A lot of people don't actually realize this but citrus is ripe in the winter time and not the spring/summer. We think, oh bright colors! Oooo Ahhhhh , lets break out the lemons, limes and oranges not only for color but taste. But in reality, spring is when citrus blooms and is pollinated and by the time winter rolls around, that's when you get to harvest a good crop.
Today I am going to share with you all the ways you can use citrus around your house, specifically oranges since I had SO many on the tree this year, but you can use almost any citrus. I had to think of ways I could utilize this amazing production of oranges we keep getting from our massive orange tree every year, and if you are like me, fruit isn't your thing. I am more of a veggie person and have never been a fan of fruit but when we bought our house it came with this amazing orange tree and I wasn't about to get rid of something so amazing. So, I had to figure out ways to utilize this amazing fruit other than eating it. We give BUCKETS away to our gym family and still have so much left over so I came up with a few ways to put oranges (and any other citrus) to good use.
- If you're like me or have any interest in natural cleaning products, you can try this out for yourself. It's super easy and affordable to make.
All you need is a few orange peels, a jar with a lid and white vinegar. Put the orange peels into a jar and fill with white vinegar and forget about it for 2 weeks. After two weeks drain the liquid and discard the peels. Fill a bottle with water for a 2:1 ratio of citrus-vinegar mixture. Use and enjoy!
I actually use about a tablespoon or two to my Thieves cleaner.
You can make just about anything tasty with oranges, check out this delicious pound cake I made last year from our 2017 harvest!
Freeze your oranges! Why buy oranges in the spring and summer when they are really expensive? Peel your oranges and separate all of the slices. Place on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen transfer them to a freezer bag and save for later. Great for smoothies and drinks.
Dehydrated orange slices are great for adding a touch of a natural element to any decor piece. I used dehydrated orange slices as gift wrapping decor and I made a garland with greenery and cranberries. I don't have a dehydrator yet, it's still sitting on my amazon wish list but you can just use your oven. It takes forever but it's worth it!
Cut orange slices evenly, place on a lined cookie sheet and put in the oven at 200F for at least 5 hours. Time varies on slice thickness, juicyness of the orange and your oven.
Have you ever made vanilla extract before? Me either that seems out of my league. But orange extract seems so simple to do! All you need to do is take the zest of a few oranges, place them into a jar and cover with vodka. This can be used for lemons as well. We like to put a dash of orange extract into our protein pancakes to give them a little kick, so yummy! You can even make a frosting with homemade orange extract.
Another way I like to clean with oranges and any other citrus for that matter is to clean the garbage disposal. After awhile our garbage disposal gets funky so I like to cut up a whole orange, peel and all and put them down the garbage disposal with a little white vinegar and boiling water. After a few turns of the garbage disposal button and your sink is left smelling fresh and clean.
These are the most common ways we use ornages and other citrus in our house. If you google ways to use orange peels there are SO many more ideas so you should check them out if you need more inspo.