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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TEACH ME TUESDAYS: Food for thought...

My family eats so many oranges and uses limes and lemons in our water, so much that I often feel guilty throwing away all these peels. I will take my microplane and zest the limes and lemons for cooking in the freezer but that is about it, I don't really know what to do with oranges. Until.....I came across some bloggs lately, and all I am hearing about is dried citrus peel uses, and ground citrus uses so I was so inspired I made some this morning...

 Some of the recipes and ideas are from: Crunchy Betty Blogg  

I took the citrus we have been eating over the past 7 days: Key Limes, Cara Cara oranges, Milano Oranges,  Blood Red Oranges, Navel Oranges, Lemons, Cuties...we all eat one citrus or use them in our water so we accumulate quite a bit in several days. Here is a portion of the citrus peels, cut into small pieces and partially dried. I ended up drying in oven bc some started to mold apparently my house has quite a bit of moisture.  I placed it in a cold oven, no heat so the essential oils would still be intact. I then took the peels and ground up in a "bullet" type blender/processor. The smell was amazing as it ground. I think we had about 7 or 8 peels and it    made about 4 oz of ground goodness.

So now what, u ask? I have 4 oz of peeling goodness and we eat about 3 lbs of citrus.  Make your scrub according to Crunchy Betty's site:
  • 3 Tbsp dried, powdered Citrus peels
  • 3 Tbsp borax
  • 5 Tbsp baking soda
Combine everything in a shaker (like an old parmesan container) and shake well to combine it all. Use liberally wherever scouring is required. Be sure to rinse the scrub off well with a clean, wet sponge.

I used a upcycled garlic powder/dried herb container, I didn't add the citrus powder to the above recipe, will use as needed until I use up a herb container I have in mind to use. Below is the handmade labeled Citrus powder scrub a the half gallon of homemade fabric softener I made this weekend.

 Hmm, what else... ???  ( Keep in mind if you will be using citrus peel for any edible applications, and especially if you will be extracting the flavor with alcohol, it is best to source organic, sustainably grown fruit if you possibly can. In general, the peel of most conventionally-farmed fruits contains the largest concentration of pesticides, fungicides or other chemicals used in treating the fruit. Since citrus peels are not typically eaten in the US, data on pesticide load tends to concentrates on the flesh of the fruit, and is likely an unreliable indicator of pesticide load present in the peel.)
  • Citrus salt from 101 Cookbooks
  • Citrus sugar from Baking Bites
  • Orange butter from Gilt Taste
  • Meyer lemon olive oil from Buff Chickpea
  • Lemon olive oil from
  • Lemon lavender vinegar from a new bloom
  • Dehyrated citrus slices from Well Preserved, dried peel or zest  from
  • Candied grapefruit peel from Hitchhiking to Heaven and Martha Stewart
  • Candied lemon peel from The Luna Cafe
  • Homemade lemon extract (and thyme lemonade!) from Infinite Feast
  • Add orange peels to brown sugar to keep it soft
  • Add dried peels to tea (via Chiot’s Run)  and/or use in your own tea mixes to enjoy or gift
  • Freeze citrus peels, or quartered or halved whole fruit, then use later to flavor roasted chicken or braised meats (via What Julia Ate)
  • Dry citrus rib rub from Hudson Valley Food Network
  •  Add it to coffee grinds as it brews, or add to tea ball make a version of Earl Grey
  • Add to facial masks
  • Add peels to vinegar and allow to infuse for about 4-6 weeks to make vinegar cleanser/could also make vinaigrette for salads
  • Add it to the dishwasher now and then to clean it up and make the dishes sparkle, leaves a nice orange scent too
  • Thinking of adding ground citrus peel to cracked ground pepper like a citrus pepper chicken, doesn't that sound awesome with a little honey and kosher salt perhaps some crushed garlic for a marinde and then grill the chicken? 
  • Mix it with with Epson salt for a bath-time soak
  • Make a bath bomb with the citrus powder, essential oil,
  • Use the dried citrus peels as a kitchen deodorizer  (b4 you grind them, could even use this b4 you dry them) in a small saucepan- fill with 1-2" of water, add citrus peel, a cinnamon stick, and a few cloves. Heat over medium-low for a lovely citrusy kick.
  • After you dry the peels add cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, and star annise for homemade potpourri even a hint of vanilla bean.
  • Add with sugar or fine ground sea salt and neutral or light oil to make a scrub (1 part ground peel and sugar to 2 parts oil) would be an awesome body scrub.
  • Thinking of adding to a toothpaste recipe along with myrrh gum powder, clove essential oil baking soda, extra virgin coconut oil and raw honey. 
  • Also thinking of making a mouthwash w/nearly same ingredients and adding peroxide and tea tree essential oil.
  • Could add to cold processed soaps
  • Make Orange cookies and icing
  • Add dried peels to vacuum cleaner bags
  • Adding it to baking soda and sprinkling on the carpet...wonder if it would leave a sticky residue?
  • Add to sugar to make a citrus sugar, hmmmm, interesting....
  • Add to plain cake batter to make a citrus cake, yummmmy!
  • Add to bread to make a citrus spring tasting bread
  • Add to butter to make a marmalade butter, press into a candy mold like a daffodil, wouldn't that be sweet?
  • Infuse Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Make a dry citrus rub
  • Infuse Liquor, think Lemoncello, Lemonpeel vodka, grapefruit tequila...
  • Perk up homemade mustard with citrus zest: see habanero lime chipotle or winter lager mustards
  • Make citrus pectin, using the peels from 2 or 3 grapefruits. Based on Julia’s recipe, but slightly modified:toss peels, unchopped, in a medium saucepan, covered them with filtered water, and brought to a boil. I let it simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, then removed from the heat and let it sit, covered, overnight. The next day strain out the peel and froze the pectin in 1-cup portions. It’s fairly bitter in taste, and would not do for all types of preserves, but for anything that needs a bit of a flavor edge, not to mention a pectin boost, this is perfect.
  • Microwave lemon peels, in a small bowl of water, in high for 1 minute, to deodorize the microwave
  • A wealth of limoncello recipes from Punk Domestics
  • Meyer limoncello from Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
  • Pompelmocello from Hedonia (who tells me it was also incredible made with yuzu zest)
  • Grapefruit & juniper bitters from Autumn Makes & Does
  • Buddah’s Hand (citron) vodka from White on Rice Couple
  • Lemon peel vodka from taylor takes a taste
  • Cranberry-orange vodka from the Food Network
  • Grapefruit tequila from Fine Cooking
  • Vin de pamplemousse from Local Kitchen
  • Citrus pectin from What Julia Ate
  • Add slivered citrus zest to most any jam or preserve for a little texture & zing: try apple jelly with lemon & lavender (using lemon peels instead of whole lemon slices), sour cherry bam! punched up with lemon zest, orange zest in a cranberry chutney, or lime zest added to blackberry or raspberry jam
  • Add chopped candied citrus peel to jams or preserves for another layer of texture and flavor
  • Dry citrus peels, then crumble for use in a sachet or potpourri
  • Orange peels as kindling/fire starter from Apartment Therapy
  • Homemade orange oil extract for cleaning from Two at the Farm
  • Add homemade orange oil/extract to perfume homemade hand cream
  • Add citrus zest to homemade body scrub: see avocado & citrus sea salt scrub (use finely grated citrus zest in place of essential oils), or Meyer lemon sea salt scrub from Hitchhiking to Heaven
  • Spread orange peels throughout the garden or household plants to keep cats away; I’ve seen the same tip as a mixture of ground orange peel and coffee
  • Freeze citrus peels throughout the season, then grind and use to dress vegetable beds to keep squash bugs (and other critters!) away (via Maggie’s Farm)
  • Ground orange peel, lemon peel and lemon juice are all effective ant deterrents
  • Toss orange peels down the garbage disposal, or keep a few at the bottom of your trash barrel, to freshen
  • Microwave lemon peels, in a small bowl of water, in high for 1 minute, to deodorize the microwave
  • Add citrus peels to a dishwasher run to deodorize the dishwasher (I’m going to try wedging some into the silverware tray under a small Weck jar)
  • Design your own biodegradable kitchenware (!), via David Lebovitz
  •  freeze peels, and sometimes they are not sliced but a half of the fruit. I use those, straight from the freezer and use either for a brine for meats, or stuffed in the cavity of a chicken (or turkey) that I intend to roast. 
  • Citrus Peel candy , neat idea, will definitely try this one...  A lot of info gathered from Local Kitchen Blogg, "what to do with citrus peels" post and many more ideas and links...

Food for thought, huh?? What else am I throwing away that I could be using??

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