Thursday, 14 March 2013

Citrus...

Certain citrus fruits are most definitely seasonal and mandarins, are one of them. We recently bought 5 (a bit hard to peel unfortunately) and the smell as they were eventually peeled, was wonderful. 
 
I know some people save all citrus peelings, which are then dried and used as fire lighters. Luckily for us, we have some free fire lighters in the form of taken out windowsills (from DS) and dried twigs from B's garden.
We wondered if it was possible to use the peelings in some other way, perhaps as a flavouring in food. We dried each of the peels over a couple of nights in front of the wood burner, then they were processed in my spice mill (which came free with my new liquidizer). 

A few whizzes later and they were more or less in powder form - I can always sieve it before use anyway. Next, where or how to store them. I have no idea how long they will last so an old Oil of Ulay pot was utilized and they are now stored in the fridge. 

I can't tell you how fantastic the smell is every time I open the jar. There is no reason why oranges, lemons or limes can't be processed in the same way.Mind you with oranges and lemons, I would suggest using a vegetable peeler to peel the fruit so not much pith is left behind which can be rather bitter.

Haven't used any yet, but when we next make a cake or pudding, I shall put some in and see how it goes.

23 comments:

  1. I always zest mandarins and their cousins before we eat them and use it in carrot cake, it really adds a zing. I just freeze it in a small pot until I have enough. If I build up enough I use it in the frosting as well.

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    1. Sounds good to me Pam. Have done something similar with the zest and juice of lemons.

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  2. That is an excellent idea of using citrus peels. I use citrus all the time, lemons, limes, kalamansi, and certainly oranges. I usually just left the peels on window sils to dry then put them at various places in the house till they get tired and dusty looking, throw them away and replace the with new ones. Wonder if it can be dried in the oven, at a very low heat.

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    1. I like the idea of using them as an air freshener. Could try in the oven but I think they would dry in a warm room in about 2 days anyway.

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  3. You can use freshly removed peel to make your own citrus cleaners.
    Get enough peel together from at least 3 mandarins or satsumas,
    pop into a largish screw top jar and top up to the rim with white
    vinegar. Leave this jar to rest in a dark cupboard (or at least away
    from direct sunlight) for two weeks. Now strain the liquid, add a dash
    of washing up liquid to the citrus vinegar and decant into a spare
    spray bottle. You may also add more vinegar to it before decanting.
    Use this cleaner on most of your kitchen surfaces. It cleans toilets
    as well. The cleaner has a very nice citrus smell to it and also acts
    as a brilliant disinfectent due to the vinegar.

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    1. I did try that last year Sarina but the smell of it made us both feel sick so had to stop using it. We much prefer a household spray cleaner made with washing soda, small amount of vinegar, tea tree and lavender.

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  4. This is a great idea! I have a food dehydrator I can put the peels in to dry them out. It just hadn't occurred to me to do so.

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    1. Lucky you, always wanted one of those! Welcome to the blog and I hope if you do this with your peels, you let me know if the resulting smell once blitzed is strong.

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  5. What a great idea, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Haven't used it yet but if the smell is anything to go by, I'm hoping it will taste as good as it smells.

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  6. Great idea, will def add to cakes. I wonder if it could be used to flavour rice like they do in restaurants?


    Sarah x

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    1. Don't see why not although as by the comment below, it would seem it needs to be used sparingly.

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  7. Dc I think probably the easiest thing to do is peel and cop and freeze, then you have the option of using it whichever way you fancy. That smell which explodes when you first peel a tangerine ALWAYS takes me back to childhood Christmases, even though we eat them all year round now and they are not the luxury they once were.

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    1. It wasn't any bother to do and my freezer is quite full. You are right about the smell though. It is amazing how smell and memories are associated isn't it.

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  8. Hi DC

    You can dry the peels for cooking in strips after peeling the skin off the oranges go round the peel with a sharp knife and scrape out as much as the pith you can. Then leave to dry and you can always put a piece in a beef stew to give extra flavour. You can utilise the peels in home made vinegar cleaners which are very effective. The orange powder in its dried format has to be used sparingly and it is a good idea to keep in the fridge. You can also make your own mulled wine spice syrup too or dry and use in pot pourri in scented bath bags, epices de Provence. From whole oranges you can dry orange slices for pot pourri and Christmas decorations, orange and clove pomanders. You can also make your own home made mixed peel which is really delicious. The best part is looking out for new things to do and new recipes to add to the repertoire.

    Enjoy the playing

    Pattypan

    x

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    1. Thanks for all those interesting ideas. As I said to Sarina can't use it in a cleaner but like the idea of a sprinkle in a bath. The other methods are also interesting. Thanks.

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  9. This is a great idea. I love citrusy scents.

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    1. Me too. I only hope it lives up to itself now. Might try it with lemons next.

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  10. Oh I do like that idea- bloomin' ingenious. Permission to copy the idea ?

    Francesca

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    1. Feel free although I haven't tested it before. By the comments above, similar things have been tried. Might try it today in my baking.

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  11. It would look lovely, and be so tasty sprinkled on top of a nice lemon sponge, on top of any icing or drizzle you use.

    A brilliant idea, I'm all for using up every last scrap of something.

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    1. I think sprinkling sounds quite good.

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  12. what a great idea!!!!!! thanks for sharing!!
    have a nice week,
    blessings regina

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