Odd and Ends: Orange Peels

I love the smell when I am peeling an orange. Most of the time I cut them into slices for easier eating, and the peel goes into the compost pail when the meal is over.  Sometimes when we need a quick snack on the go, we just take the whole orange and peel it in the car or when we get to our destination, and the peel goes in the trash if I don’t pack it home and throw it on the compost pile on the way into the house.

Years ago when oranges were precious treats eaten only at Christmas time, many mothers would confiscate the peels and use them in baking or to make into that delicacy, candied orange peel. http://candy.about.com/od/fruitcandy/r/candied_peel.htm

I think that fresh or frozen orange peel gives the best flavor to baked goods, so

Easy Peeling

I try to have a small supply of it in the freezer at all times! Whenever I buy oranges I use my potato peeler to scrape the orange layer of the peel from one or two fruits after I have washed them with a dab of Dawn liquid dishwashing soap. Be sure to rinse all of the detergent off after you are done sudsing the fruit! (If you are worried about pesticide residue, buy organic fruit, but still be sure to wash the fruit well before peeling.) This method can also be used to save lemon and lime peel.

I place the citrus peels in a small tightly sealed plastic bag or container and store in the freezer. I have also stored them in the freezer wrapped tightly in foil. They freeze well, but beware of freezer burn. If the peels get too frosty, start over with a new batch.

Next time you eat an orange, don’t throw out all the peel—freeze some to use later! Begonia

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