Green geeks always find one way or other to use kitchen waste. No peel, seed or pulp goes waste and is used to make dishes, beauty aids or cleaning agents. Web is filled with uses where such peels and seeds are painstakingly either dried for long or process consumes too much energy . This is the reason the use of kitchen waste is not very popular. Busy metro life and living in high rise apartments people hardly find time or good amount of sunlight to dry and keep the peels and seeds to use it later. One such extremely beneficial peel we throw away is Orange Peel.
Orange peel is so full of nutrients that it’s deserves to be called golden peel. All the important nutrient values according to USDA nutrient data sheet for orange peel are listed at the end of this post .
Traditionally orange peels have been sun dried and powdered to be used in beauty products like packs and bathing powder. Orange peel in candied form is one of the main spice/fruit for traditional Christmas cakes. Orange zest is used in salads, teas or infused with oils. Some other uses are South Indian Dish similar to chutney called thuvaiyal , a hot and sweet tangy pickle called puli-ingi , Boiling handful of dried orange peels, cinnamon and cardamom in water makes a good room freshener or burned with coconut husks as mosquito repellent.
The orange essential oil which we buy at a premium too comes from the peel. Though essential oils need steam distillation process and a specialised setup but there are ways (time consuming) to extract some of it at home.
To keep it as safe as possible the first choice would be to use organic oranges as peels can absorb chemicals sprayed on it. Otherwise we can wash and soak oranges in vinegar solution for some time to remove as much impurity as possible.
All methods are excellent for not wasting golden peels but need lot of effort discouraging most of the eco-enthusiasts.
A quick easy and better method to use orange peel is to juice it up. Juicing releases all the nutrients making it a “Golden Juice” . But one should use a low speed blender and ice cold water or ice cubes. Blended, strained and squeezed “The Golden Juice” can be kept in refrigerator for 3 days, in an airtight jar filled up to the brim. Can be frozen as cubes too.
Mixed in face packs it gives a glowing skin. A cup of this juice and a tablespoon of shampoo makes it a wonderful hair cleanser with just right amount of orange oil to keep hair soft. Mixed in bathing water it reduces water hardness just like lemon juice, acts as a natural deodorant and mosquito repellent. Hair rinsed with this gives soft and bouncy tresses as well as clean scalp. Can be mixed with lemon peel and juiced together too. Though not studied well but some eczema patients benefit from bathing with this water.
This juice can be consumed too mixed with honey or some other citrus juice as per taste but when oranges are organic or cleaned properly. Shown to be good as a mouth freshener, aid in digestion and asthma .
One more use of Orange peel….
Orange peel nutrient data sheet with values for 100 gm of some important nutrients.
|nutrient||Value per 100 grams|
|Total Fat||0.20 g|
|Dietary Fiber||10.60 g|
|Vitamin C||136 mg|
|Vitamin A||420 IU|
|Vitamin E||0.25 mg|