Candied Orange Peels with Honey (Paleo)
These candied orange peels with honey are a refined sugar-free candied orange peel recipe where fresh orange peels are candied in honey. They are perfect to snack on or to use in other recipes!
I LOVE any recipe with candied orange peels inside of it. Chocolate and candied orange peels are a particular favorite and this flavor combination inspired me to try to make a healthier candied orange peel recipe.
All you need is 3 ingredients to make a refined sugar-free version of candied orange peels.
I used two different recipes for guidance. One from Bright Eyed Baker and one from Allrecipes.com.
Once I got the hang of what I would need to do, I created a version of Paleo candied orange peels made with honey instead of refined white sugar.
Why this recipe works:
- You only need 3 ingredients!
- You can make candied orange peels without sugar when you use honey.
- These are wonderful if you are following a Paleo diet.
- You can use these to cover in chocolate or make other desserts like this chocolate orange fudge.
- If you are avoiding refined white sugar, this is a good alternative.
- Oranges– naval oranges are what I used.
- Honey– any kind of honey works.
- Water– bottled or tap water.
Step by step Instructions:
Step 1: Grab two fresh navel oranges. Cut ¼ inch off from each end of each orange, and “score” the peel/ rind into quarters.
- To score the peel, gently yet firmly press into the orange peel with a knife until you feel a bit of a pop and the knife goes through the white pith of the orange.
- Peel off the rind section by section.
Cut each orange peel into quarters, you should have 8 large pieces of orange peel.
Step 2: Cut the peels into ¼ inch strips.
Step 3: Fill a pan with water, put the strips of orange peels inside, and boil them for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the orange peels and let them dry in a colander/ strainer.
Step 4: Put 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey into a pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
Let this cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat and then 5 minutes on medium heat mixing often to keep the bubbles down. The result is a golden syrup.
Step 5: Add the orange peels to the syrup and let everything simmer over low-medium heat for 45 minutes. Cook the orange peels until they became translucent.
Tip: Check regularly that there is sauce in the pan during the 45 minutes because if it runs out, the orange peels will burn.
Step 6: Remove the candied orange peels from the pan and let them dry on parchment paper for 10 minutes.
They dry surprisingly fast.
Gently yet firmly press into the orange peel with a knife until you feel a bit of a pop and the knife goes through the white pith of the orange. Don’t go deep enough to hit the fruit of the orange.
This process is much easier with oranges that have a thicker white part, or pith. Then peel off the rind section by section.
Because you didn’t boil them in water first. Step 3 of the instructions includes boiling them for 20 minutes prior to candying them.
You can dunk them in chocolate. You can add them to brownies, cookies or muffins. You can also eat them plain!
Other orange desserts you’ll love:
These Chocolate Orange Fudgy Brownies are my favorite chocolate orange dessert. It’s fudgy brownie amazingness but with an orange zing!
I love these Paleo Orange Cranberry Muffins. They are tart yet sweet and have a wonderful flavor.
Other candied citrus recipes worth checking out:
These Candied Lemon Slices from Running to the Kitchen are made with just 3 ingredients and look delish!
Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!
Candied Orange Peels with Honey (Paleo)
- 2 navel oranges
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup honey
- Cut ¼ inch off from each end of each orange. Then score the skin into quarters. Press gently yet firmly into the orange peels with a knife until there is a bit of a pop and you go through the white pith of the orange. Make sure to stop before hitting the orange fruit.
- Then, using your hands, remove the skin from the orange, including the pith (white part). You should have 8 larger pieces of orange peel.
- Cut the peels into ¼ inch strips.
- Put the strips of orange peels into a large pan, fill the pan with water and bring it all to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cook for 20 minutes, drain using a colander/strainer and set aside.
- Mix, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey in a large pan and heat on the stove top over high heat until the mixture boils ( about 1-1.5 minutes), then lower the heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 5 mins. Make sure to mix periodically at the start, and then to mix it often to keep the bubbles down. The result will be a golden syrup.
- Add the peels to the syrup and heat over low-medium. Let everything simmer for 45 minutes. (Check regularly to make sure that there is always a little bit of syrup in there because if it runs out, it will burn)
- The candied orange peels are done when they are translucent.
- Remove the orange peels from the pan, and lay them out to dry on parchment paper for about 10 mins.
- Gently yet firmly press into the orange peel with a knife until you feel a bit of a pop and the knife goes through the white pith of the orange. Don’t go deep enough to hit the fruit of the orange. Then peel off the rind section by section.
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23 Comments on “Candied Orange Peels with Honey (Paleo)”
Hi there, if you want to reduce the boiling time to get rid of the bitterness, then use a potato peeler the get the orange slices. This way you will only get the organe (oily) part and there is no danger of bitterness.
Great tip! Thanks!
I am excited to try this. I am making it right now. But I need the candied peel for plum pudding and mince pie, so I need quite a lot of it. Just not sure if I should double or triple the water/honey portion. Do you have any thoughts?
I think if you are doubling it, you should double everything! Sorry I didn’t respond until now. I hope it worked well!
I love how this turned out! I put the rinds in a dehydrator overnight and then I rolled them in monkfruit sugar to keep them from sticking together! My kids really love it and it’s so much more healthy than typical fruit snacks from the store. So yummy! Thank you!
I’m so so glad to hear that. I love the idea of adding monkfruit sugar!
I’ve done this now with lemon peel and with mandarin orange peel, and used a mesquite honey with each (honey harvested from bees whose pollen is exclusively from mesquite trees, not smoked honey). The lemon really needed to cook longer, as it came out much too bitter and the rind was too thick and chewy otherwise.
However, this is a great recipe! I appreciate you posting it.
Hi, I have a question as to how to store the candied orange peel?
I just made my first try at it and it worked out wonderfully.
I’m so glad! I would store it in an airtight container in between rows of parchment paper. You could refrigerate it if you want it to last longer.
I will definitely try this!
Do you think it would work with clementine/tangerine peel?
I’m also wondering how to store the finished product and how long it keeps?
I do think it would work but may take less time since clementine peels are thinner. I would store it in a tupperware in the fridge. I am not totally sure how long they last, but I did some research on candied orange peels and found that they can last anywhere from 2 day to several months…. sorry that’s not much help!
Do you think the candied orange or lemon peel recipe would work with maple syrup instead of honey?
Yes I think it would work with maple syrup instead. I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not. 🙂
I’m making them now….but I’m skipping the first process of boiling them first since I want to preserve as many of the peel’s nutrients as possible. I decided to let it simmer in a pan on low heat for an hour. I’m thinking that I’ll save any glaze that might be left over to add to tea if it isn’t hard as a rock (in which case I may go ahead and eat it as candy!?). I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out!
Yes please let me know how it worked out!!
Every recipie I have seen has sugar being added to water to make a syrup. I wonder if just boiling them in maple syrup after they have been blanched would be the same thing?
I don’t see why not! I usually use honey to replace white sugar, but I think maple would work as well… plus I bet it would add such a good flavor!
What is the purpose of boiling the peel before preserving in the honey syrup? I’d love to do this without boiling the peel first. Wouldn’t you lose lots of the active ingredients, oils etc?
Good question 🙂 I am not totally sure, I just based this recipe on other candied orange peel recipes that I had made in the past.
If you try it without boiling them and it works, let me know!
If you’re still curious, the boiling in water is supposed to reduce bitterness! I’ve read recipes that say to do it as many as three times. I’ve made candied orange peels a few times before, always with sugar. Does this version taste the same as the traditional recipe, or does it have a different taste and texture? This looks like a really cool variation!
It tastes similar, but I honestly have never made traditional candied orange peels before so I can’t say 100%. It has the same texture and I love using it to make other baked goods. 🙂
I believe to take any bitterness out. I make lemon preserves and I soak the slices in hot water then refrigerate for a whole day then discard the water and again heat another pot of water up to when you can still safely touch it with slices of lemon in it and refrigerate later one more night before I cooked it in syrup the next morning. No bitterness in there whatsoever.