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an orange and a bar of chocolate

Benefits of Citrus Peel and Pith

Citrus peel offers great amounts of antioxidants and is often tossed in the compost bin! Let’s use them to make healthy candies. If we are going to eat some sweets, let’s keep it based on whole foods that are good for us and homemade so we know what’s in them!

The pith is high in fiber and contains vitamin C. Pith also contains assorted flavonoids which may help blood vessels function better, may reduce inflammation, contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. It can also be helpful for managing blood sugar among other potential benefits.

Chocolate is also an excellent source of antioxidants and a moderate amount of other nutrients, like magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorus. It is specifically high in phenolic compounds. We are talking about dark chocolate here, more than 65/70%, and small amounts.

It’s important to note that the pith would typically be cut away in the traditional recipe. In the traditional candied orange peel recipe only the thin, exterior peel is used and it is boiled multiple times which would destroy most of the nutrients. This will have some of the bitterness come through, which adds a fun spark of bitter-sweet to the candies, though will also retain some nutrients so it’s not all bad as far as candies go.


  • 2 large oranges, 1/2 inch top and bottom cut off

  • 3 cups sugar, divided

  • 3 cups water

  • 6 ounce unsalted butter, in 1/2 inch cubes, plus extra at room temperature for the ramekins

  • 1/3 pound dark chocolate, (high quality) 70% , if in block chop into 1/2-inch pieces; if in discs, leave as is


Cut peel on each orange into 4 vertical segments. Remove each segment (leaving the white pith) in 1 piece. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

Bring 2 cups sugar and 3 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is very soft, about 45 minutes to – 1 hour. Drain.

Toss peel and 1 cup sugar on a baking sheet, separating strips. Lift peel from sugar, transfer to a sheet of foil. Let stand until the coating is dry, 1 to 2 days.

When the peels are dry:

In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate.

Dip half of the citrus peel, and place on parchment paper. place in refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened, about 30 minutes.

Keep refrigerated.


orange peel covered in chocolate a bowl of melted chocolate a close up orange peels orange peels on wooden cutting board