Most vitamin C supplements are derived from corn starch or corn sugar. This means it’s hard to avoid genetically modified produce when buying proprietary vitamin supplements. High doses of certain forms of vitamin C can cause stomach irritation, which is why Dr. Budwig discouraged the consumption of high doses of artificial vitamin C. At The Budwig Center; we encourage our patients to obtain vitamin C from natural food sources, rather than buying supplements.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to make your own natural and pure vitamin C with a simple, traditional recipe. In the days before food supplements became commonly available, people found a smart way to make their own natural vitamin C using orange and lemon peels that would otherwise have gone to waste.
How To Make Your Own Vitamin C
Step 1 – Wash the citrus fruit in hot water and gently scrub with a vegetable brush to remove the wax coating. Organic citrus fruit doesn’t usually have this wax coating.
Step 2 – Peel off the rind before eating or juicing the fruit. Try not to get too much of the white part of the rind – the pith – as it tastes very bitter. Using a vegetable peeler instead of a knife makes it easier to get thin parings.
Step 3 – Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay out all the citrus rinds skin-side down, taking care not to overlap if possible. The peels contain live enzymes that will help your body digest and absorb all the nutrients.
Step 4 –Leave the citrus rinds to air dry for a day or two until dry and crisp. Or bake in an oven at the lowest temperature until the rinds are dry and curled. Drying the citrus rinds can take anywhere between one and two hours, depending on how low the temperature of your oven can go. Aim for about 50°c/122°F setting, or go even lower by propping the oven door open slightly. Once the citrus rinds feel dry and crisp to the touch, they are done.
Step 5 – Finely grind the dried rinds in a spice or coffee grinder or a Thermo Mix or VitaMix or with a mortar and pestle. As long as the powdered zest is completely dry, it should last for about a year. Store it in the refrigerator to prolong the shelf life.
For a point of reference, one medium-sized orange makes slightly less than one tablespoon of powdered citrus zest
How To Use The Ground Dried Citrus Peels
- Add a few dried peels to your cup of black or green tea
- Add to marinades and dressings to infuse them with citrus flavors.
- When you make a fruit salad, add some dried pieces of lemon and orange to marinate with the fruit for a few hours, removing them before serving.
- Add some zest to plain drinking water by adding some dried lemon, which gives a slight citrus taste.
- When roasting fish, meat, poultry, or vegetables, throw a few pieces of the dried citrus rind into the roasting pan to add a citrus note to the food – try lemon with white fish, lamb or chicken, and orange with salmon, duck or carrots and pumpkin.
This method helps to add vitamin C to the diet. The exact quantities of vitamin C are difficult to gauge with this recipe, but it is undoubtedly sufficient for the recommendations of the Budwig Diet.
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Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and clarity.