Zero Waste Recipe – Candied Oranges and More

Zero Waste Recipe – Candied Oranges and More

Candied Oranges Recipe

We’ve all had a bag of oranges we bought with the best intentions – and no one touched. But what do you do with several pounds of oranges to use them up before they go bad? If people aren’t eating them fresh – is there a way to preserve them for later?

We have a great way to use them up, not only do you get delicious results – but there is absolutely no waste in this recipe. Every part of the orange is used, as well as making three different things that you can enjoy and use in your home. And while making candied oranges may sound a bit scary, this process is surprisingly easy and your house will smell absolutely delicious as you make it.

Candied Oranges Recipe


  • 5 lb bag of Oranges (or Mandarin oranges, really whatever you have on hand)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups of water
Candied Oranges Recipe

Step 1:

Wash and remove any waxy substance from your oranges if they are store-bought. Slice into 1/8th inch slices trying to keep them in complete rings.

Candied Oranges Recipe

Step 2:

In a large pot, combine the sugar and water and boil until all of the sugar is dissolved into the water. Once the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is boiling, add in your orange slices. Reduce your heat to medium-low and cook for two hours. Stir and flip your oranges about every 30 minutes to make sure they are completely coated.

Candied Oranges Recipe

Step 3:

After two hours remove your orange slices from their syrup bath and set the syrup aside (see below). Lay your slices out on your dehydrator sheets leaving space between each slice. Put your dehydrator on its highest heat and run for about two hours. Check at two hours to make sure your orange slices are finished processing and only slightly sticking to the touch.

Candied Oranges Recipe

Step 4:

Remove your candied oranges from the dehydrator and place them in air-tight containers or stack them in jars.

It’s really that simple. After the dehydrating process, the candied oranges will resemble the texture of gummy candy and have a slight bitter kick from the peel but overall a sweet and delicious gummy treat!

Orange Syrup

After you get your orange slices out of the boiling syrup – what do you do with it? This is one of our favorite parts about this recipe in general – simply add it to a jar or bottle to add to your teas or even cocktails. You have orange-flavored infused syrup to add to recipes at any time. Due to the sugar content, this syrup will last for a long time but should be used within a year.

Natural Orange Cleaner

Remember those cut ends from of your oranges, the peels, and the pithy bit you set aside? They’re perfect to use in a natural cleaner. Making the cleaner is extremely easy to do, and helps save more items from hitting the trash.

Simply add those cut off bits to a quart-sized mason jar, shoving them in as much as you can. Then fill the jar to the top with white vinegar. Place the lid on the jar and let the jar sit for 3-4 weeks. Strain out the peels after letting them sit and use the orange-scented cleaner in your home.

Added bonus, the peels can still be added to your compost after you have used them to make your cleaner.


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