Monday, December 2, 2013

Uses For and How to Dry Orange Peel ~ Citrus Series


"Orange peel contains aromatic compounds that are antiseptic, reduce muscles spasms and decrease the thickness while increasing the production of mucosal fluids. It also contains bitter compounds that are anti-inflammatory, reduce muscle spasms, increase the production of digestive fluid and increase blood circulation. Citrus peel has been used to treat coughs, colds, flu, fevers, and bronchitis."

With so many medicinal benefits and practical uses, I am in awe that we are taught to throw away the orange peel. A few moments later and we repurchase them in prettily packaged products that someone else produces. We are sharing some of our favorite ways to use your peels and instructions on how to dry them. Some of these recipes use the fresh peel while others use dry, so keep that in mind when preparing them. It is quite fun to play in the kitchen and it feels so good to be frugal!

Important Note: Because we are using the actual peel for these products, I highly recommend using an organic (unsprayed) source of oranges.


How to Dry Orange Peel (Two Ways) ~

Simply remove peel from a clean orange with a zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler. If you keep the pith with the peel (and peel it like you are going to eat the orange) that is fine too, but keep in mind that the pith is a bit bitter. 
  • Orange pieces (or any other citrus peel) dry for 3 - 6 days (depending on the humidity) on a cookie sheet, single layer, in a warm room. Stir peels every day until dry and brittle. Drying only the zest will take half of the time.
  • Although I prefer the slow dry method because I believe it retains more of the beneficial orange oils, you could also dry them quicker if time is limited. Simply place in the oven on cookie sheets (single layer) at 170 degrees (fahrenheit) for an hour (or more) until completely dry and brittle. 
Store your dried orange peel in an airtight container in a dark, dry and cool place (such as your pantry).


Make Your Own Orange Peel Granules ~

Build up your pantry by preparing your own orange peel granules for cooking, baking and handcrafting needs. Simple grind up your dried orange pieces in a clean coffee grinder. Store in an airtight container. They can be used to enhance flavors in your preserves, desserts, sauces, grilled vegetable and meat dishes. Dried orange peel can also be used as a pretty garnish and many of the projects in this post.

Note: You will find our printable "seasoning and spice" labels for your dried orange peel here.

Sweet $avings: Williams Sonoma sells 2 oz. of blood orange peel for $10. Yours was created from a by-product and can be considered free!


Make an Orange Peel Sugar Scrub ~

Use your dried and coarsely ground peel to make an "orange sugar scrub" for a luxurious bath product. Here is the simple tutorial.

Sweet $avings: Burt's Bees sell an 8 oz. orange sugar scrub for $10. Ours is all natural and cost 90% less to make!



Make an Orange Peel Bath Powder ~

Tutorial is shared here for this simple recipe using basic pantry ingredients.


Make Your Own Orange Extract

Make your own orange extract by using this tutorial but replacing the citrus zest with fresh orange zest. You will find a printable recipe kit featuring our label, gift tag and a matching recipe card here (simply download and print). You may also consider adding this recipe to your herbal.

Sweet $avings: Nielsen-Massey sells 4 oz. of orange extract for $12. Our cost is 50 cents!


Make Your Own Mulling Spices and/or Simmering Potpourri ~

It is easy to make your own simmering potpourri or mulling spices with your dried orange peel. Our tutorial is shared here.

Sweet $avings: Williams Sonoma sells 4.5 oz of mulling spices for $12.95. Ours probably cost $1.


Make Your Own Citrus Grilling Salt ~

Mix together 2 tbsp. fine sea salt, 1/4 cup of dried, ground orange peel and 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper. Prior to grilling, add oil and vinegar to some of this rub and spread on vegetables for a distinct flavor. This would also be tasty sprinkled on marinating meat. This recipe was inspired by Kami McBride from her book, the Herbal Kitchen.

Note: Free printable "orange" labels are found here.



Make Your Own Custom Tea Blends ~ 

Use dried orange peel in your own handcrafted tea blends. Health benefits of the peel are shared above and more information is here so consider them in your next brew. They also make a frugal addition to your medicine cabinet. Visit this post for tea blend ideas. 


Make Orange Peel Potpourri ~

For a frugal autumn/winter potpourri blend, follow these three easy steps:
  • Place your dried orange peels in a large bowl and add what you can find in your pantry and your backyard. Some ideas are broken cinnamon sticks, dried pods or cones from trees, whole (or coarsely crushed) nutmeg, cloves (whole), allspice (whole), dried leaves, bark, wood chips, sticks and/or an assortment of dried, pretty petals.
  • Add in a few drops of your favorite seasonal essential oils such as clove, orange and/or cinnamon.
  • Toss well and store this mixture in an airtight container for 3 days to allow the aroma to infuse (shake a few times a day). When the time is up, place your potpourri in a pretty bowl or vase. 
Note: You may want to be creative with your cuts when drying your orange peel for potpourri. In the photo above, however, we just used regular orange peel pieces.


Make Your Own DIY Frugal Version of On Guard® or Thieves® Protective Oil Blend ~ 

You will find our tutorial with a free printable label here.


Make an All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner ~

Place fresh orange peels into a clean jar (peels contain d-limonene which is a natural degreaser and excellent cleaning solvent). Cover peels with white household vinegar (make sure they are submerged under the vinegar so that they do not mold). Cap your blend with a plastic lid and let it infuse in a sunny spot for 3 - 4 weeks. Once the time is up, strain the vinegar and discard the peels. Pour through a coffee filter (or fine sieve) to remove any excess solids. You now have an effective and aromatic cleaning solution (our printable cleaning labels are shared here).

Ideas for Use:
  • Use a 50/50 mixture of citrus infused vinegar and water for an all purpose cleaner.
  • Add a cup of this solution to a bucket of hot water to clean your floors.
  • For tough cleaning, use pure without diluting.

Make an Orange Peel Scouring Scrub (Household Cleaning Cleanser) ~ 

Grind up approx. 2 - 4 tablespoons of dried orange peel until powdery (I used a coffee grinder) and add approx. 1 - 2 cups of baking soda (this is flexible). Blend mixture together and pour into your cleanser jar or empty spice shaker (tutorial to make your own cleanser jar is shared here).

Optional: Stir in a few drops of orange essential oil.



Make a Collection of Citrus Infused Cleaning Products ~

You will find a complete tutorial with a set of free printable labels here.


Misc. Orange Peel Ideas ~

And this is just the beginning of what can be done! You could also make citrus peel fabric softener, candied orange peel, add orange zest into your preserves for a flash of flavor, use the peels to keep your brown sugar soft or try this natural ant control remedy. Preparedness Mama shares "24 Uses for Oranges" in case you would like inspiration for the entire orange. We will be sharing more ideas in the future because there is a creative art to being frugal and we seek to develop it in our little home.

“Wealth is certainly a most desirable thing, but poverty has its sunny side, and one of the sweet uses of adversity is the genuine satisfaction which comes from hearty work of head or hand, and to the inspiration of necessity, we owe half the wise, beautiful, and useful blessings of the world.”
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


If you enjoyed this project, we share 100+ more ideas on how to use up fruit scraps in our Ebook here! Happy kitchen-crafting, ladies!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). Clip art for the orange extract is courtesy of the Graphics Fairy.

58 comments:

  1. I just love this post. I always thought it had to be just the zest without the pith. Writing oranges on the grocery list - they're just so good.
    Smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it could be either :) Just depends on how you want to use it…

      Delete
    2. I have a question. I got excited and made extract. It's almost done but now I keep reading I was supposed to use organic oranges. Will the extract make people sick? I hate to waste it. Is there another way to use "orange peel vodka" that's safe. I don't want people sick from my Christmas gift :(

      Delete
    3. Hi Lara! Yes, I wrote that organic (unsprayed are best) because we are using the actual peel for our products. If you washed your oranges really well I don't think the small extract amount that a recipe would call for would make anyone sick (it would probably be similar to the extract they sell in the store that aren't organic). However, if you aren't comfortable with sharing it for food purposes, make your orange extract into a household cleaner. All is not lost! :) Mix your orange extract with equal amounts of water (you can add some essential oils if you like but the orange odor may come through enough to not warrant that) and you have a nice disinfecting spray cleaner. Whip up a batch of our orange peel scouring powder (shared above) and add in some room spray or pretty matching gloves or cleaning cloths for a nice natural cleaning basket array. I have some labels sitting here waiting to be used in a post on citrus cleaning products. I can email you them in advance in you want to go that route. Just pop me your email if that is the case or send me one at pleasewritetojes@hotmail.com and I can send you my "citrus cleaning product label set". Hope this helps!!! :)

      Delete
  2. Could clementine peels be substituted for the orange peels?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see why not. They are a member of the orange family and contain the same citrus oils in their peels :)

      Delete
    2. Yes! They're actually better because they have less pith.

      Delete
  3. I've been following your beautiful blog for a couple of months and want to tell you how uplifting both the appearance and content are. I look forward to emails because I know there will be something wonderful waiting. Thank you for the time and care you take!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouraging words!!!! ;) It is nice when I get to see input from the other side of the screen! :)

      Delete
  4. This is another fantastic post! I love it!:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi JES! I saw this post in my inbox yesterday, but as I had several errands that took up most of the day I saved it until I could savor it properly with a cup of coffee this morning. Oh yes, I knew it would be good. :) I'm amazed at all the ways you've shared to use orange peels. I've zested and used it in dessert recipes but never with meat - I'm looking forward to trying that, now. Also I've never made a sugar scrub so I'll be make making one soon, too. This beautiful post reminds me of a book I have, Rose Recipes by Eleanor Sinclair Rhodes, but with all the graphics and up-to-date detailed instructions it's really much better than my rose book. Thank you for sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your rose book sounds like something I would love! The author was used in my herbal series for her quote on the "Old English Herbal"… We are going to share our body scrub recipe soon if you would like to give it a try :) Happy homemaking ~ JES

      Delete
  6. I love to dry everything and have my jar of dried orange peels - sitting there on the shelf. Yeah! now I have some great ideas to actually use those peels. Thanks again for the super cute labels and I'm looking forward to the tea blend recipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drying but has hit me too :) and I am glad some of the ideas may come in handy :0

      Delete
  7. Love your recipes and ideas. It's hard to choose the best one but I really like the drying the oranges peels and making granola from them - how unique and creative. Will pin this. Thanks for sharing. Visiting form Natural Living - Jills Home Remedies Blog Hop!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love your recipes especially the drying of the orange peels and making granola. Very creative and unique recipes. Visiting from Natural Living Jills Home Remedies Blog Hop! I will pin this!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I cannot believe that I have been tossing these precious things! Thanks for all the ideas here. My oranges have a whole new life ahead of them. :-) Thank you for sharing on the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful post! I found this through Teach Me Tuesday.

    I keep a bag in the freezer for citrus peels, and I use them a number of ways. This post has definitely added a few items to my list! Although I was surprised not to see candied orange peels--those are sooo tasty! Here are links to two posts I've written on the subject for a few more ideas:

    http://trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2012/01/ktt-keep-those-orage-peels.html
    http://trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2012/11/ktt-how-to-use-orange-rinds.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candied orange peels are under the last paragraph ~ Misc :) Don't worry, didn't forget the sweet stuff :) Will have to take a peek over at your ideas!

      Delete
  11. These are such great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing with Make Bake Create. I'll be featuring you when our post goes live at 5:00 PM CST.

    Blessings,
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just bought some organic oranges so I can dry the peels. I want to start off with your recipes for potpourri and the all purpose cleaner. Can I use the whole peel for scents and cleaning and only worry about using the zest for food recipes? I need to get a zester. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely :) That is what I did...

      Delete
    2. You could also use a vegetable peeler to remove zest...

      Delete
  13. love the ' old charm' layout of your web-page and how natural/ organic your ides are. I love using things found around the home - inexpensive and practical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed your visit here :)

      Delete
  14. how should you store dried orange peels? how long do they last being stored?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Great question! I would store them in an airtight container like a mason jar or a clamp down style lid jar (aka Fido jar) and they should last for 1 - 2 years :)

      Delete
  15. Hi, just wanting to check. When oven-drying the peel, are you talking about 170C or 170F. Celsius seemed like a lot so I didn't want to ruin it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great question! It is definitely fahrenheit!

      Happy kitchen crafting :)

      Delete
  16. Thanks for all the ideas and link to how to do them. I love that these can be used for something beyond increasing my compost pile. There are several things I saw that I would love to try.
    (Stopped by from Titus 2sDay Link-up Part.)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great idea! I never would have thought of using orange peel for anything.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We have been saving/using orange peels for a few years now and the kids eat so many oranges at times that the peels pile up.... if they mold they all have to be thrown out. :( We aren't always quick enough to single layer them... and we run out of cookie sheets for the purpose. That said, though... just a few days ago, I pulled out the wonderful gallon jug of dried orange peels (I usually store in glass, but this was a protein powder - vanilla flavor - jug) and put them in water simmering on the stove - for putting moisture into our air... After a year, they still smell SO good... and that hint of vanilla smell makes it wonderful too although that doesn't last in the water-only when we open the jug. :) Thank you for compiling all of these ideas together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does smell wonderful. We place a mixture of the mulling spices which include the orange peel on a teapot on our wood stove and the room smells lovely :)

      Delete
  19. Great ideas, Jes! The orange peel facial scrub sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your talent on The HomeAcre Hop each week...I always look forward to reading your posts :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a great post! I'm always looking for ways to lessen our amount of garbage. I knew a few of these, but not all of them. Thanks for all the great ideas and for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great ideas. I love the smell of it! Thanks for joining HSH!

    ReplyDelete
  22. you could dry your peels in your car - park it in the sun and lay your peels on a tray

    ReplyDelete
  23. you could dry your peels on a tray in your car (parked in the sun) and your car smells nice as well !

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great ideas, but i totally ruined my peel drying them in the oven at 170C....wish you had specified in your text. Not everyone has the time to read through all the comments :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, I am so sorry!!! I will add that now. Thank you for taking the time to point it out, I just took the temperature for granted :(

      Delete
  25. "you could dry your peels on a tray in your car (parked in the sun) and your car smells nice as well !"

    Were you joking? I think I'm gonna try it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi! Seems like every time I google "how to do" something I come across your blog! I love it! Its very beautifully set up & everything is written out in detail very well! But I must ask, for this post on your orange peels, about how many oranges do you think it takes to make about 1 cup of dried orange peel granules?? I've tried looking everywhere & cannot find anything! Im ask I you because it seems like you actually take the time to answer questions or even just say "thanks" when people stop by & say somethin! (Must say, not many do! Or if they do its forever fate the fact!) But it'd be great if you could help me with my question! Thanks so very much! *Tiffani*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tiffani, Thank you for your kind comment! Unfortunately I don't know the answer and have zero citrus on hand right now to try it. I just processed our lemon peels last week making a lemon syrup. However, to guess, I don't think it would take too many oranges (perhaps 4 nice sized oranges) but please know it is just a guess. Sorry I couldn't be of more help! When I do another batch of dried orange peels into granules, I will try and measure out and include on the blog.

      Have a lovely week! :)

      Delete
  27. I have used the orange peel, as well as lemons and limes, for quite awhile. I like to experiment and of course, in my experience, you try different methods to get the result you want in a culinary sense. First of all, the zest of the fruit imparts a distinctive flavor to any dish. The taste of the fruit comes through and just a little goes a long way. So, use a zester and bottle it up in the fridge. The oils contained will keep this usable for a few weeks. Now, I also dry the peel with the pith. The dried rind is then ground up with a coffee grinder to make a powder. Sift this until you get a consistency like a flour. Grind more of the larger chunks left over. Yes, the pith is somewhat bitter, but, . it has pectin qualities which work well in many dishes. It has great tenderizing qualities with meats, and gives a silky texture when stir fried on beef, chicken and pork. Marinate the meat for up to 6 hours as a dry rub, combined with other spices, and you will get a unique flavor and texture, Almost like cornstarch, it can also be used to thicken sauces.
    I dry it in the oven at 200 degrees for as long as it takes for the pieces to become brittle, but, you should allow the pices to cool before determining how dry they are as the oils at higher temps will make the peel feel pliable. Don't waste this extraordinary ingredient!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great tips! Thank you for taking the time to share! :)

      Delete
  28. Hi JES
    I have a question, after I ground up my peels my processor was left with a whole layer of (orange oil maybe?) I cannot scrub it off for the life of me. It's like a really awful orange calcium deposit covering the whole thing. Do you know what I mean and does anyone know how to remove it? I'm sad and I was so so looking forward to the day these dried to grind them :(
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear! How bizarre! I have done so many orangey-things and haven't had this problem. I am so upset for you! I would trying letting it sit a few hours in a warm vinegar/dish-soap/water solution. I am sure it will come out eventually! Were the peels completely dry? Please keep me updated on this... I am so sorry to hear of your result!

      Delete
    2. Well, my husband seems to think two things. The main one being I used our little chopper thing instead of our processor and it's plastic. Second being after I did some I left it sitting while I finished all kinds of other things in the kitchen first. It may have sat there too long being oily on plastic. Who knows! It sure does stink though..:( next time I'll use the processor for sure since no one seems to have this problem. Which is great to know!
      Thanks anyway!
      Amy

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the update. That is just so odd.. My only thought is that the pith wasn't completely dried and it turned to glue when you processed it... Either way, so sorry it didn't turn out as intended my friend!!! Hope the rest of your week goes smooth! :)

      Delete
  29. That's it!!! Thank you! I went through more pieces and the pith is definitely not completely dry. I thought it was. Gosh...I ruined the whole thing, good thing I have more peels drying! I'd really cry :) I love your orange crafts. Thank you!!
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good detective work Watson!!!

      Thanks for the update!! :) Hope the next batch works out better!

      Delete
  30. I made to lemon extract about 4 months ago and it is turning brown. Is this a problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... That is interesting. What kind of alcohol did you seep it in and what "proof" was it? I just took a peek at mine and it is yellow... Also, was your rind fresh?

      Delete
    2. Yes my rind was very fresh. I used 90 proof and - maybe this is more dark yellow than brown and really does smell wonderful. Also should I strain it and continue adding lemon peel?

      Delete
    3. Hi Gloria! I would say it is GOOD! I think that since the 90 proof is stronger, the extract is more potent making the color darker. I would strain it and call it finished! :)

      Delete
  31. I like your topic, after reading your article very helpful at all and can be a source of reference I hope others can feel the same benefits as me I will wait for your next article updates Thank you, for sharing

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...