Candied Citrus Peels make a super easy candy treat, Christmas gift idea, and are great for reducing food waste in your home. Make this zero waste recipe to squeeze every last cent out of your citrus fruits….because it #worthit and delicious!
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Candied Citrus Peels
Americans waste about 30-40% of their food every year. That’s just ridiculous. Not only is that super bad for the environment, think about all the money wasted that is!
Candied citrus peels are a great zero waste recipe. You get to use every part of the citrus without having to put anything in the trash or compost bin.
Plus, the recipe is so easy. I mean, for homemade candy, it’s about as easy as it gets.
I am a huge fan of zero waste cooking not only for the eco-friendly benefits but also I’m just a giant cheapskate. Getting as much out of my grocery budget as humanly possible is one of my special skill sets.
So a recipe that turns my literal trash into heavenly sweet treasures is going to be a fan favorite.
Candied citrus can be used for all sorts of things as well. Garnish cakes and cupcakes with them for a little extra decorum and/or taste. Wrap them up in little mason jars, put a ribbon on it and give them as easy Christmas or fall gifts.
Eat them for a tasty treat. They’re pretty versatile treat that no one can resist.
Tips for Perfect Candied Citrus Peels
- If you are wanting to use these citrus peels as a pretty garnish on cakes or cupcakes, cut your strips into thinner slices.
But if you’re planning to give as a gift or just eat like candy, quarter inch strips is what you want.
- Be sure to save the water at the bottom of your pan.
That water is actually a fresh orange-y simple syrup that is delicious to add into drinks (especially this hot cocoa), and summer refreshers.
- Simply strain the syrup into a mason jar or an air tight container, stick a label on it, and stick it in the fridge! **
- It is necessary to drain the water after it comes to a boil 3 times. This will help break down your peels to they are more tender and candy-like as well as getting rid of any bitterness in the rind.
Draining the water keeps the sugar levels down during this breakdown process. Too many sugars leftover can end up making your candy just a sloppy disintegrating mess.
So make sure you take the time to drain the water!
- The best candied citrus peels are the ones that have been allowed to dry overnight. They need 3 hours minimum to dry before coating in sugar, but overnight is the best.
3 Reasons Why Zero Waste Recipes are the Best Recipes
- They’re delicious. Seriously, candy is delicious. So this zero waste recipe is a sweet, sweet victory.
- It saves you money. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a citrus-y cake for someone’s birthday and then wrapped up some candied peels with a bow and gave it to them as their gift. No one has ever complained and my bank account always celebrates.
- It feels good. There is something very satisfying about using every piece of a something.
Making Your Citrus Zero Waste
Citrus peels are best to make candy with because of their thick skins and delicious flavor. Other fruits don’t work well because their skins break down very quickly when candy-ing.
But obviously it’s silly to make these “zero waste” candied citrus peels if you’re not going to use the actual fruit….it kind of defeats the point of a zero waste recipe.
Check out some of these other citrus recipes and indulge on the world of citrus!
**Be sure to save the water at the bottom of your pan. You my dear friend, have created a fresh orange-y simple syrup that is delicious to add into drinks (especially hot cocoa), and summer refreshers.
Simply add strain the syrup into a mason jar or an air tight container, stick a label on it, and stick it in the fridge! **
Candied Citrus Peels
- 3 large naval oranges, lemons, or grapefruit
- 10 cups water
- 2⅓ cups granulated sugar
- Make sure your fruit is clean and sticker free before peeling. Peel and clean your citrus rinds
- Once peeled, cut your orange or citrus peels into 1/4 inch strips. Using a small sauce pan add the peels to the pan with enough water just to cover them (about 2 cups).
- Bring the water to a boil + then drain the water. Refill the pan with another 2 cups of water and repeat two more times.
- After the third time you drain the oranges, add 2 cups of sugar over the top of the peels and 3 cups of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the peels to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce to a simmer. Allow the peels to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the edges begin to look translucent.
- Remove the peels and lay them on a drying rack for 3 hours or overnight.
- Put the last 1/3 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl and coat the orange peels in the sugar. I did it one by one to ensure an even coverage.
- Put in an air tight container and enjoy!
Candied citrus peels are a fun and easy some homemade sweet candy.
Reducing food waste isn’t always an easy thing. But by starting small with simple recipes like this can help you save the environment and your budget.
Have you made these candied orange peels? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below! And if you loved them, share this article and spread the love!
And once you’ve made some this refreshing lilac lemonade from scratch, take a pic, post it on the gram and make sure to tag me (@handheld_eats)! I love seeing you creations and really, if you don’t post it on Instagram, did it even happen?
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See you soon, friends!