Oranges growing on an orchard tree

Got oranges? You’ve probably juiced them or eaten them out of hand – but did you know you can also eat the peels? All it takes is a little time, boiling, and some sweetener of your choice.

Volunteer Harvest Leader Christel shares her recipe for Candied Orange Peels below. These are delicious as snacks, and they make a great addition to baked goods like muffins or scones, or other recipes needing a punch of orange flavor. 

Candied Orange Peels 

Oranges, as many as you’d like
Sugar or Monk Fruit sweetener, 1 cup plus more to coat the peels before drying


  1. Wash the oranges well. Remove the fruit either by juicing or cutting out the sections. Leave the peels in halves or big pieces.
  2. Put the reserved orange peels in a large pot with enough water to cover by at least 1 inch and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, drain the water. This helps to leach the bitter flavors out of the peels.
  3. Add more water, bring to a boil again, and drain. Repeat one more time.
  4. Drain the peels and cool them fully.
  5. Scrape out the peels. You can scrape all the way to the darker orange part of the peel, or you can scrape out the orange flesh but leave the lighter pith. The pith is bitter even with leaching, but it is a great source of fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and flavonoids.
  6. Sweeten the peels. Put them into a pot with enough water to cover by 1 inch and add one or more cups of sweetener (sugar or monk fruit). Boil for 1 hour, then strain. If using sugar, save the water for a delicious addition to beverages or soda water.
  7. When peels are cool to the touch, slice them into strips.
  8. Toss the slices in more sugar or monk fruit sweetener and put in a dehydrator for 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, you can dry the peels on a plate on the countertop, covered loosely with wax paper and left overnight or up to 2 days, and have a softer/moist peel that would be great in baked goods.

Other things to do with orange peels
Simply slice a whole orange thinly and dry in a dehydrator... if you are feeling decadent you can dip them into sugar or other sweetener before drying but it’s not necessary.

Zest the peel and dry it on a plate overnight, for use in cooking throughout the year. Store in the freezer, or in an airtight container at room temperature if you are able to fully dry it in a dehydrator.