The winter season is all about citrus fruit and oranges in particular. That means a lot of hands will be stinky from orange rinds, and a lot of rinds will be thrown in a trash. Here are some unique uses for orange rinds that you may not have thought of!
Photo: Maggie Smith/ freedigitalphotos.net
1. Orange Zest
This is probably the most self-explanatory of all the uses for orange peels. Zesting an orange peel with a shredder is a great way to add a sweet and tangy taste to your meat marinades or favorite baked goods. Orange zest can even taste great in your morning cup of coffee or afternoon cup of tea!
2. Preserve Brown Sugar
Add your orange peels to brown sugar to help draw the moisture away from the sugar and keep it from solidifying.
3. Start a Fire
This fire-colored fruit can also be used to start a fire! Use a dried orange peel as kindling the next time you are on a camping trip, or make your hearth fires fragrant and bright.
4. Make Orange Peels Dipped in Chocolate
A wonderful delicacy, candied orange peels are a popular after-meal snack in a number of European cultures, and they are quite easy to make! Just melt some chocolate and cover one or all sides of a sugared orange peel.
5. Make Orange Peel Candy
Candied orange peels are made by boiling a dried orange peel in sugar for about an hour. You can then cover them in chocolate as mentioned above, or roll them around in sugar for an even sweeter taste!
6. Orange-Peel Infused Olive Oil
If you want to give your salads a kick, place one dried orange peel in your olive oil and your greens will be much more exciting.
Photo: Praisaeng/ freedigitalphotos.net
7. Make Orange Tea
No need for tea bags here! Dry out a few orange peels and place them in hot water next time you are craving a warm orangey beverage. Orange tea is also great for when you are feeling congested - the citrus will open up your sinuses.
8. Create a Natural Sponge
Orange peels can be used as a sponge too! Before the peel completely dries out, it contains a number of essential oils that are helpful in degreasing surfaces as well as pots and pans. If your sink or counter is full of grease, use an orange peel to scrub it down.
It's no secret that the smell of a freshly peeled orange can clear out a room. Instead of shocking people with the strong smell of orange, place the peels at the bottom of your garbage bin, or hang the peels from a string in your bathroom for fresh scents all the time.
10. Garbage Disposal Cleaner
A great way to clean out your garbage disposal is by putting orange peels down the disposal. Place them in the disposal and run it until clear, then run some water down after it. The citrus will get rid of any yucky scents coming from the disposal.
11. Air Freshener
Boil orange peels in hot water to help fresh the air in the kitchen. You can also add a cinnamon stick or mint into the mix if you want to recreate the smell of air fresheners. If you have a fire going at home, place a paper bag filled with dried orange peels into the fire and your house will smell wonderful.
Photo: Ambro/ freedigitalphotos.net
12. Refrigerator Deodorizer
Orange is also an excellent deodorizer for your refrigerator. Cut an orange in half and remove the fruit from inside (eat it!). Then, fill up the half orange with salt and put it in a small bowl in your refrigerator for up two a week or two.
13. Citrus Cleaner
You can make your own citrus cleaner by infusing vinegar with orange peels with a bit of boiling water.
14. Orange Peel Candle
Make a candle at home with orange peels infused inside.
15. Topiary Tree
Make your own topiary tree with orange peels for a great smelling piece of home decor.
16. Body Scrub
Wrap up the orange peels in gauze pads and rub them on your skin while you are in the shower. The scrub will brighten your skin and give it a great smell.
17. Bath Oil
Extract the oil from the orange peels by grinding up the peels and fermenting them with vodka or alcohol for about 3 days. Strain the oil and add a few drops to your bath. Orange oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as for improving the skin tone and texture.
18. Bath Powder
Dry out the orange peels completely and then grind them down to paste in the food processor. Do this until the rinds become a fine powder and then sprinkle only a bit in your bath.
Photo: Ambro/ freedigitalphotos.net
19. Lowers Blood Pressure
Orange rinds can be used to lower blood pressure. They have been a part of Chinese herbal medicines for thousands of years for this purpose.
20. Suppresses Depression and Anxiety
Orange oil can be used to naturally relieve anxiety and depression by taking a bath or rubbing just a bit on the temple and forehead area.
21. Make a Bird Feeder
To make a natural bird feeder that the birds will just love, cut an orange in half and remove the fruit. Take the orange-half and poke 3 evenly spaced holes near the cut section of peel. There, attach a sturdy piece of string and hang it from a tree. Fill the empty orange peel with bird seed and wait for your flying visitors to pile in!
22. Mosquito Repellant
If you are looking for a natural way to repel mosquitos, take fresh orange peels and rub them all over your skin. The citrusy smell will repel the mosquitos.
Photo: twobee/ freedigitalphotos.net
23. Slug Repellant
If you have a slug problem in your garden, try spreading some orange peels on top of the soil to shoo them away.
More in DIY:
24. Ant Repellant
Place orange peels in problem areas of your house where you usually experience an ant problem. Orange oil can also be used instead of peels if you are worried about them rotting.
25. Keep Stray Cats Away
If you want to keep stray cats away from your home, place orange peels outside because they don't like the smell. If you have a cat at home that tends to get into things it shouldn't, you can rub the peels or place them (or rub orange oil) near the dear things in your home (like your sofa).
Photo: Carlos Porto/ freedigitalphotos.net
26. Make Silly Teeth
Orange peels can be used to make funny teeth with kids that they put in their mouth. Just cut off a slice of an orange, eat the fruit, and then carve out fun designs from the peel. Have the children walk around with the peel covering their teeth and they are sure to have a great time.
27. Orange Peel Boats
Cut an orange in half, remove the fruit and use the halves as little boats in the bathtub or out on the lake!
28. Orange Peel Jewelry
Make fragrant and fun jewelry with the little princesses you know entirely out of orange peels!
Don't throw away those orange peels!