The peel of an orange contains higher levels of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) than its juice. 100 g of fresh orange-peel provides 136 mg per 100 g of vitamin C while its flesh contains just about 71 mg/100 g. The peel also is rich in vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, minerals such as calcium, selenium, manganese, and zinc (Power Your Diet).
Different uses for the citric peel like oranges or lemons are:
Fruit peel, like oranges are candied.
Citrus fruit zest is added to flavor confectionery icing.
Lemon zest is used in cheese cakes .
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Citrus fruit peel like lemon or oranges can be stored in the freezer in freezer bags for when zest is need for baking or using in homemade teas like ginger/lemon tea.
Here is what you will need to prepare the Orange Almond Cake:
For the cake
1 ½ cups dry roast almond pieces, processed to flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
½ cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Candied oranges and syrup
1 ½ cup Sugar
¾ cup water
2 or 3 medium oranges, thinly sliced
It is worth noting, that since honey is being used in place of sugar the glycemic index is from 32 to 59 depending the on the honey you use. Some types of honey, such as red clover honey or orange blossom honey, have a lower glycemic index. That is, they dissolve more slowly into the bloodstream and have less effect on blood sugar levels. In this recipe we will use the orange blossom honey.
Orange blossom honey may be a good source of trace minerals to support nutrition in humans. In a nutritional analysis published in "Talanta" in 2005, researchers from the University of Seville tested orange blossom honey for its mineral content. Zinc, boron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, selenium, copper, potassium and sodium were all found in orange blossom honey; however, their levels varied greatly depending on the geographical location from where the honey was gathered. If one honey is darker then another, it likely has a higher mineral content and more nutritional value (Live Strong).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
We will start with candying the oranges first. Cut the ends off both sides of the orange and cut into thin slices.
Heat the sugar and water in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add oranges and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until candied. Set aside.
Prepare a 8 inch cake pan or spring-form pan spreading butter on sides of pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
From a room temperature stick of butter, cut off one tablespoon. Stick it to the side of the spring-form pan; using a spatula spread it out over the sides of the spring-form pan.
Next, process the dry roasted almond pieces in a food processor or blender until finely ground. You will need 1 and 1/2 cups when the almond pieces are done being processed.
Beat 4 egg yolks, ½ cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almond flour and beat on low until combined.
Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. It is important that there is no hint of yolk in the whites or they will now whip up. The bowl cannot have any water in it or oil as well as the attachments to the electric mixer. The whites will not whip up.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined.
Next, we need to fill the bottom and line the sides of prepared spring-form pan with the candied oranges. Then scrape the batter over the oranges evenly; taking care to not move the orange slices.
Bake 38-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cake should have the appearance of golden brown.
Remove from oven and unmold cake onto a large dessert platter by inverting it. Then pour syrup over the cake while it is still hot. Set cake aside to cool completely before plating and serving.
Though the orange glaze was prepared with sugar, it is natural tasting as some healthy nutrition to it. As we mentioned at the onset the high content of vitamin C in the peel. Which some if not all did boil out into the sugar/water.
Plate and serve yourself a slice of this oh so yummy Orange Almond Cake. Gluten and grain free with lots of good nutrition. Even though granulated sugar was used for the orange glazing one slice will have 97 calories(8 servings of cake). Which I feel is pretty good considering no white unbleached flour was used (which can spike sugar in the blood) and honey is what sweetens the cake.
Enjoy more cakes: Almond Flour Honey Cake (also gluten and grain free) or a Peach Upside Down Cake.
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