What I realized, however, is that I never posted my all-natural homemade Vitamin C powder to go with it! I mean, I mention using Vitamin C powder in that recipe, but who wants synthetic Vitamin C mixed with sweetener when you can easily make your own natural version?
(Well, don't think tooooooo highly of me here – I've used Emergen-C and other synthetic Vitamin C sources just as often as I've made the natural version, so just give yourself a pat on the back when you actually take the time to make the natural version. It's not difficult AT ALL – you just have to be willing to take the few minutes to cut up the peels and keep an eye on them while they dry.)
And what's especially odd about the fact that I haven't posted this recipe per se, is that I have posted it in a completely different form. Namely, I use this same method for making our non-toxic kitchen cleanser! Yet taking homemade Vitamin C powder as a supplement is a far more important use for ground up citrus peels than cleaning the kitchen sink, so go figure…..
Good thing citrus fruits are multi-functional. 🙂
So, how to make an all-natural Vitamin C powder? Basically, you dry out a few citrus peels, pulverize them into a powder, then use that as a natural supplement, either by stirring it into water (not my favorite way) or adding it to other foods, like the aforementioned gummies, yogurt, a spoonful of raw honey (great for sore throat), etc. when you need a boost or just want to help your maintain overall health.
And the thing is – citrus fruits are known for being a great source of natural Vitamin C, but the peels are where the nutrients are concentrated. For example, 100 grams of orange peel provides about 136 mg of vitamin C, while the fruit provides about 71 mg per 100 grams – that's nearly double! So, by ingesting the peels – pith and all – you take in far more bio-available Vitamin C than you do either eating the fruit or taking synthetic Vitamin C.
Ever wonder why your pee turns bright yellow when you take a high-dose of store-bought Vitamin C? That's because your body can't absorb it all, so it flushes it out of the system. The same can be true with naturally bio-available Vitamin C, but it absorbs much more before it reaches its level of saturation.
And by drying the peels out, you get the convenience of a powder that remains shelf stable for several months. 🙂
So, here you go: homemade Vitamin C powder.
How to Make Homemade Vitamin C Powder
Organic fruit is a MUST in this application, since insecticide and pesticide residues may reside deep inside the peels due to multiple applications throughout the growing season, thus it's not always possible to wash those residues off.
You can use any citrus fruit for this application – oranges are certainly popular, but this will work with any citrus rinds. Grapefruit is a close second for me. 🙂
An even more fresh and potent way to benefit from the enzymes in the peel in addition to the Vitamin C is to add thinly sliced strips of peel to your smoothies or other purees – what a great way to boost immunity!
I usually count on one large navel orange (or any other kind with a thick rind) producing about 1/4 cup dried powder.
First, select organic fruit that is free of bruises and blemishes, then wash the fruit VERY thoroughly to remove agricultural residues, insect eggs, and other possible contaminants – yes, even from organic farms.
Next, remove the peels from the fruit, making sure as much as the pith comes with the outer peel as possible.
Third, dry the peels (see options below). The peels are done when they snap and break when bent.
To air-dry the peels, tear them into dime-sized pieces and let them sit for 3-4 days out on the counter.
To dehydrate the peels in a food dehydrator, slice the peels into thin strips, then place them in a dehydrator at 100ºF for 6-9 hours (time will vary widely depending on the thickness of the peel and the size of the pieces).
To dehydrate the peels in the oven, place them on a baking sheet and set in a slightly warm oven set on the absolutely lowest temperature it has. At about 150F, the peels will dry in 1 – 1 1/2 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices. When dry, remove from the oven and let cool.
When the peels are fully dry, place them in a spice grinder or blender and pulverize them into a fine powder.
Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place for up to three months or in the freezer for up to six months.