Woohoo folks, citrus season has arrived! Do you have a lemon tree bowing with the weight of the fruit? Or perhaps a neighbour with an abundant orange harvest who likes to share?
Here’s some wonderful ways to use – and not waste – ALL THE CITRUS FRUIT!
The thing about citrus season is the fruit comes thick and fast. A family can only eat so many oranges or bake so many lemon slices before they’re being ignored in the fruit bowl.
So what to do with the citrus fruit other than eat it? Here’s nine of our finest suggestions for ways to use lemons and oranges.
1. Zest and freeze
Lemon zest can go in all kinds of recipes, from baking to casseroles and everything in between. Orange zest is particularly great for flavouring cake or biscuit icing and custard. Use a Microplane (or super fine grater) to zest, store it in a small zip lock bag and freeze.
2. Juice and freeze
Juice the fruit into a large jug and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and store in an airtight container. Very handy when a recipe only calls for a little (or a lot!) of fresh juice!
3. Make surplus citrus fruit your jam
Yep, channel your inner pioneer woman and get busy jamming. Find some marmalade loving friends and make their day! Taste’s marmalade recipe looks divine – AND it uses over a kilo of oranges. Bonus!
4. Candied citrus peel
Try this sweet way to use lemons and oranges to add appeal (ha!) to your baked goods. If Martha Stewart can do it, so can you. Candied citrus peel coming right up!
5. Preserved lemons
Anyone who has ever had to buy preserved lemons will tell you they can cost A LOT. Make your own and gift them to your foodie friends. If you need a recipe, try this preserved lemon recipe from Tori Avey.
6. Cleaning the microwave
Use a lemon to make short work of cleaning a food splattered microwave (and no scrubbing!). In a microwave safe jug, combine half a cup of water and two lemon halves. Microwave on high power for three minutes, leave the microwave door closed for another five minutes and then wipe out with a clean, damp cloth. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
7. Make your Thermomix jug sparkle
Place lemon skins and enough water to cover the blades in the Thermomix jug. Blitz using the turbo setting for 10 seconds, dicard the contents, rinse and wipe clean. So sparkly!
8. Make your own citrus all-purpose kitchen cleaner
Yes you can! It WILL take a few weeks to perfect your brew, but you can create a summer smelling spray by saving your orange peels. Fill a jar with orange peels and white vinegar, seal it and let it sit in a dark place for a few weeks. Those peels will infuse the vinegar with their gorgeous scent. When it’s ready, strain the jar, discarding the peels and tip the liquid into a spray bottle. Spray and wipe benches just as you would a commercial cleaner.
9. Donate it
If you’ve exhausted all other avenues and you truly can’t stomach another lemon, mandarin or orange, gift or donate your surplus harvest. Neighbours, schools, shelters, church groups – let them know they’re welcome to take the fruit off your hands if they can use it. That way, everyone wins!
We wish you a prolific citrus season folks, may all the vitamin C be with you! Got lots of apples or berries in the garden? Then try these delicious fruit crumble recipes.