Stop throwing your orange peel! Save them and enjoy all their benefits. Peels of all citrus fruits are great sources of vitamins and minerals! Sometimes it can go up to 7 times richer than in pulp!
Lovely, are you a fan of oranges or citrus fruits for that matter? Which one is your favorite?
Do you know that citrus peels, by far, contain more minerals and vitamins than their pulp?
Have you ever wondered what you could do with orange peels, especially if you are juicing oranges?
In this post, I'm giving you tips on how you can use orange peels in your house.
I love clementines, lemons, mandarins, oranges, and, sometimes I like snacking on grapefruits. And while I love all these citrus fruits, oranges are my faves when it comes to using peels.
Did you know that citrus peels make up to 50% of the total mass of a fruit? That's a lot of waste, don't you think so?
You can, from now on, dry these peels. I love their aroma. Just by leaving them on our kitchen table, they give the place an amazing smell.
Now let's see why you should keep your orange peels.
Orange peel benefits
- Orange peels are a great source of phenolic compounds and carotenoids. Carotenoids are converted into vitamin A in the body, while phenolic compounds help in repairing damaged cells.
- Carotenoids are a source of antioxidants that have benefits in reducing the risks of some cancers and eye diseases.
- It's interesting to note that citrus peels offer more phenolic properties than edible flesh!
- Peels extracts from citrus fruits were found to have potential benefits in reducing histamine in case of allergies.
- All citrus fruits are sources of micronutrients which are minerals and vitamins. By comparing the peel and the pulp of different citrus fruits, it was observed that by far, PEELS have higher amounts of micronutrients than pulps!
How to clean fruits
Fruits are super healthy, but unless you're directly picking them yourself from their trees, it's VERY IMPORTANT you clean them well before consuming them!
Organic fruits are safer to eat though that doesn't exempt them from a thorough cleaning! They might be stored in places with molds, and when they fall on the roads, market, or groceries, they're never cleaned before you buy them!
To reduce the impurities, chemicals like pesticides found on the skin, follow this cleaning method;
- Put the fruits to be cleaned in a large bowl or your skin if you can close it.
- Add a tablespoon (or two depending on the number of fruits you're cleaning) of baking soda (bicarbonate).
- Add water to cover the fruits (even if some will float). Clean the fruits and leave them to soak for at least 12 minutes.
- Bicarbonate helps in removing practically all pesticides found on the skin, NOT THOSE IN THE FRUIT!
- Rinse with clean water, and dry the fruits before storing them to reduce the formation of molds.
Can you eat an orange peel?
Yes, you can, and I'd say, "you should!"
Even though they are bitter, chewing an orange peel now and then will only be beneficial unless you have some citrus allergies! I enjoy eating small oranges without having to peel them.
- Make sure that the orange is either organic or,
- Clean it well using the method shown above.
- Choose a small orange with tender skin instead of a big orange with hard/rough peel!
How to peel an orange
There isn't a perfect way to peel an orange, but depending on what you intend to do with the orange and/or the peel then, you've got various methods.
- If you simply want to eat an orange, whether you're indoors or outside, take an orange into your left hand (if you're right-handed) use either the base or the top of the orange as the starting point. Using your right-hand thumb, prick the orange skin. You might need extra effort depending on the orange skin texture. Once you make an opening, continue to peel the whole skin.
- If you're using oranges for cooking, then place an orange on a chopping board, and use a sharp kitchen knife to cut off the top of the orange. Now run the knife smoothly between the orange skin and the flesh (pulp), from top to bottom, turning the orange around. Once done, cut off the base.
How to dry orange peels
- After cleaning and peeling your oranges, place the peels on a flat surface. I use a kitchen tray or a kitchen towel.
- Make sure that each peel is on its own. If you leave a hip of fresh orange peels together, there will be a formation of molds!
- Leave to dry for about a week, depending on the weather. However, keep on shuffling the peels every day to allow them to dry evenly.
How to make Orange peel powder
- After you've dried the orange peels, put them in a high-speed blender and blend them into powder. Blend small batches.
- Do not let your blender overheat when blending the peels as this will create a damp environment in the blender making the powder stick together!
- Using a spoon or a baking brush, scrape all the powder sticking on the blender and its cover/top
- Using a kitchen sifter, sift the orange peel powder. Use the course residues to make tea, while the soft powder will be perfect for the uses mentioned below.
Orange peel uses
There are many different ways to use orange peels.
- Dried orange peels can make orange peel tea. All you need to do is to add dried peels to some boiling water, boil for 5mins and then leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. You can either use orange peels alone or add them to your classic tea and enjoy the mild citrus flavor.
I like adding either dried or fresh orange peels to my green tea.
- I mainly use orange peel powder to perfume my cuisine. I add it to pancakes, cooking rice/millet, or quinoa. We love adding the orange peel powder into yogurts, as well as sprinkling it on some salads.
- You can make an infused orange peel oil for salads. Put a rather neutral olive oil in a bottle, add thinly sliced dried/fresh orange peels and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks.
- I add orange peel powder to my facial masks. You can also make a facial mask by adding peel powder into a tablespoon of yogurt, and some honey, and then mix everything thoroughly before applying it on a clean face. Leave it for 15-20mins.
- Fresh orange skin can be used to make decorations, flowers, and ornaments! Activities to enjoy as a family, especially during the end of the year holidays.
I hope this post will be helpful! And I guess from now on, you'll be keeping some of your orange peels not only for their health benefits but also for crafting some decorations.
Sending you my sincere love, Githu
Stop throwing your Orange Peels and discover their benefits!
- A sharp kitchen knife
- A chopping board
- a sifter
- A bowl
- a jar with a lid
- a handful of dried orange peels
- Clean and dry oranges. Read the post to learn how to clean fruits properly
- Peel the oranges and leave the peels to dry. See the post for details
- Place dried peels in a high-speed blender and blend into a powder
- Scrape the powder from the blender's wall and its lid
- Place the sifter in a bowl and pour the powder from the blender into the sifter.
- Sift by gently shaking the sifter. Repeat this several times
- Prefer sifting small batches of peel powder than going all at once!
- Scoop and store the powder in a jar with a lid
- Add the orange powder to your baking, tea, rice, or anything you want to as long as you'll love the flavor!
- The peel powder can be stored for up to a month if stored in a dry place! Avoid any humidity!
- There's no exact amount of orange peels to use. You can start with a cup of dried peels to start with.
- Drying time is not included here.