This zero-waste tea recipe is not only great for your health and the planet but tastes delicious and is so easy to make.
Did you know that the peel of fruits are considered to be the most nutrient-rich parts of the plant?
For instance, a raw apple with the skin contains up to 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, 115% more vitamin C, 20% more calcium and up to 19% more potassium than a peeled apple. Not to mention that fruit peels are super high in fiber! 1
Of course, the flesh of fruits are packed with fiber and nutrients but word on the street is that these nutrients and antioxidants are most concentrated in the outer layer. 2
So it got me thinking. What if rather than just tossing out our fruit peels we started including them in our diets?
Not only would this be beneficial to our health, but it would also help us to reduce our daily food waste — or at least allow us to make the most of each ingredient before adding them to the compost bin.
One of my personal favorite ways to consume fruit peels is by turning them into delicious teas.
This Orange Peel Cinnamon recipe is one of my favorites — it’s easy to make, tastes great, and is full of health benefits.
Orange peel health benefits
Did you know that orange peels contain higher amounts of vitamin C than its flesh? In fact, 3.5 ounces of orange peel provides 136 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, while the flesh only contains about 71 mg. 3 Not to mention that orange peels also contain considerable amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and other B vitamins and dietary fiber and are rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds that are known to help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. 4
Fun fact: When food has a bitter flavor, like an orange peel, it is often a clue that it’s packed with health benefits. According to Mercola, “the bitter taste is the result of the many flavonoids that orange peels contain.” 5
Cinnamon Health Benefits
Cinnamon is a spice that is loaded with antioxidants, i.e., molecules that help neutralize or prevent the negative effects of free radicals in your body. 6 Free radicals are substances that attack healthy cells,7 they can be either man-made or naturally occurring, e.g. environmental toxins like tobacco, alcohol, and pollution as well as substances found in processed food, etc. 8(You can read more about antioxidants here.)
In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano. 9 And, if you’re struggling with inflammation, you might consider adding a bit more cinnamon to your diet as this spice is believed to have great anti-inflammatory properties. 10
Zero-Waste Orange Peel Cinnamon Tea Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need.
- 4 cups of water
- Peel from one organic orange cut into small pieces. (NOTE: please make sure you are using organic oranges/not treated with pesticides for this recipe).
- 2- 3 dashes of cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp of honey
- A squirt of freshly squeezed orange juice
** I find a tsp of honey or squirt of freshly squeezed orange juice helps to cut down on the bitterness a bit.
Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add the pieces of orange peel and cinnamon. Let mixture cook for about 10-15 minutes then remove from heat.
Before serving, strain some of the fruit pieces from the water (I like to keep a few in the teapot because I think it looks pretty + you can eat them so no harm done).
Enjoy! (NOTE: This zero-waste tea can be enjoyed warm or cold.)