Oranges - Adding Zest to a Cold Winter Day

Adair Hoover, Program Assistant
Home & Garden Information Center

Winter has finally arrived in South Carolina, bringing shorter days and colder weather. If you want to add zest to your day consider the benefits of the orange. Oranges are low in calories (about 60 calories per orange); a good source of fiber, pectin, and potassium; an excellent source of vitamin C, inositol, and bioflavonoids (vitamin like substances); and a fair source of folic acid. They are readily available in supermarkets and easily incorporated into your winter menu.

Oranges purchased during the peak of ripeness may be preserved and enjoyed throughout the year. One popular recipe for preserving oranges is Orange Marmalade. Marmalade is a soft-fruit jelly containing small slices of fruit or fruit peel evenly suspended in the transparent jelly. It is an exceptional preservation choice because it incorporates the fruit peel, which is the most nutrient-rich part of the orange.  The following So Easy to Preserve recipe for Orange Marmalade will help you make the most of one of winter’s freshest fruits.

Orange Marmalade

Yield: About 7 half pint jars

4 cups thinly sliced orange peel (about 6 large oranges
1 cup thinly sliced lemon (about 2 medium)
4 cups orange pulp, cut up (about 6 large oranges)
6 cups water
Sugar (about 6 cups)

To Prepare the Fruit – Add water to fruit in a saucepan. Heat to simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand 12 to 18 hours in refrigerator. Heat and cook over medium heat until peel is tender, about 1 hour.

To Make Marmalade – Sterilize canning jars. Measure fruit and liquid. Add 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit mixture. Bring slowly to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to the jellying point, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour hot marmalade into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath.

NOTE: When peeling the citrus fruits for marmalades, be sure to include some of the white membrane found just under the skin. This is where the most pectin is located.


Reynolds, Susan and Paulette Williams. So Easy to Preserve, Bulletin 989. Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Georgia. Fifth Edition revised by Elizabeth Andress and Judy Harrison, 2006.

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.