Yesterday we received an unexpected delivery. A 20 pound box full of California Navel oranges! I had completely forgotten that I’d ordered them from a young man in our neighborhood who was selling them for his swim team fundraiser. I was very excited because I LOVE oranges!!! But even *I* can’t eat 20 pounds worth! At least not before they eventually start to grow fuzzy stuff on them!
My first thought was to give them to neighbors, friends, etc…which I still plan on doing…but then my 17 year old son Kell said, “You should do a blog post on oranges Mom.” duh! lol! Why didn’t *I* think of that? :-)
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At first I figured all I’d find in my research was How To Make A Pomander…or How To Make Orange Marmalade (both of which are great ideas!)…but I actually found SO much more! Stuff that had me thinking…”Wow! I’m going to TRY that!”…so I knew I was on to something. :-)
So I present my curated list from across the WWW of lots of cool stuff to do with oranges!
Orange Peel Kindling
Due to the high content of flammable oil in orange peel, dried peel makes a great firestarter or kindling.
Stove Top Potpourri
Cut up peels. In a saucepan add peels, 1 cinnamon stick, a few cloves and fill to the top with water. Simmer for a nice simmering potpourri.
Face and Body Exfoliator
Soak orange peels in Apple Cider Vinegar and use as a hair rinse!
Keep Cats Off Your Grass
Make a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds and distribute it around the cats’ “old haunts.” If the problem persists, put down a second batch and moisten it with water.
Rub fresh orange or lemon peels over your exposed skin to keep mosquitoes away. It’s said that mosquitoes and gnats are totally repulsed by either scent.
Get Rid Of Ants
In a blender, make a smooth puree of a few orange peels in 1 cup warm water. Slowly pour the solution over and into ant hills. Also use it in your garden, on your patio, and along the foundation of your home.
Scrubber For Cast Iron Pans
Half an orange with some coffee grounds poured into it makes a great scrubber for a cast iron pan! The peel helps to protect your hand from the coffee grounds (which are an excellent abrasive), as well as adding citrus cleaning power. Then just toss it in the compost.
Garbage Disposal Refresher
Keep them in a jar or bowl under your sink. After they dry, periodically put them down the garbage disposal – helps clean blades & smells lovely.
Boil the orange peels and let steep for 10 minutes. Drink as a tea to get rid of migraines.
Clean Your Microwave
Place orange peels in a bowl of water and microwave for about five minutes. Then wipe the microwave clean with a sponge.
Clean Your Cutting Board
Rub the empty peel across your cutting board to deodorize. Do the same in your sink.
Same as my Lemon Vinegar…but with an orange twist!
Clean Your Pans & Tea Kettle
Boil the rinds in your tea kettle or a pan that has burnt on stuff stuck to it. Let it sit for an hour or more to really soak in, and watch all the grime come right off!
The rest of list contains items that are all food-related…but still worthy of sharing! Now I can enjoy one of my very favorite fruits even more!
Of course…#1 on the list….EAT THEM. :-)
#2 JUICE them. You can drink the juice right then (it will keep just fine in the refrigerator for a few days) or freeze it for later!
#3. PEEL, SEGMENT, AND FREEZE them. Frozen orange slices taste wonderful partially thawed in fruit salad with yogurt or slipped under chicken skin before baking.
Mulling Mix Add-In
Peel some skin with a peeler and bake it until fully dried. It’s great in spice/chai/mulling mixes, and anything that can use an orange-flavour boost.
Make your regular recipe for brownies and add at least 3 oranges worth of orange zest, and substitute orange juice for any liquid.
Marinate and cook pork shoulder or pork tenderloin in fresh orange juice. Heavenly!
Oranges With Honey
Slice your oranges in half, and put the halves in a baking dish. Drizzle a generous amount of honey over them and sprinkle with just a touch of cinammon. Bake in a 350 degree oven just long enough to heat them (5-10 mins).
Take out of the oven and place in a bowl and eat with a spoon! Yummy and also very soothing and healing if you have a cold or a sore throat!
Zest your oranges and cover with vodka. Let sit. Delicious Orange Extract (works for lemons, too).
Fresh Orange Salsa
Chopped orange, red onion, jalapenoes, cilantro. Great on grilled fish or tuna steaks. Also good added to a citrus slaw, cabbage or jicama.
Substitute orange juice for a portion of the vinegar in a salad dressing – a great way to add a slightly sweet flavor and to balance the taste of the vinegar. Wonderful over endive or spinach.
Use your favorite lemon curd recipe, and lower the sugar by a third.
Oatmeal With A Zing
Prepare oatmeal with orange juice instead of water: top cooked oatmeal with orange juice rather than butter or cream to get great flavor and no added fat.
Citrus Pancakes & Waffles
When making your favorite pancake or waffle batter, substitute orange juice for the water, milk or buttermilk in the recipe. This will give the pancakes a great flavor and added vitamin C!
Make a lemon or orange infused tea by boiling lemon or orange rinds and then throwing in a tea bag. Let the bag steep as long as you like and enjoy!
Orange Maple Butter
To top french toasts, pancakes, scones…anything really. Delicious and keeps well in the fridge. Recipe at Martha Stewart
Orange Butter Cake
Very fluffy, moist and orangey with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting! Recipe at Eat.at
Peel the oranges, cut in chunks. Process in the food processor or blender. Add sugar, pectin and water and stir. No cooking necessary. Will keep refrigerated up to three weeks – or freeze for longer storage. Recipe at Sunkist.com
Candied Orange Peel
Orange peels can be candied to make a deliciously, zesty treat. Recipe at Bright Eyed Baker
Candied orange peels dipped in CHOCOLATE! Recipe at Smitten Kitchen
Ina Garten’s Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
From one of my favorite cooks! So, so, so, good! Recipe at Food Network
Orange Jelly Boats
A fun, family-friendly favorite! Recipe at Tesco.com
Or…..last, but not least….if you’ve exhausted the list above and STILL have an orange or two leftover…why not try making a GLOWING ORANGE!? :-)
Wow….that’s a whole lotta orange!! Can’t wait to get in the kitchen and start making some of this stuff!
Share YOUR citrus obsession!