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Can You Eat Orange Peels? The Answer May Surprise You

Can you eat orange peels? Don't toss them out; experts say the skins make a delicious, healthy, and food waste-reducing addition to many dishes.

can you eat orange peels
Written by
Riley Baker
are bright, vibrant, and health-boosting powerhouses. The globular fruits—which also contain vitamin A and calcium—offer an instant immunity aid, with just one orange providing
70% of the recommended
daily allowance of vitamin C.
But can you eat orange peels? Once removed, the thick, textured skins are often tossed, but it actually packs a nutritious (and delicious) punch—and consuming them reduces
food waste
, too.

Can You Eat Orange Peels?

can you eat orange peels
Yes, you can eat orange peels. Orange peels are entirely edible, if a bit bitter. But with proper preparation or a well-honed recipe, making use of the entire orange is a simple and intelligent choice—though one best made in moderation.
"Eating moderate amounts of orange peel is safe, however, eating large amounts can cause stomach upset and have a laxative effect," says registered dietitian
Amy Gorin
, MS, RDN, of 
Plant Based with Amy
. "To prepare orange peels for eating, thoroughly wash them before eating."
When eaten in considered amounts, peels boast many of the same benefits as the fruit itself, including vitamins C and A, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants.
"The peel of the orange has a much higher content of these nutrients, compared to the orange’s flesh," Gorin says. "In fact, orange peel offers four times the fiber, three times the vitamin C, and nearly twice as much vitamin A."
Gorin adds that orange peel's antioxidants can even protect against some cancers. "One 
 in Nutrition and Cancer found that there was a 34% lower risk of skin cancer among people who ate citrus peel as part of their regular diet," she says.
Enjoying orange peels is a time-honored tradition in dessert culture—as exemplified by the below recipes. So stop tossing your citrus skins and eat them, instead!

7 Orange Peel Recipes to Try

Orange Peel Powder

orange peel recipes
Photo: Science By Ashley
For a creative (and extremely versatile) orange peel adaptation, this orange peel powder is a must-try. This powder is comprised of 100% orange peel, dehydrated and blended, and can be used as a boost in
, and much more.

Sicilian Whole Orange Cake

can you eat orange peels
Photo: Christina's Cucina
This traditional orange cake is defined by the use of the entire fruit—the only portion you need to ditch are the seeds. An additional orange is required for the sweet and sticky glaze.

Orange Zest French Toast

can you eat orange peels
Photo: RecipeLand
Ramp up your weekend brunch game with this citrus-packed French toast. The recipe calls for grated orange zest—a classic means of repurposing the peel.

Cranberry Whole Orange Bread

Photo: That Recipe
This sweet bread is all about antioxidants. A whole orange teams with fresh cranberries for a tart taste and a health kick—at least the sort that you can get from a full-on dessert.

Whole Orange Sephardic Charoset

can you eat orange peels
Photo: Tori Avey
This kosher recipe is soon to be a Passover staple. This charoset—a paste made from fruit and nuts—calls for a seedless orange, skin and all, to lend to its bittersweet flavor profile.

Candied Orange Peel

Photo: A Spicy Perspective
Is it really candy if it's fruit? Candied orange peel is a simple treat that's easy to prepare, and makes for an excellent gift—or just an on-the-go snack.

Orange Peel Marmalade

Photo: Yummy Notes
This citrus marmalade gets its taste and texture courtesy of pulp and peel, its mild sweetness making it an excellent addition to breakfast spreads, sandwiches, and
charcuterie boards