share with friends, it’s a unique treat.

Inline image 8

If you want to make this recipe and have questions, email me at or leave a comment.

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