One of my favorite treats as a child was oranges. There’s been a family legend that’s floated around for decades by my mom—”Whenever you cried, we’d give you an orange. You would sit ever so content and eat that orange, skin and all. And then you’d want another one”.
Well, to this day one of my favorite fruits is oranges. I could envision my husband and daughter drinking the orange juice or eating the orange, or some orange zest, but the whole orange peel? No way!!! To share my love for orange peel with my family, I had to think of a way to make an offer they couldn’t refuse—I sweetened the peel and dipped them in chocolate!!! Now how can anyone resist something sweet with chocolate. Dark chocolate!
Besides, I didn’t have the heart to throw out something organic!
I candied the peel with low glycemic coconut crystals and a bit of orange juice (from the same oranges I peeled). To further entice my family, I dipped each piece of orange peel in a mixture of coconut oil, raw cocoa, vanilla, and coconut crystals.
Unlike other candied citrus peel recipes, I didn’t blanch the peels three times. I candied them without blanching them to retain the nutrients and their full orange flavor.
Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel
Makes about 18 pieces
for cooking orange peel—
1. peel of three organic oranges
2. one half cup of orange juice (add more as needed)
3. two teaspoon of coconut crystals (add more for sweeter orange peels)
for dark chocolate—
1. one Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2. one half teaspoon vanilla
3. three Tablespoons of cacao powder
4. one teaspoon of coconut crystals
1. Wash oranges and dry.
2. Score orange peel into sixths or eighths and peel.
3. Mix orange juice and two teaspoons of coconut crystals until dissolved.
4. Heat juice mixture.
5. Add orange peel. Let cook. Keep watching it,
6. Toss. Keep watching it.
7. When all the peels are flat and there’s very little liquid left (will look syrupy), remove the orange peel.
8. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet / dish to cool.
9. After they are cooled, place them in the fridge.
10. Make dark chocolate.
11. Melt coconut oil.
12. Add coconut crystals. Stir.
13. Add cacao powder. Stir
14. Add vanilla. Stir.
15. Dip cooled candied orange peel into dark chocolate.
Suggestions and Recommendations:
1. Use organic oranges. The skin of non-organic oranges are heavily sprayed and colored with dyes.
2. Orange peel can be sliced into thinner pieces. I liked keeping the pieces larger for the color. Other recipes for candied orange peel suggests that the peel be thoroughly dried (a few days) before coating with sugar or dipping in chocolate. The candied orange peel in this recipe is not thoroughly dried. It is for immediate consumption. My recipe also calls for much less sweetener. They can be kept on the fridge for a few days. Perhaps for gift giving, the ones thoroughly dried would be wiser.
3. Adjust the sweetness level by adding or removing the amount of coconut crystals.
4. For an added kick, you might want to add some cayenne powder in the chocolate.
5. I garnished mine with fresh herbs-basil and cilantro. The cilantro and/or basil were delicious with the candied orange peel. You might want to try fresh mint leaves.
6. To enhance your eating pleasure, may I suggest you pair Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel with the viewing of my painting, Reflections: Still Life With Orange and Bottle.