Saturday, December 24, 2016

25 Amazing Uses for an Orange Peel

Is there anything more deliciously and naturally refreshing than a perfectly sweet, juicy, ripe orange? I eat citrus every day when it’s in season, but I never get tired of it. And since oranges are low in calories and high in fiber while also being loaded with vitamins, they’re a completely guilt-free treat.

Of course, as we all know, oranges can also be juiced for use on the breakfast table, in smoothies, or in thousands of different beverages, alcoholic or otherwise. And oranges are so enjoyable to cook and bake with, in sweet and savory applications. From breakfast to dessert, the recipes just keep coming.

But have you ever stopped to consider that the outside of the orange has tens, even hundreds of amazing uses, too? You may be quite familiar with the inclusion of grated peel in recipes, including cookies, scones, and cakes, and savory dishes like chicken, roasted veggies, and more. But things definitely don’t stop there. Far from being just something to throw away or compost, the fragrant, beautiful exterior of these citrus fruits, rich with the heady fragrance of orange oils, has so many incredible applications. Curious? Check out these 25 ways to use an orange peel--we’ve got beauty products, home fragrances, seasonings, cleansers, liquors, and so much more.

(Note: many of these idea start out with dried orange peels. There are several different methods of doing this; all are quite simple. Here’s one method, and another is on this page.)
  1. Enjoy a sweet-smelling scented sachet, made with dried citrus peel. Lovely to tuck away in a drawer or closet.
  2. Keep your skin soft with a citrus sea salt scrub. This is so incredibly fast to put together—just 10 minutes and a few very common ingredients—and it smells and feels amazing.

  3. Drink and be merry with homemade mulling spices including dried orange peel. This is a really easy and fun little gift to whip up. They can be added to either cider or wine.
  4. Make your own fragrant orange sugar or orange finishing salt after starting with dried peels. A gourmet touch from such basic ingredients.
  5. DIY yourself some super-simple orange vodka and then follow up with some homemade, wallet-friendly orange liqueur.
  6. While you’re at it, why not create some of these adorable orange peel drink garnishes? Now that’s a snazzy cocktail.
  7. Make this luscious orange body butter and treat yourself. Looks almost good enough to eat!

  8. Of course, candy your citrus peels! Almost everyone loves this sparkly, bright-flavored treat, and they look impressive too.
  9. Give your whole house a warm, sweet fragrance with a quick orange-scented simmer pot. Great if you need to usher a lingering strong smell out of your home.
  10. Fizz your troubles away with an orange bath bomb, made from a few drugstore ingredients, orange zest, and orange essential oil. (Don’t have any? Check out #17!)
  11. Run a few chopped up orange peels through your garbage disposal with a couple of ice cubes to freshen things up and sharpen the blades.
  12. Serve lemon or orange sorbet in halved peel “bowls” for a beautifully refreshing summer treat.
  13. Stamp holiday shapes out of the peel using cookie cutters. Then dry them in the oven or at room temperature, and make adorable holiday garlands, ornaments, and gift tags.
  14. Jazz up potpourri and centerpieces with these gorgeous dried orange peel roses. There’s a bit of a knack to it (we’ve made a few), but they’re fun to do!
  15. Refresh and moisturize your ovely face with an orange-honey-oat face mask, made with dried orange peel and fresh juice.
  16. Create your own orange extract. It’s almost embarrassingly easy, and so much cheaper.
  17. Go a step further, if you like, and make your own orange essential oil—super useful for soaps, lotions, and bath goodies. It’s quite simple and mainly requires time.
  18. Harness the power of citrus to make this incredible citrus cleaner using safe and natural ingredients.
  19. Leave a bit of orange peel in your brown sugar container to keep the sugar from “bricking up” on you.
  20. Use empty orange or tangerine halves to make candles by scooping out the fruit and filling the halves with olive oil. How neat is that?
  21. Bake chocolate cake, cinnamon rolls, or other goodies in empty halved orange peels over a campfire for a delicious treat with nothing to wash. 
  22. Use empty orange peels as quick, temporary birdfeeders. A fun project to do together with kids.
  23. Make an easy and natural orange air freshener spray to have on hand to keep your home smelling sweet without all the chemicals.
  24. Start your campfire, fire pit fire, or fireplace fire with these super-simple dried orange peel fire starters. Effective and fragrant!
  25. Make these beautiful all-natural “sprinkles” out of dehydrated orange peel, lemon and lime peel, and raspberries! Wouldn’t this be great for a child with dye allergies?

Wow, what an amazing list! But believe it or not, we’ve just scratched (or should that be “peeled”?) the surface here. For more awesome DIY ideas using citrus, along with recipe boards, gift ideas, vintage Florida citrus history, and more, visit our new Pinterest page!

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