This delicious orange marmalade has an additional zing that comes from including fresh ginger in the mix. Orange ginger marmalade is easy to make and is so tasty on toast, in yogurt or even on its own. Orange ginger marmalade is also excellent for your health!
As a child, I thought orange marmalade was waaaay too bitter and intense. That’s probably not uncommon, as most children don’t love bitter tastes, do they?
Fast forward several decades, and my tastes have changed. Somewhere along the line, I came to love this sweet-yet-bitter treat. Though I often make jams and jellies of various fruity flavors, I never, ever considered making orange marmalade.
Or marmalade in general. Any variety of citrus fruit that is made into jam is a marmalade, whether it be bitter orange, sweet orange, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, kumquat and so forth.
Although way back in time, the original marmalade was made with quince… before the commonly known orange marmalade became popular.
Then, one day I had a single huge beautiful orange on my hands. I also happened to have a large knob of fresh ginger in the kitchen and the creative wheels got turning. So, I decided to take the leap and try making my own version of orange marmalade. It took a few tries, but I finally got it right.
Orange Ginger Marmalade For Your Health
You might not have thought so, but orange marmalade, and especially orange ginger marmalade has some really great health benefits.
Even though marmalade contains sugar, it also contains fructose from the oranges – and fructose sugar is much easier to digest. Fructose, when taken in moderation, is a source of energy for cells. If you are dieting, it’s good to know that orange ginger marmalade contains no fat and is low in sodium. Therefore, it contains few calories.
But the best thing about orange ginger marmalade is that it is chock-full of nutrients that improve health. We all know that Vitamin C is great for immunity, and oranges are a wonderful source of Vitamin C. They are also high in Vitamin A, and other nutrients such as:
The orange peels that are included in orange ginger marmalade are high in flavonoids, such as naringin which is:
- High in dietary fiber
- Good for digestion
Orange peels also contain hesperidin, another flavonoid that is high in anti-oxidants.
Additionally, orange peel contains limonene, which is a natural phytochemical (plant chemical) that has potential anti-cancer actions.
If the orange peels are also deep orange colored, they will contain an extra punch of beta-carotene that helps protect vision, converts to Vitamin A in the body and is also good for the skin.
The health benefits of fresh ginger are yet another benefit you’ll gain from eating this delicious marmalade. Just a few of ginger’s amazing benefits are:
- Helps circulation
- Aids digestion
- Good for motion sickness
Ginger is such a great natural remedy that I wrote an entire article about ginger benefits – it includes a really tasty recipe for Gnamakoudji, an African citrus-ginger drink that is delicious! If you love ginger and orange like I do, be sure to check it out!
Let’s Make Some Orange Ginger Marmalade
This recipe is for a very small batch of orange-ginger marmalade, although if you like to do things in a big way, you can certainly double or triple the recipe or even make a huge pot of it! But regardless, the first thing you’re going to do is procure beautiful oranges that are hopefully organic and unblemished.
You’re going to be using the peel as well as the pulp and juice of the orange(s). And if your fruit is not organic, you really should be aware that an abundance of chemical pesticide residue remains in the skin of any fruit or vegetable. And no one benefits from eating chemical pesticides!
Moving along, you’ll start by slicing off the peel of the entire orange. Some marmalade recipes call for using the whole orange, including the white pith and all of the internal dividing membranes. I tried that and it was way too bitter, for my tastes anyway. So, as you can see in the photo, I’ve tried to allow just a little of the white pith, but not much.
You’re then going to slice the orange peel and the fresh ginger into tiny micro-slivers, along with and set aside. There might be a special kitchen tool for this, but if there is, I don’t know about it. So, I did it the old-fashioned way… all you need is a sharp knife and some patience.
I just get into that “Zen space” I sometimes mention, where time doesn’t matter and my attention simply focuses on the work in front of me. Time seems to pass quickly that way… but it’s well worth the time, because the little slivers look beautiful in the marmalade.
Next up is the ginger, the spicier, the better! If your fresh ginger is too mild, you won’t really taste much difference in the final product. So, hold out for when you have a nice, spicy piece of fresh ginger on hand. For this recipe, I’ve found minced ginger works best. You’ll use a lot less ginger than orange peel, so it goes a lot faster than slicing the peel!
Then take the remaining orange and remove the thick white pith and the center “spine” and gently separate the sections of fruit. Don’t be tempted to cut the orange in half before you remove the pith; it’s much easier to cut off the white pith when the orange is whole). You’ll put the fruit into a heavy-bottomed pot that is large enough to contain at least 2 cups of water, sugar and the fruit. I include some of the fruit sections’ membranes, but not if they are too tough and firm.
Don’t allow any of the resulting juicy mess to get away from you because you’ll want all of the juice to go into the pot with the fruit. (there doesn’t seem to be any way to make the process of separating and cutting orange pulp neat and tidy!) My best method is to cut up the orange slices in a wide brimmed shallow soup bowl – there’s enough room to cut the orange and collect all the juices.
Note: I use organic white sugar in this recipe with a little bit of turbinado sugar, but you can also use all turbinado as a substitute. The overall look will be quite a bit darker. You can even use less sugar if you don’t mind a more bitter finished product.
Some natural foodies suggest using honey to make marmalade, but I always avoid heating honey, as it is known by both ancient Ayurveda and modern science to become toxic when heated.
You could try using another sweetener like agave syrup, which would probably be delicious, but I haven’t tried that yet.
All of the remaining ingredients go into the pot, and you’ll boil it on high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often. After the juice and sugar begin to thicken a little, reduce the heat to avoid scorching on the bottom. You’ll continue to stir occasionally, until the syrup has formed and the peel and ginger have softened and melded together.
Test the marmalade for readiness by dropping a small dot of the marmalade onto a chilled plate to see if it firms up or is too runny. You definitely want to stop the process before all the liquid has evaporated, or you won’t have any of that thick syrup that makes any jam or marmalade particularly scrumptious.
If you are a fan of orange marmalade, you’re going to love this recipe! And if you are like I was, and you’re not a fan… or if you’re on the fence… then I’m pretty sure that just one taste of this amazingly irresistible orange ginger marmalade could pop you right over into the marmalade lover’s camp! I do hope that you give it a try… and don’t forget the great health benefits of orange ginger marmalade!
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Irresistible Orange Ginger Marmalade For Your Health
- 1 large orange (yielding approximately ⅓-½ cup orange peel
- 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger more, if you want it extra spicy ?
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, organic preferable
- 2 teaspoons turbinado or light brown sugar, organic preferable
- 2 cups water more as needed
- Peel your large orange, making sure that only a bit of the white pith is included in the peel slices.
- Slice the pieces of orange peel into very tiny, thin strips, no more than ½ inch long.
- Mince the fresh ginger.
- Place the ginger and orange peel into a heavy bottomed pot that is large enough for 2+ cups of liquid.
- Cut the peeled orange into sections, removing and discarding the center "spine" area and any thick skins. Be sure to collect all of the orange juice as you cut the orange and add that to the cooking pot.
- Add the sliced orange and the sugars to the pot and boil on the stove top on high heat, stirring occasionally, until the juice starts to thicken.
- Don't over boil the marmalade. As the marmalade thickens, reduce heat to avoid scorching.
- You can add more water as needed, checking for thickness as you go, by setting a small drop of the marmalade on a ceramic plate to see how it sets up.
- Be sure to remove the pot from heat when the syrup is thickened but will still drop from a spoon (just a bit more flowing than honey) and before all of the syrup has evaporated!
- Before marmalade has cooled, decant into a clean glass jar and store the marmalade in the refrigerator.