Can You Eat Orange Peels? (Some Cultures Eat It As Candy!)

The citrus peel has been used extensively in many cooking cuisines in the world, it is a popular ingredient to add fragrance and flavor to the food.

The use of orange peels in food is in fact very common. You may think you’ve never eaten orange peels before, but haven’t you eaten them in marmalade jam? You may have seen it used in cooking competition shows like “Top Chef” on the food network. Many recipes call for the use of citrus zest, or the outer skin layer of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes.

It’s like a spice that adds an extra dimension of flavor in both cooking and baking. But did you know that the whole rind, skin, peel, or whatever you wanna call it, is entirely edible?  Can you eat orange peels? Yes, absolutely. It has a bitter orange taste and you probably wouldn’t like it if eaten raw.

But despite the bitter taste, you may still enjoy the peel for it’s many healthy nutritional benefits:

Nutritional Benefits of Orange Peels

Even if grabbing an orange peel and eating it raw sounds unappealing, you should be aware that the white parts of the orange contains vitamins A, C, and also has much more fiber than the flesh itself. Antioxidants are also more commonly found in the peels than the flesh itself, so it’s a good idea to eat as much as the peel as you can to enjoy the full benefits of the fruit. 

The peels of orange contain healthy oils called “D-limonene,” which is also used to make medicine that helps with weight loss and aids with the prevention of cancers.

Best ways to eat orange peels:

Eating it raw is very unappealing to people because of it’s bitter taste. But there are ways to make it tasty, like the marmalade jam example I mentioned earlier. Generally speaking, orange peels or any other citrus peels are best used in dessert recipes.

They are used for it’s zesty lemon flavor and aroma, making it great for making desserts like custards and jellies. There is an Asian snack that is made with candied orange peels, they are peels that are diced really thin and covered in sugar to make it really sweet. Me being Asian myself I have grew up eating this stuff. It has a very strong and concentrated sweet and sour orange taste.

If you’re interested in trying this snack you can try finding it in Asian grocery stores.

Or you may want to try making it at home:

They can also be used in cooked foods like vegetable curries, you can also throw in a bunch of orange zest when cooking rice to make it really fragrant. Bottom line is they are totally edible, is very nutritious, and the only downside is that it has a bitter taste and is better used in cooked desserts, baking, or desserts.

Have you ever tried eating the orange peel, or any other citrus peels? If so, how did you like it? Share your experience with the community in the comment box below or share it on social media.

4 thoughts on “Can You Eat Orange Peels? (Some Cultures Eat It As Candy!)

  1. Sanket says:

    This really looks delicious in the video.
    I have not yet tried the sugary orange peel, but i will try it some time. Although i do have tried jams or oranges.
    Here in India oranges are a very big thing, there are various sweets made from oranges and they are really yummy.
    But one has to balance the healthy equation in my opinion, you want to try it for vitamins, but when you add sweetness to it, it adds lots of calories to it.
    But oranges and its peel are surely a treat.

  2. Nyssa says:

    Hi MrKent
    I really did enjoy your write up on orange peel. I too have used it in some of my cooking but the thought of actually eating it raw myself is a bit of a turn off- the bitterness is just too much for me!
    But I do like the recipe you have there. The combination of sweet and sour is one of my favourites. I might even give this ago next time I see oranges in the supermarket.
    i look forward to reading more excellent content from you
    Cheers
    Nyssa

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