In 2005, the United States was the second highest producer of oranges in the world. The orange is known for its fragrant fruit and rind. Dried orange peel, considered a by-product of the fruit, is popularly used in a variety of recipes as a flavoring. Orange peel can also be dried and candied. By rehydrating dried orange peel, you can use it as a substitute for orange zest.
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There are six calories in one tbsp., or 6g, of dried orange peel, according to LIVESTRONG.COM’s MyPlate. It has zero fat or sodium, 13mg of potassium, 1.5g of carbohydrates, 0.6g of dietary fiber and .09g of protein. Dried orange peel contains certain vitamins, including vitamin C and calcium. It has 1 percent of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of vitamin A, and trace amounts of B vitamins. It has 1mg of phosphorus and magnesium and some zinc as well.
Dried orange peel has 14 percent of the RDA of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps promote healthy cell growth and repairs tissues. Vitamin C is beneficial for the eyes and cardiovascular system, and it may help prevent certain cancers. Dried orange peel is also a source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate muscles and blood pressure. Potassium also helps convert blood sugar into glycogen, which is stored in muscle tissue and converted into energy.
The pericarp, the white membrane of the orange peel, is a source of pectin, a soluble dietary fiber with a variety of health benefits. Pectin, which is associated with lower cholesterol, improves insulin resistance, regulates gastrointestinal problems, promotes immune system health and increases satiety. A 2004 study by researchers at the Institute of Organic Chemistry in Bulgaria found that drying orange peels actually produces more pectin with a much better quality.
Americans can eliminate thousands of calories from their diet by cutting down on condiments and using spices and all natural flavors instead of salt, ketchup and mayonnaise. You can use dried orange peel to add flavor to recipes and cooking or salad oils. You can also add it to beverages like tea, club soda or water. Lowering calorie intake is linked to weight loss, better heart health, lower cholesterol levels and better overall health.