Unexpected Ways to Use Leftover Fruit Peels
We've all been there – after enjoying a delicious piece of fruit, we're left with those vibrant and aromatic peels. Rather than tossing them into the compost bin, did you know that fruit peels can be incredibly useful? These often-overlooked parts of fruits contain essential nutrients, natural fragrances, and versatile properties that can be harnessed for a variety of purposes. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most useful ways to repurpose leftover fruit peels, minimizing waste and maximizing utility!
Natural Cleaning Solutions:
Love a good DIY? Make your own deliciously fragrant cleaning solution! Citrus fruit peels, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, are rich in natural oils and citric acid. These properties make them excellent ingredients for homemade cleaning solutions. Orange and lemon tend to work best since both pack grease-fighting qualities.
To create an all-purpose cleaner, place citrus peels in a mason jar and cover them with white vinegar. Now, the hard part is you have to let the mixture sit for a few weeks (2 weeks at least). Strain out the peels and dilute the infused vinegar with water to clean surfaces, windows, and even remove odors. Bonus points for adding a few sprigs of fresh herbs to the mix - rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano are all great options for bright and fresh fragrances when combined with citrus!
Using leftover fruit peels to make natural cleaning solutions is just as good for your messy surfaces as it is for the environment.
Flavorful Cooking Enhancements:
Surely, you've heard of lemon pepper and chili lime seasoning. These bright and zesty flavor enhancers are generally used on chicken and other meats, but did you know you can make your own fruit peel seasoning in your own kitchen?
Don't underestimate the flavor potential of fruit peels. Citrus fruits can be grated or zested to add a burst of tangy flavor to your culinary creations. Lemon zest, for instance, can elevate dishes like pasta, desserts, and salads. Just be sure to use organic fruit peels to avoid any exposure to pesticides.
Place the zest of your choice in an oven at a very low heat setting until you've completely dried out the zest. Once dried, pulverize the zest with the pepper or chili until the consistency mimics a fine seasoning grain.
Natural Insect Repellent:
The potent scents of some fruit peels can work as natural insect repellents. Citrus peels, in particular, can help keep mosquitoes and flies at bay. Rubbing orange or lemon peels on your skin or placing them strategically around outdoor areas can help deter these pesky insects.
Freshen your Dishwasher:
Here's one I'm sure you've never considered: throwing your citrus peels in the dishwasher! Just trust the process, this is a hack worth trying. Lemon and orange peels work great for cleaning purposes. As a result, running orange or lemon peels through the dishwasher can freshen up the scent and can even make your dishes come out a bit cleaner too!
Simply place your lemon or orange peels on the top rack of your dishwasher - a wedge of lemon or orange will do the job, there doesn't need to be any fruit flesh present for this to work. Run the dishwasher cycle as normal, and when finished, you'll open the door to fresher smelling dishes! Effective, easy, and it cuts down on waste.
Infused Water and Tea:
Give your beverages a flavorful twist by infusing water or tea with fruit peels. Lemon, lime, and orange peels can add a refreshing essence to your drinks without the need for added sugars or artificial flavors. Simply place the peels in cold water or add them to your tea leaves for a subtle yet satisfying taste.
Certain fruit peels are packed with nutrients and fiber that are often discarded. For instance, apple peels contain antioxidants and dietary fiber. After washing thoroughly, apple peels can be dried and turned into crispy snacks. Simply slice them thinly, season with cinnamon or your preferred spice, and bake in the oven until they're crispy.
Bring a refreshing and invigorating scent to your home by using fruit peels as a natural potpourri. Dried citrus peels and other fruit peels release delightful fragrances when heated. Simply place the peels in a bowl, let them dry, and then warm them gently on a stovetop or in a potpourri burner. Your living space will be infused with a pleasant aroma without the need for artificial air fresheners.
If you haven't tried to make sugar infused with zest, you've been missing out on a great flavor enhancement! Adding a touch of citrus zest to sugar is a fantastic addition to give a unique twist whenever you're cooking or baking. You can even make your own flavored sugar for margarita rims or lemonade! The best part is how ridiculously easy it is to make: simply zest a citrus fruit of your choice, make sure that the skin of the fruit is clean and dry.
Skin Care Treatments:
Fruit peels can also find their place in your skincare routine. Orange peels, for instance, contain essential oils and antioxidants that can benefit your skin. Create a homemade face mask by grinding dried orange peels into a powder and mixing it with yogurt or honey. This natural mask can help brighten your complexion and provide a dose of vitamin C.
Leftover fruit peels are far more versatile than they might appear at first glance. From cleaning solutions to culinary enhancements and even skincare treatments, these often-discarded parts of fruits have a multitude of practical uses. By incorporating these ideas into your daily life, you can minimize waste, harness the natural benefits of fruit peels, and embark on a journey towards a more sustainable and resourceful lifestyle.