First and foremost, you must choose unwaxed Organic Ingredients! If you cannot find unwaxed citrus fruits you can brush them under warmish running water, and use a vinegar and bicarbonate solution (1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 levelled teaspoon of bicarbonate in one litre of warm water). You can use the entire skin or you can peel the citrus fruit with a regular peeler, which I suggest for grapefruit. Otherwise, you may remove too much of the white flesh, and you may find the powder to be far too bitter. Although, remember that bitter taste is GOOD for the Liver. Personally, I add as much of the white flesh as possible as it contains a lot of fibre and many phytonutrients with very powerful antioxidant capabilities. All of the skin of citrus also contains the most pectin, a compound with prebiotic effect to feed the 'good' gut bacteria and balance colonies so that the 'good' bacteria always outnumber the 'bad'.
Place the rind in a dehydrator for about 8 hours (for mandarin or lime) and up to 24 for thick-skinned grapefruit (you can slice the skin and make ribbons to activate the process). If you do not have a dehydrator you can use a regular oven. Set the temperature to 40˚c and keep the oven slightly ajar (you can use a wooden spoon). Once the rind is dried you can keep the powder for over 6 months. I personally use one of those food-friendly small sachets of gel to keep the powder dried once in a jar. This can prevent the powder to become mouldy if your home is a little humid or live in a tropical country.
You can sprinkle the citrus powder over salads, yogurt, smoked salmon, any fish, or chicken dish (right before serving), or add ¼ tsp in your morning juice/smoothie. It is always best to add it right before serving to preserve the antioxidants and enzymes. Taste a little first before sprinkle some of the powder to the fine dish, and adjust accordingly, before you are used to it.
If you feel it is too bitter, then use sweeter fruits like organic mandarins, tangerine and pink grapefruit. You could also add the skin of kiwi fruits, which far less bitter and may help you get used to a bitter taste.
It is important to note that many people do not tolerate bitter taste, an indication that the liver is overburdened and is sending signal it cannot detoxify properly and bitters will add unwanted pressure. So always start low and slow. A pinch is enough to start with. Then build up to half a teaspoon daily. You may also notice suboptimal liver function if you have difficulties digesting fats (stools may float). Bile is necessary to digest fats, and a large release of bile is a prerequisite for ketogenic diets as the intake of fats is increased exponentially (around 150–195 grams per day, depending on your height, weight, age and sex, and level of fitness). Citrus peel in this case is an amazing tool to help digest and absorb fats and remain in a dietary ketotic state.
On a daily basis, I tend to consume about half a teaspoon, sometimes a little more, and sometimes not at all, just to give my tastebuds a break and also during my water-fasting days. Although, I have been known to add some to my drinking water with a little lemon juice or electrolytes too.
Why eating Citrus Fruit Peel?
Citrus fruits contain many nutrients, such as vitamin C, calcium, potassium, fibre, and phytonutrients, which are not essential (because they do not contribute to energy), but I still like to call “essential” because they are required in different amount for optimum body functions. They are also required for cellular and liver detoxification and mitochondrial function (the energy factory of the cell).
Rich in health-protective phytochemicals and antioxidants, the outer layers of citrus fruits (but of other fruits and vegetables) are often more nutritious than the food they protect.
There are over 60 different types of flavonoids in citrus, plant compounds that are known to exhibit antioxidant properties in humans. Many of these flavonoids have their highest concentrations within the peel. Naringin, for example, is a flavonoid found in grapefruit peel, mandarin peel and lemon peel (though not the fruit), which is a powerful antioxidant that may prevent DNA damage.
Citrus peels also contain an aromatic compound called d-limonene (the essential oil that gives the fruit its distinctive smell), which has the well-established reputation to have chemopreventive activity against many types of cancer, especially colorectal and breast cancer. Limonene is very alkalising and is used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – due to its ability to neutralise gastric acid. In addition, limonene can help dissolve gallstones.
Gram-for-gram, citrus peels also contain higher levels of many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C and dietary fibre than the fruit itself.
Use either Lemon, Lime, Pink Grapefruit or all together
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/0/20416897
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Olivier is a Michelin trained chef, a registered Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating.