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Monday, January 14, 2013


Starting around Christmas, you probably noticed ORANGES. Lots of them! They are the in season, priced right fruit of choice this season! They are full of vitamins and all kinds of yummy! Plus they're CHEAP!
So you buy, or are gifted, the big box of them. You eat some, your family eats some, but there is just no way that your little family is going to eat the whole box before it goes bad. What to do??
I was facing this dilemma myself, this last week. The oranges kept calling to me, guilt tripping me. Finally, I jumped on it yesterday, did some research, and got all of those oranges preserved!
I had no idea just how many things there were that could be done with oranges! Don't you just love Google?!
From all the options, I picked the ones that appealed most to me. Here's what I picked:

Fresh Squeezed Juice
You'd be amazed at how little juice you get from each orange, even with a quality home juicer. I'm sure that with a commercial grade juicer, it would be a greater yield, but I don't have that kind of money. 
With all of my oranges juiced, there was about half a gallon of juice. We enjoyed it with dinner. Such a big difference from concentrate!!!

Orange Mash
All of the pulp that was left from the juicing, and there was a lot, went into the blender. I advise doing small amounts at a time or your blender will get upset.
I froze the mash. There are lots of recipes online for muffins, cakes and breads that utilize the mash. You can also use it in place of most fruits in baked goods. You just might have to experiment a bit.

All Purpose Cleaner
Orange oil is a popular all purpose cleaner. Here's the easy recipe I found and used:
4 C Vinegar  (I used Cider Vinegar)
4 Oranges' Peels

Immerse peels in vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap or lid. Let sit for 1 - 2 weeks. Strain out peels. 
What you have is a concentrate. Mix 1:1 with water and use in a spray bottle. Great for most surfaces, including wood and glass. If it is an expensive or important surface, test a small area first, just in case!

Potpourri & Fire Starters
Lay the peels on cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Peels will need to be flipped daily to prevent mold. Air dry for 5-7 days. It is easiest if you lay all the peels out rind side down. It's just easier to keep track of which ones you've flipped each day if they're all on the same side.
The dried peelings can be used in a lovely potpourri mix or alone as fire starters. They burn slowly. I'm going to take them camping with us this summer and see how they do!

Now that you've utilized every last bit of your oranges, what can you do with your apples???  ;)

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