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It’s peak season for navel oranges here in New Zealand - the perfect time to grab some and tuck in. Not only do oranges taste delicious, they have a bunch of health benefits that make them an essential part of your winter diet.
Most people are aware that you can use orange zest to add some zing to your baking or throw the peels into a compost pile, but there are a myriad of other ways to make good use of those discarded peels. Here are a few of our favourite creative uses for orange peels.
There’s no need to use nasty chemicals to keep your house clean, at-home remedies can be just as effective. White vinegar is a fantastic cleaner - it has disinfectant properties and reduces mould, but the smell is not so fabulous. However, infuse vinegar with some orange peels and voila, you have an effective and pleasant smelling all-purpose cleaner.
Simply fill up a glass jar with orange peels, cover to the top with white vinegar and let the concoction sit for two weeks. Strain the liquid out and mix with water - two parts water to one part vinegar. Put the liquid in a spray bottle and you’re set!
Orange peel itself will do wonders for dull wood or water-stained metal. Use the white side of the peel to breathe life into your wooden furniture or brighten up metal fixtures.
Orange peels have a great way of diffusing, disguising and dispersing bad smells. You can throw some in the base of your rubbish bin to keep things smelling fresh, run a handful through the garbage disposal, or even hang them up in musty areas to create a bright citrusy aroma.
Lingering smells throughout the house? Boil some peels on the stove with a stick of cinnamon.
Scattered on your garden beds, orange peels will deter slugs and snails from eating your precious produce. Pesky ants are also not a fan of orange. If you have an ant issue in your house, place finely chopped peel in problem areas and watch them disappear!
Interestingly, cats don’t like the taste of orange either. Have a naughty cat who likes to nibble on your house plants? Rub orange peel over the surface and problem solved.
Give it a try as a natural mosquito repellant by blending your peels up with water and putting the liquid in a small spray bottle. Mozzies will avoid the citrusy brew.
Orange can help brighten and freshen your skin. Using common household ingredients, whip up a batch of orange sugar scrub. This also makes for a great homemade gift!
Want to add some zest to your salad dressings? Infuse olive oil by filling a jar with peels, covering them with oil and leaving them to steep for a few weeks.
Forget about spending the extra dollars buying a fancy orange-tasting vodka, you can do it yourself at home. Soak your peels in vodka for two weeks in a glass jar or bottle. You’ll need the peel of one orange for every 250mL of vodka.
The peel of an orange contains nearly double the amount of Vitamin C as the flesh! Unfortunately, the pith gives it a bitter taste. Still, it’s a great idea to throw those peels into a mixed smoothie (after washing them). You’ll get all the goodness without noticing the bitterness.
Dried orange peel makes great kindling for getting those winter fires blazing. Scatter it amongst your wood, or pack it into a toilet paper tube for extra oomph.
With all this talk of oranges, I am starting to get hungry! If you are you hanging out for a delicious, juicy Gisborne navel orange then head on over to our store and order yours today!