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Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 Ways to Use Orange Peels

I remember standing in my Grandmother’s Florida kitchen and as we chatted, she was squeezing lemons. She said that a neighbor gave her a bunch of lemons from her lemon tree and since they were getting soft she was going to squeeze the juice out of them, freeze it in one-cup containers to use whenever she needed a cup of lemon juice for cooking. That little instance was one of many, “We didn’t get where we are in this life by wasting things” lessons she taught me.



I don’t have a lemon tree in my yard, but I did have a bunch of oranges in my refrigerator. After enjoying the oranges, I looked at the peels and thought about that long ago conversation with my Grandmother. I can’t compost orange peels but I figured that they had to be useful. I put the orange peels in a container the freezer and did some research. Here are 10 ways I found that you can put those old orange peels to good reuse.




For Food

1. Make orange zest. Grate the peel with a hand grater or zester and use it in baking or cooking like my amazing pumpernickel bread.

2. Soften a brick of brown sugar. Put a piece of orange peel in a container of brown sugar to keep it from drying out.

3. Make candied orange peels . Yum!

4. Make orange liquor. Seal a container filled with orange peels and vodka and put it in a dark place. A few weeks later, strain out the orange peels, and have orange infused vodka. Double Yum!

For Cleaning

5. Destink your sink. Run orange peels through the garbage disposal to freshen up a stinky garbage disposal. Add a few ice cubes and you’ll sharpen the disposal blades too.

6. Rid a room of odor. Simmer orange peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in pot of water on the stove to freshen the air naturally. For safety’s sake, keep an eye on that pot and do not leave it boiling unattended on the stove.

7. Scrub a sink. Use a fresh orange peel to scrub through the gunk in your sink. The natural oils in orange peel are an excellent cleaner and shine your sink too.

For Pest Control

8. Scat cat! Scatter orange peels in your garden to deter cats from using it as a litter box. Cats hate the smell of orange oil and will do their business elsewhere.

9. As bug repellent. The oils in orange peels are also a natural insect repellent. Puree orange peels and water in a blender, and pour the solution down anthills to kill ants or pour/spray it outside the house to keep ants from coming into your home. Some folks rub a fresh orange peel on their skin and use it as a natural mosquito repellent too.

For Fire

10. Light your fire. Use dried orange peels instead of newspaper to start a fire. Orange oil is flammable and lights easily which makes it an excellent fire starter. Burning orange peels in your wood burning fireplace is supposed to remove any creosote that’s inside your chimney too. Just use caution because you are playing with fire in this tip.

How do you use orange peels?

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