Ever buy a lemon or orange for a recipe, and get stuck with a half you don’t know what to do with? Or, your recipe calls for the juice of three oranges, but doesn’t need any of the rinds – do you throw them out?
Don’t do it! There are so many ways that you can use lemons and lemon peels.
Did you know that there are more nutrients concentrated in the colored portion of the peel than in the juice? Here are just a few of the ways you can use them.
- Eat it: Finely grate the zest, and keep it on hand to add to salads, sauces, vinaigrettes, baked good, and more on a daily basis;
- Zest can also be frozen in ziplock plastic bags until you’re ready to use it;
- Break the peel into inch sized pieces and let it dry at room temperature, then grind to a powder and use it with vinegar in a cleaning solution… or keep it somewhat coarse in texture, mix it with olive oil and/or yogourt use it as a moisturizing and invigorating masque.
Home & Garden
- Many insects find the scent and organic compounds in citrus peels to be unpleasant, so they can be used in the home to repel pests. Simply chop into pieces, and place where you see them, such as along doors and windows, or cracks in the floor.
- Mix pieces of orange or lemon peel in with your gardening soil, and it will have two effects: to repel pests, and to add nutrients to the soil to help your plants flourish.
Leftover Citrus Bits
If you’re left with a half lemon or orange, or other citrus fruit, and you don’t know what to do with them, clean up!
- Sprinkle some salt on half a lemon (the fruit side) and use it to scrub sinks, bathtubs, shower stalls, and more.
- It will remove stains from counters or cutting boards, and clean utensils and cookware.
- Juice the fruit portions, and freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. Then you can pop one in your drink, or quickly microwave and use as a tablespoon or two of juice in recipes anytime. (See above with what to do with the peel.)
Scientists are finding ever more useful ways to fully benefit from the goodness of citrus fruits – including all their parts.