Useful Things You Can Do With Citrus Peels

· January 10, 2015
Do you know what part of citrus fruits contain the greatest number of health properties? Their peel, which is beneficial to help prevent some diseases, fluid retention and fat accumulation or to increase your defenses, as well as many other benefits.

We will explain how to use lemon, orange, mandarine, lime and other citrus peels in order to take advantage of their medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic benefits.

It is fundamental that they’re home grown or organic fruits. This is to ensure they don’t contain pesticides or other toxic substances.

Citrus slices

How to preserve citrus peels

The first step is to wash the fruit well, peel them, and remove the white parts from the inside that can be bitter.

One way to do it is grating and using them raw because in this way they will be more aromatic. But if you want to preserve them in order to use them once in awhile, you can freeze the zest.

Another option is drying citrus peels naturally in the sun or oven as well (at a low temperature for a few hours) and smash them with the help of a coffee bean grinder.

Medicinal uses for citrus peels

  • Powerful antioxidant action, thanks to its flavonoid content which may help to minimize the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
  • Its high content in vitamin C helps you have a strong immune system.
  • Cleansing and depurative effects in your body, inside and out. They also help prevent fluid retention.
  • Relaxing and slightly sedative properties. Citruses help improve your mood.
  • Improves your digestive system, especially with fats.
  • Improves the assimilation of nutrients, like iron for example. Because of this, citrus peels may help people with anemia.

You may be interested in:

Iron-deficiency Anemia in Children

Culinary uses for citrus peels

Citrus peels, raw or dried, will give a refreshing and very aromatic touch to your recipes, as well as provide medicinal benefits and facilitate digestion:

  • In cakes, desserts, and cookies: mix them with dough or as a decoration
  • In vinaigrettes and any kind of sauce or for seasoning oils
  • As a spice (drained or as a powder) to season meats, fish, soups, and stews
  • To give an original touch to ice cubes: add fresh citrus zest to the water in the ice tray
  • You can sugar coat the entire peel or just pieces of it by boiling them with sugar as if you were making a syrup. Dip them in sugar and bake them.

Also read:

Delicious Baked Orange and Rosemary Chicken

Sugar coated citrus peels

To make a syrup: boil the peel with honey or sugar until half of the liquid is gone. Keep this syrup in the refrigerator and use it in the kitchen as a syrup for children and adults to increase their defenses and prevent diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

Cosmetic uses

Orange peel

Thanks to its content of vitamins and minerals, citrus peels can help you clean your skin and also improve its texture, preventing flaccidity, hydrating, and preventing the appearance of wrinkles. This is because they improve cellular regeneration and contribute to the production of collagen.

  • Natural exfoliant: you can make a simple and effective exfoliant to clean your skin and help it regenerate by mixing sugar or sea salt, lemon zest or powder and olive or almond oil (if you have dry skin) or aloe gel (if you have oily skin).
  • Deodorant: If you blend citrus peels, the juice that you get can be used as a very effective natural deodorant with no harmful substances. You should keep it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it and use it little by little.
  • Soaps: We will give you a recipe for making a natural lavender soap in this article. If you use citrus peels instead of lavender, you will get a cleansing and very aromatic soap.

Images courtesy of veronicasheppard and ecstaticist.

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080866

Chambial, S., Dwivedi, S., Shukla, K. K., John, P. J., & Sharma, P. (2013). Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12291-013-0375-3

Bendich, A., Machlin, L. J., Scandurra, O., Burton, G. W., & Wayner, D. D. M. (1986). The antioxidant role of vitamin C. Advances in Free Radical Biology and Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/S8755-9668(86)80021-7

Padayatty, S. J., Katz, A., Wang, Y., Eck, P., Kwon, O., Lee, J. H., … Dutta, S. K. (2003). Vitamin C as an Antioxidant: Evaluation of Its Role in Disease Prevention. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2003.10719272