Oranges are über-powerful citrus fruits jam-packed with vitamin C. You likely eat the occasional orange and maybe even press your own fresh orange juice at home. But what do you do with the peels?
Before you throw them out, read this article! You just might find orange peels are your new secret ingredient to a healthier, happier you!
Here are 10 reasons why citrus peels can be useful:
1. Eat the zest. Orange zest is a delightfully bright ingredient used in a number of recipes. Bon Appetit has a number of recipes that feature orange zest in pastas, baked goods, sauces, vinaigrettes, and even fried foods.
2. Blend into smoothies. The peel of an orange has a higher concentration of the same nutrients found in the flesh of the orange, explains Dr. Mercola. However, simply munching on the peel can be rather unpleasant. The best way to consume orange peel, other than to grate the zest, is to toss orange peels in a blender with berries. Be sure to thoroughly wash the peel first.
3. Relieve anxiety. The scent of orange can have a soothing effect powerful enough to relieve an anxiety attack. Beyond Anxiety and Depression recommends placing orange peel in a saucepan, covering it with water, and then heating it to a simmer. You can pour the scented water into a bowl and inhale it directly, or simply lie down with the orange simmering on the stove. The aroma will fill the space and as you breath, the aroma will help you relax.
4. Make tea. Living Awareness suggests leaving orange peels out to dry for a few days. Once they become crisp, they can be stored in a jar and used to make tea. Orange peel tea is not only delicious, but is also an effective cough suppressant and is thought to lower blood pressure.
5. Protect against mosquito bites. Mosquitos are repelled by orange peel, says Natural Society. If you are prone to bug bites or are camping and in search of a natural insect repellent, simply rub an orange peel around your ankles, wrists, and neck to ward off mosquitos.
6. Brighten skin. Oranges work wonders on the skin. Vitamin C protects against free radicals, calcium heals flaky skin, potassium hydrates, and magnesium promotes glowing skin. Could there be a better combination? Bellatory recommends making an orange peel powder to add to a honey and yogurt face mask for blemish-free skin.
7. Exfoliate. Total Beauty recommends scrubbing the body with orange peels wrapped in gauze or cheese cloth. The vitamin C and ascorbic acid in orange peel firms the skin and evens out skin tone.
8. Make essential oil. Orange essential oil relieves coughing and muscle cramps, and can uplift your mood. Instead of buying it in the store, make your own essential oil. OneHowTo says to remove the skin and white coating. Place the peel in a glass jar and cover with vodka. Screw the top on and shake vigorously. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week, making sure to shake it once a day. After 1 week, strain the mixture into a bowl and place the bowl in a well-ventilated space. Check the mixture after a few days. Once the liquid no longer smells of alcohol, your orange essential oil is ready to use! Bottle it and store it in a cool, dark place.
9. Keep brown sugar moist. Drop an orange peel in with your brown sugar. The peel will keep the sugar moist, and prevent it from clumping, claims Prevention.
10. Keep kitty away from your plants. Prevention also suggests dicing up the rind and sprinkling it onto the soil of any houseplants to keep your cat from munching the leaves. The strong odor works as a natural deterrent.
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