Posted by Skud in Sustainable Living on 2013-03-30 02:20:48 UTC and edited at 2020-02-10 02:44:12 UTCPermalink
I've recently seen a couple of interesting ideas for using lemon peel and I thought I'd post them here and see if anyone has others.
Peel the lemons with a fruit-peeler (i.e. into thin strips, avoiding pith) and then dry them in the oven on a low heat. Put the dried peels in a jar and use it for making hot tea/tisanes. For instance you could do lemon and honey using a couple of strips of the lemon peel, if you didn't have a fresh lemon handy.
One blog I read (I don't remember which, sorry) said she does the above, then grinds them in her spice grinder. The resulting powdery lemon stuff is used as a flavouring in cookies, salad dressings, sprinkled on fish as a seasoning, etc.
I think I saw this on Food in Jars recently. Take the same lemon peel strips and put them in plain white vinegar. When you use the vinegar for cleaning, it'll smell nice and fresh. (I think the example used clementine peels, and I can definitely imagine doing this with orange too.)
Anyone else got good ways of using lemon peels instead of letting them go to waste?
We recently zested a lime and an orange when juicing them, and stored them in separate little containers for freezing so that we always have some zest ready to use in recipes as needed. This helps to bulk out the lemon juice in a bottle that we also use. You do need to use more of the frozen than of the fresh but it's definitely nice to have it around! (For instance I've put the lime zest in a treacle tart along with the lemon juice - it helps cut through the sweetness.)
I juiced a bunch of lemons from a friend's garden recently and put the peels in 100 proof vodka (because hey, I had 100 proof vodka). I basically crammed as many peels as I could into a jar and then poured in as much vodka as would fit (which really wasn't much). The first few days I inverted the jar every day to make sure all the peel got vodka'd. I left it for a month or two. The vodka came out yellow and delicious. If you add simple syrup I guess it would be limoncello?
So that's now my go-to for citrus peel if I'm juicing the fruit and in too much of a hurry (or juicing too much fruit) to want to zest it all. It gets all the juice you missed from the flesh, too.
You can also make pectin out of the white part, but I'm far too lazy for that.
@oakandsage Limoncello sounds like an awesome idea. Might have to try that sometime!
@jinty I keep meaning to juice lemons and freeze them but we seldom have that much of a glut to allow for it. I should just make a point of doing a little bit each time we have a couple of lemons spare, I guess.
I zest all lemons that I'm using for juice and keep the zest in a container in the freezer for when a recipe calls for lemon zest but I have no fresh lemon.
You can put the peel around your plants which you want to keep your cats away from... Good for seedlings and non-toxic for your best friend.
lemon zest (and other citrus zest) can also be used in canning in place of packaged pectin.
Another thing you can do (with pretty much all citrus) is dry the peel out and it becomes a good firelighter, the oils in the skin keep it burning long enough for the fire to catch.
We do the lemon rind and white vinegar cleaner thing, it also works with other citrus types.