The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its bitter fruit, eaten plain like candy or used to decorate cakes, cookies and other desserts, lending them a tangy sweetness. Grapefruit peel is often used in the making of marmalade and tea.
The grapefruit is not even 300 years old, and at the time of its 'discovery' was considered a horticultural accident during the 1700's. An Englishman by the name of Captain Shaddock brought the seeds to the West Indies from Polynesia in 1693. There are no records to prove it, but many theorize that the grapefruit is a cross between a Pomelo and a Sweet Orange, but no one knows for sure how it came about. By 1750, it was known as the 'Forbidden Fruit' or a smaller shaddock, after the mariner who brought it to the Caribbean. It did not make an appearance on American shores until 1823 when it was brought to Tampa, Florida from the Bahamas, where it flourished in the heat. It still did not become widely popular until the late 19th century. Today the USA is the world's major producer of the fruit. The current name is a reference to the way the fruit clusters on the tree which is similar to a bunch of grapes
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Use your leftover grapefruit rinds to make grapefruit peel tea. This tea breaks up mucus and helps with your allergies, according to Terra Turquoise Healing Arts. Mincing the peel of one large grapefruit and boiling it with six to eight cups of water will create a good-for-you tea after letting it simmer for an additional 15 minutes. While this tea is bitter, drinking it may help remove toxins in your body. There is no scientific proof that drinking grapefruit tea has any health benefits.
Saving grapefruit peels can be useful if you like to make jams and jellies at home. The New York Times says that winter, the citrus season, is a popular time to use grapefruit peel for making marmalade, a jam with bits of peel in it. The article shares a recipe for grapefruit and Meyer lemon marmalade that should take you approximately one hour to make, and -- when properly stored in sterilized jars -- can last for months. If you do not can the marmalade, it can be stored in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for the rind of 5 lbs. of grapefruit.
Leftover grapefruit peel can help you take care of your skin. The Gloss website says that whipping up a salt scrub using grapefruit rind is a way to use up those peels in a concoction that moisturizes, exfoliates and smells good. One tablespoon of grapefruit zest combines with sea salt, oil and ginger and will store well in an air-tight container. The Gloss cautions you not to use this salt scrub on your face or freshly shaved legs.
Still considered one of the 7 wonders of Barbados, the grapefruit is high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, and calcium. It is considered an excellent antioxidant. When used in body care products, it is said to promote the synthesis of new collagen, improve skin tone, and be an excellent base ingredient in facial masks of all sorts. Studies show that the grapefruit contains bioflavonoids that protect against many ailments.
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