Need a delicious, healthy treat for your family? Try these healthier candied orange peels! They’re an easy way to take what would normally be considered food waste and turn it into something delicious!
No waste treats.
When it comes to feeding a family, waste not, want not is a pretty good motto. And it goes for just about everything! I hate throwing away food scraps! I try my best to repurpose them into something, or at least compost them or feed them to my hens. But citrus peels are a hard one! They can’t go in the compost and my hens won’t eat them either. What’s a frugal momma to do?
Healthy candy, of course!
I first made candied orange peels about 10 years ago now, and even though the original recipe was on my blog for a while, I decided to take it down until I could healthify it a bit. The time is now, my friends!
Healthier Candied Orange Peels.
There’s really only three things you need for this easy candied orange peel recipe. And if you want, you could get away with only two.
The peels. While you can definitely just use what ever orange peels you have, I would suggest only using organic ones. That way you can feel a little safer about the pesticide consumption that would come with conventional orange peels. Azure Standard has amazingly delicious organic oranges during their season! (And bonus, save the seeds and plant you some orange trees!) Either way, whenever you eat your oranges, just wash the peels off, dry them, and stick them in a sealed container in the fridge until you have enough to make the candied peels. I usually wait until I have about 3 oranges worth of peels. Not that hard to do.
Next step is to slice them into whatever shape you want your candy to be. I just do thin strips, ’cause it’s easy. But you can do little chunks. Or big chunks.
After slicing the oranges, blanching them twice in boiling water helps to get rid of the bitter flavor that comes on the peels naturally. You do NOT need to scrape off all the white pith to achieve a bitter-free candied orange. The pith actually helps give the candied orange peels some yummy texture, so leave that on!
The sweetener(s). My original recipe just called for sugar. And you can totally use just sugar if you want. I use a mixture of organic coconut sugar from Azure Standard and a little honey. You could probably just use honey if you want, but the end product will be much stickier and not have the same crystalized crunch that a granulated sweetener will give. Your choice!
Optional chocolate dip. While my family enjoyed these candied orange peels plain, of course I couldn’t not dip them in chocolate! I just use a little coconut oil, honey, and cocoa powder mixed together and dip the dried candied orange peels into it.
That’s it, friend! I know it sounds a little daunting, but it’s really pretty simple once you get into it.
If you need more healthy candies, here are some other options for you…
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Healthier Candied Orange Peels
Free from grain, gluten, eggs, and dairy.
- peels from 3 organic oranges (I like Azure Standard’s navel oranges)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup filtered water (plus more for blanching)
Optional chocolate dip:
Slice orange peels into thin strips.
Blanch the orange peels by placing the strips in medium-sized pot and covering them with filtered water. Bring water to boil, then remove from heat and drain.
Repeat one more time.
In medium-sized pot, bring coconut sugar, honey, and 1/2 cup filtered water to boil over high heat.
Boil until the syrup reaches 225 degrees F, stirring constantly.
Add the orange peels and reduce heat to simmer.
Simmer, uncovered, until peels are translucent (about an hour), stirring frequently to make sure the peels don’t burn to the bottom of the pot.
Remove translucent peels from the pot and spread evenly over parchment paper to dry.
Dip in chocolate mixture if desired.
Optional chocolate dip instructions:
In small saucepan, melt coconut oil. Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth.
Dip dried candied orange peels in chocolate sauce.
Let dry until chocolate hardens.